Residents can now enjoy an uninterrupted two-mile section of riverfront trail in Tacony and connections to the only public boat launches on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. This trail also serves as an important link in the Circuit Trails, the region’s developing 800-mile multi-use trail network linking nine counties across Greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, as well as an important segment for the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000 mile trail from Florida to Maine.
The trail segment opened today represents the newest addition to the Riverfront North’s planned 11-mile linear network of trails and parks. This Northeast Philadelphia trail section will eventually connect with the Delaware River Trail in Central and South Philadelphia.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of this trail that will complete an important connection between the Tacony Boat Launch, Lardner’s Point Park, and the Frankford Boat Launch along a beautiful stretch of the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia. The community can now have connected access to three different park spaces to recreate, relax or explore the beauty of the riverfront that is no longer hidden from them,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
The K&T Trail is part of a vision started in 2004 to connect northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods back to the Delaware River. Residents have long been disconnected to the beauty of the river by the I-95 corridor and miles of former industrial sites. The trail reclaims an abandoned railroad corridor for public use and is an important realization of this vision.
“After being cut off from the river for decades, the Wissinoming, Tacony and Holmesburg neighborhoods now have an uninterrupted two mile stretch of riverfront trail and three separate parks in their backyard,” said Stephanie Phillips, Executive Director of Riverfront North Partnership. “The K&T Trail has been long anticipated by our neighbors and through the hard work of many dedicated partners, we are thrilled to be here to celebrate this important milestone in the transformation of the north Delaware riverfront.”
This extension of the K&T Trail connects Lardner’s Point Park at the base of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to the Tacony Boat Launch at Princeton Avenue, via a 12-foot wide multi-use trail lined with native plantings and historic markers. It closes a key gap in the Circuit Trails, which is critical momentum to achieving the Circuit Trails Coalition’s goal of 500 miles by 2025.
When the entire network is complete, more than 50 percent of the region’s population—more than 3.1 million people—will live within 1 mile of the Circuit Trails network.
“The K&T Trail extension has been in the works for nearly 20 years, and illustrates the hard work required to connect communities to safe walking, biking and rolling routes that provide public access to rivers, recreation, rest, relaxation and joy,” said Patrick Starr, Pennsylvania vice chair of the Circuit Trails Coalition and executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
In addition to the trail opening, Riverfront North Partnership is working with community members and consultants on the redesign of the Frankford and Tacony Boat Launches to improve visitor amenities, safety, and access.