This year was an exciting one for the rail-trail movement; as 2018 comes to a close, nearly 2,100 rail-trails are now open across the country. These trails add value in so many ways—increasing our mobility, improving our health, spurring economic development, protecting our environment and creating powerful connections within and between communities.
Please join us in welcoming some of these newest arrivals!
1Rail Park (Pennsylvania)
Philadelphia’s Rail Park is an exciting project developing across Center City, which will connect several neighborhoods and provide access to Fairmount Park and other cultural attractions. The 3-mile rail-trail, being advanced by a non-profit group called Friends of the Rail Park, will follow the former Reading and Pennsylvania Railroad, a passenger and freight line dating back to the 1890s. The project will include the elevated Reading Viaduct, which will offer beautiful views of downtown. This past June, the project’s first section opened to the public, stretching a quarter mile in the city’s Callowhill neighborhood.
2Wasson Way (Ohio)
The developing Wasson Way is part of an effort to create more vibrant, walkable neighborhoods in Cincinnati. When completed, the paved pathway will span 7.6 miles from Victory Parkway (near Xavier University) to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a Hall of Fame rail-trail and a crown jewel of Miami Valley’s vast regional network of more than 340 miles of off-road trails. Wasson Way’s inaugural section opened in July in the community of Hyde Park on the city’s east side. Although less than a mile, it connects residential neighborhoods, Withrow High School, and the shopping and dining complex of Rookwood Commons.
3Three Creeks Trail (California)
In August, San Jose welcomed the Three Creeks Trail, which opened the first segment of what will be a 3-mile span through the city’s Willow Glen neighborhood. Although just shy of a mile, the rail-trail is an important piece of the city’s growing trail system and will eventually connect to three other trails. Travelers will find many visual delights along the way, such as a trailside iris garden, a tall water tower inspired by similar historical structures, and a sculpture that artistically represents the locomotives that once rumbled down the corridor.
4Eastside Rail Corridor Trail (Washington State)
Washington’s Eastside Rail Corridor Trail will one day traverse 42 miles through King County, connecting Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Woodinville. In 2018, two segments of the trail opened: 4 miles between Renton and Bellevue, and another mile between Bellevue and Kirkland. The rail-trail, which follows a former BNSF freight corridor, is expected to become a major commuting route, as it will connect several regional trails, commercial districts, employments centers and transit hubs with residential neighborhoods. Other components of the project which are already open include the Redmond Central Connector and the Cross Kirkland Corridor.
5Knox Kane Rail Trail (Pennsylvania)
In a state seemly boundless with scenic rail-trails, Pennsylvania added another this past October: the Knox Kane Rail Trail in McKean County. The 3.8-mile pathway runs through a largely forested corridor between the borough of Mount Jewett and Kinzua Bridge State Park, offering residents and visitors access to the park’s signature feature: the stunning 301-foot-high Kinzua Bridge Skywalk. Trail advocates hope to one day expand the rail-trail to 74 miles, continuing its southwest trajectory through Elk, Forest and Clarion counties to end at Clarion Junction.
6Hi-Rail Greenway (Indiana)
Tucked into the southwestern corner of Indiana, the city of Evansville has a thriving trail system known as the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, which connects neighborhoods, schools, commercial areas and parks. The newest piece of the network, the Hi-Rail Greenway, opened in November and offers a convenient north-south route through the city. The 2.5-mile paved pathway provides a safe alternative to US 41 for walkers and bicyclists, and features pleasant landscaping and tree plantings, rest areas with benches, and bike racks.