NORRISTOWN, PA – Government officials representing Montgomery and Bucks counties joined regional community groups and trail enthusiasts Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a multi-use trail connecting the two counties.
County officials and planners cut the ceremonial ribbon along a stretch of trail near Southampton Train Station, just a short hike from County Line Road where Bucks County’s Newtown Rail Trail meets Montgomery County’s Pennypack Trail.
“We are excited to celebrate the connection of our two counties through the Pennypack and Newtown Rail Trail,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “Montgomery County has made investing in our trails a priority, and the Pennypack Trail is no exception. We have worked for over a decade to not only extend, but also improve the safety and accessibility of this trail for all users. To see where we are today is truly a testament to the work of both the Montco and Bucks teams to get this project to the finish line.”
With construction completed, the Pennypack Trail now extends for 6.2 miles, from Rockledge Park in the south, through the county’s Lorimer Park, to the Montco-Bucks county line
“The Pennypack Trail is one of the most popular trails in the county. Based on parking lot counts, annual usage for the trail and Lorimer Park averages 375,000 visits annually,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Jr., Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “Completing the Montco section of the Pennypack Trail has not only enhanced the experience for trail users in Montco, it also serves as an important connection south to Philadelphia.”
Built on the former Fox Chase-Newtown SEPTA rail line, the Pennypack Trail offers visitors a 12-foot-wide gravel path that provides level hiking and biking opportunities with scenic views of the Pennypack Creek valley.
Lorimer Park borders Fox Chase Farm in Philadelphia, providing a connection to Philadelphia’s Pennypack Trail, which extends for 10.2 miles from Pine Road to the Delaware River. Philadelphia is completing design of a section that will connect SEPTA’s Fox Chase train station with Montgomery County’s Pennypack Trail, which terminates at Rockledge Park. This section will provide an important connection to transit, enabling a trail-to-train connection for local residents.
Montgomery County initiated the development of this popular multi-county connector trail in 2008, opening a 1.8-mile section of trail through Lorimer Park from Rockledge to Huntingdon Pike to the public in June 2009. Trail construction of this multi-phased project continued in 2014 and 2015 and involved installing a bridge crossing and extending the trail south 0.6 miles to Rockledge Park, extending the trail north approximately 3 miles to Byberry Road, and developing parking areas at Welsh Road and Byberry Road.
To learn more about this trail and the almost 60 miles of regional county trails connecting greenways, waterways, and heritage corridors within Montgomery County that are provided for residents and visitors through the county’s premier trail system, visit https://www.montcopa.org/Trails.
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