Cresheim Valley Rail-Trail

Discussion in 'Mt. Airy / Chestnut Hill / Germantown' started by borntochill, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. borntochill

    borntochill Well-Known Member

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    Buried in another neighborhood thread about a home for sale, I saw a post from Macdonwald about a plan for a rail-trail that would run along the Mount Airy/Chestnut Hill border. Wow! Imagine being able to walk or bike from the most eastern parts of Chestnut Hill or Mt Airy right down to Forbidden Drive staying off-street and surrounded by woods for a good portion of the way.

    I've lived around here about a year-and-a-half and this is the first I've heard of it. Does anybody know how plans are progressing and if there is a need to rally support in our communities to push the project along?

    The Cresheim Trail Project

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dovate

    dovate Well-Known Member

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    That's a great idea. You can actually walk most of it now... that is if you're not afraid of ticks, vagrants or upsetting a couple fox dens.
     
  3. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood Well-Known Member

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    I believe there are existing hiking trails that you can follow from the end of St. Martins Lane in Chestnut Hill down along Cresheim Creek to the Wissahickon. I can't see using a bike on those trails, unless you are a very fit and adept mountain biker.

    I believe the proposed trail would follow an old railroad spur right away up from the R8 tracks across Germantown and Stenton Aves. into Montgomery County. The railroad spur eventually hits 309. In fact, Route 309 was built in the abandoned right of way of this particular spur.
     
  4. NCtransplant

    NCtransplant Happily Urban

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    Trail surface

    This may be a dumb question, but ... is the proposal to have a paved trail or a surface similar to Forbidden Drive? I read through some of the feasibility study and didn't see anything definitive (there was a diagram that talked about a "bituminous wearing course" overlaying a "bituminous binding course" After that, I started skimming really fast!)
     
  5. borntochill

    borntochill Well-Known Member

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    From what I could glean online, if they actually use the sort of surface you describe it should be significantly smoother than Forbidden Drive.
     
    #5 borntochill, Jul 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  6. Garret

    Garret Online Tool

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    This morning about 6:45 I noticed a pickup truck driving along the old ROW where the trail would go. Presumably it was a Fairmount Park truck. It was along Cresheim Valley Drive, near the intersection with Crittenden.

    Edited to Add: Forgot about the power lines. Presumably it was just a PECO truck checking for storm damage.
     
    #6 Garret, Jul 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  7. Hal

    Hal Banned

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    I was on a Friends of Philadelphia Parks excursion along that trail a few years ago, so I've walked some portions of that route, and ridden on other portions.

    It's really two sorts of routes- (former) rail, and trail

    The former railroad section is still used for power lines, and the feel of walking along that are is much like walking under any set of power lines- a wide are of brush, a worn two tire path from power company vehicles driving along, and the occasional small dirt sidepath from the local kids.
    It's rather like the Schuylkill River Trail from Port Royal out to Conshy.

    The trails are quite different, much steeper and narrower- they're basically the old pre-civil war era roadbeds from when the Wissahickon Valley was full of water mills- the roadbed trails are steeper than the railbed trails, not much different than Rex or Valley Green or Kitchen's Lane.

    The "bituminous" wearing and base are road-speak for blacktop. Bitumen is the engineers adjective for asphalt - it holds the stones together, just like portland cement to holds the stones together in standard concrete. Blacktop in engineering lingo is also called "bituminous concrete". Schuylkill River Park is that same sort of bituminous trail.

    For Cresheim, I don't think you'd need a blacktoped surface to have a usefull trail, people already walk and ride through there, it is already rough graded (comparable to the hiking trails in Wissahickon) and people use it. As you add stone for grading, (comparable to forbidden drive) more people will use it, and with blacktop (kelly drive) you'll have bikes etc.


    Hal
     
    #7 Hal, Jul 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  8. macdonwald

    macdonwald Member

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    The thought of riding my bike and hopping on the trail at Anderson/Woodbrook and coming out at Market Street--all without dealing with cars--makes my mouth water! Man, that would be awesome!
     
  9. MackeyDingo

    MackeyDingo REALLY Well-Known Member

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    Any more word on development of this trail?

    I have seen website and all, but no actual word on the condition of this proposal...
     
  10. dannmer

    dannmer Member

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    Part of the trail has been built as a natural surface trail. It begins at the intersection of Allens Lane and Lincoln Drive. Part of the trail goes to the corner of Emlen and Cresheim Road the rest of the trail crosses Cresheim Road and forms a loop in the woods. The trail can't go through to Germantown Avenue until the city and PECO come to an agreement about bridge that crosses the avenue near the Trolley Car Diner. See map below for details.

    There are work days on the third Saturday of every month to improve the trail and to do cleanups. See the Cresheim Trail site for details on upcoming work days. There is nothing posted now but there will be a post close to the actual work day.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. funk

    funk Well-Known Member

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    they should just level the trolley car diner and divert it though there. no peco issue. one less subpar overpriced diner.
     

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