By Faith Zantua, Staff Reporter Montgomery County added almost four miles to the 14.7-mile Chester Valley Trail that previously stretched from Exton to King of Prussia. The new extension links the CVT to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown, which now connects Exton and Philadelphia. The CVT had 13.5 miles open in Chester County and...
By Faith Zantua, Staff Reporter
Montgomery County added almost four miles to the 14.7-mile Chester Valley Trail that previously stretched from Exton to King of Prussia. The new extension links the CVT to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown, which now connects Exton and Philadelphia.
The CVT had 13.5 miles open in Chester County and 1.2 miles open in Montgomery County before the extension. It is paved in asphalt and is part of Greater Philadelphia’s Circuit Trails, a regional network of multi-use trails.
Some Chester and Montgomery County residents use the trail for walking, cycling and skating. Sophomore Aditya Kothari uses the trail often.
“There’s a little pathway connecting my neighborhood to the Chester Valley Trail,” Kothari said. “I usually walk down, exit my neighborhood and enter the trail. So (it) really links me with fitness and helps me stay connected.”
Montgomery County’s division of Parks, Trails and Historic Sites manages the extension. Construction began in spring 2020, and its planned cost was just over $13 million. County, private foundation and state funds — including money from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program — covered the cost.
The CVT and the Schuylkill River Trail are the most-used Circuit trails. The Schuylkill River Trail is a 75-mile path with a section from Philadelphia to Parker Ford, Pennsylvania. With the extension, the CVT extends from Exton, through Upper Merion and Bridgeport, to the Schuylkill River Trail, ultimately leading to Philadelphia. The project also included building three pedestrian bridges located on South Gulph, Henderson and Boro Line Roads.
Another reason for the project was to improve transportation and fitness opportunities for local residents. Kothari is one of the residents interested in using the extension.
“I would definitely use that (trail extension),” Kothari said. “I’ve used the Schuylkill River Trail before, and I liked that trail, but it was hard to access from my house. So, if the Chester Valley Trail and the Schuylkill River Trail (were) connected, I think that would be a great plus.”
The addition’s opening ceremony was on March 13, marking the beginning of public use of the extension.
Mark Carberry, varsity Track and Field coach, finds the project to be beneficial for distance-running athletes.
“Opening up (the CVT) to expand more property is fantastic for all runners of all ages,” Carberry said. “So if there’s anything that is going to allow our kids more space and something new to see, we want to take advantage of everything we can.”
Faith Zantua can be reached at [email protected].
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