Here's What You Need To Know About The Circuit Trails [Plus, How to Win A NEW Bike!]

The Schuylkill River Trail in Center City, Philadelphia. Photo credit: the Circuit Trails

The Schuylkill River Trail in Center City, Philadelphia. Photo credit: the Circuit Trails

By Takia McClendon

Hey City Fit Girls! We’re excited to announce that The Circuit Trails has teamed up with us as a FitRetreat 2019 Supporting Sponsor! If you’ve ever joined us for a run or group ride, you’re already familiar with their vast network of trails. If you’re new to The Circuit Trails or would like to learn more about them, read our quick Q&A with the Circuit Trails team to learn about the best places to bike, walk, run and explore in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

City Fit Girls: What Are the Circuit Trails and how far do they extend?

The Circuit Trails: The Circuit Trails is one of America’s largest trail networks, right here in our region’s backyard! Greater Philadelphia is the proud home of the Circuit Trails, a vast regional network of hundreds of miles of multi-use trails that is growing in size each year. Even if you didn’t know they were part of the larger network, you’re probably already familiar with trails on the Circuit, including popular routes like the Schuylkill River Trail, Wissahickon Valley Park Trails, Delaware River Trail, and Cooper River Trail; even the Ben Franklin Bridge walkway is on the Circuit!  In fact, more than 79% of the region’s population (approx. 3,199,448 people) living within two miles of the Circuit Trails.

The Circuit Trails span nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey – connecting as far north as Princeton, New Jersey and as far west as Coatesville, Pennsylvania, with more expansion on the way. Currently, The Circuit Trails network includes more than 330 completed miles of trail, and will total more than 800 miles of trails to explore when the network is finished. To get to the finish line, more than 65 nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies are working together as part of the Circuit Trails Coalition to advance the completion of the trail network.

The Circuit Trails network extends through nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and will eventually include more than 800 miles of connected trails throughout the region.

The Circuit Trails network extends through nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and will eventually include more than 800 miles of connected trails throughout the region.

City Fit Girls: What primary activities do you recommend people doing on the trails? 

The Circuit Trails: The Circuit Trails provide nearly endless options for multi-use recreation and transportation. Running. Walking. Biking. Training. Yoga. Birding. Kayaking. Rollerblading. Dog walking. Nature exploration. The list goes on! The trails are also an incredible resource to our region because they allow users to make direct connections to premiere destinations across the region. From education centers, to parks to shopping and dining, arts and culture, historical landmarks, breweries, quaint towns and bustling cities … just to name a few. Plus, the Circuit Trails also create easy access to the waterfront – a perfect place to spend an afternoon along the shore on even on the water. 

Plus, there is always something to do on or near the trails. We keep a running list of upcoming events like movie nights on the Schuylkill banks, nature walks, kid-friendly activities, pop-up breweries, sunrise yoga, flea markets, races, and beyond on the Circuit Trails website. There’s truly something for everyone no matter your interests - and always a reason to take to the trails.

City Fit Girls: Any plans to expand local trails in Philly?

The Circuit Trails: Our network of trails is always growing! There are lots of new segments already in the works and more great connections to in the near future – 500 miles by 2025 is the intermittent goal. As for extensions, the beloved Schuylkill River Trail will soon extend past its current 60 miles – first with the Christian to Crescent trail segment, which will be the final link needed to go off-road between Center City and Grays Ferry Crescent for pedestrians and bicyclists. Secondly, there will be a new Schuylkill River crossing at Greys Ferry thanks to the swing bridge which is currently under construction. The newly updated swing bridge will provide a vital connection from Greys Ferry Crescent across the river to Bartram’s Garden. For more updates on the trails in the making or planned, take a look at our Circuit Trails Status Map

City Fit Girls: How can trail users get involved?

The Circuit Trails: In having such a large network of trails in the Greater Philadelphia region, we want encourage trail users to step out of their comfort zone and explore the depth and diversity of the trails in the city. To help you do that we’ve created the Circuit Trails Scavenger Hunt, a summer long initiative that challenges community members to go, do and discover the wide variety of the destinations, activities and events the trails on the circuit can take you to. And like all great Scavenger Hunts, there is hidden treasure waiting to be claimed at the end of the search. We have an array of prize packs just waiting for you to earn – including the grand prize pack, which includes a brand new bicycle! Playing is simple – download the Scavenger Hunt Checklist, then travel the trails on the circuit to complete the tasks. To show that you’re making progress on your checklist, post pictures from your exploration on your preferred social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) with #CircuitExplorer. Each social media post earns you one entry into our prize pool. If you’re up for the challenge, take a look at our treasure map to see where the trails can take you! 

Want to keep up with The Circuit Trails on social media? Follow them on the channels below and use the hashtag #onthecircuit to share your photos on the trails!