Monday, January 2, 2017

The Chester Creek Trail is Officially Open and It's A Masterpiece! It's likely to become the most cherished adaptive reuse the area has ever seen.

Knowlton Road Entrance and Parking Lot
As young kids, we walked what was left of the Chester Creek Railroad back in the 80's.  For us, it was pure adventure as we spent hours exploring the tracks while thinking what it would have been like to ride a train on the actual line.  We found a lot of rail road spikes, but our most precious haul was typically a vintage beer can we hadn't yet added to our personal collections.  Back then, collecting beer cans was what we did as hobbies and we loved it.   My greatest find on that line I think was an old steel, slightly rusted, but presentable Reading Beer can.  I may still have it.

I thought about those stories when I arrived to take a walk on the newly opened Chester Creek Trail that has been years in the making.  It all looked familiar to me as I've walked every inch of the line from the parts behind Linvilla Orchards to the Lenni Septa depot 3 miles away.  What was different when we arrived at the Knowlton Road entrance was a parking lot that led right up to the path that
had bikers, walkers, runners, strollers, and dogs.  What I remember being overgrown and almost impassable had turned into a beautiful recreational area.

Picture perfect
We quickly jumped on the trail and started to walk towards Lenni.  Along the way, we quickly noticed how nice the paved trail was and the attention to detail given.  Whether it be the nice rail fencing barriers, the brand new signage, or the well thought out landscaping that accentuates certain areas; it all looked fantastic.  In fact, it exceeded all my expectations of what a trail like this should be!

The two railroad bridges we crossed, which are probably close to being 100 years old, seemed perfectly adapted to their new, rustic roles.  Even the two roads with traffic that run across the trail at certain sections were well marked for both pedestrians and drivers.  You can pretty much do the whole trail and not break stride.  As we marveled at how well this trail turned out, we quickly covered 3 miles to our destination in no time.

Adaptive reuse of train bridge
Despite the health benefits this trail will provide, it's also made the area much more enjoyable.  Lenni alone has a lot to benefit from this trail, especially if Septa extends the Media/Elwyn Line out to Wawa.  There might be plans for just that as we noticed that where the trail ends at Lenni, the mile marker says .7 and not 0.  If the trail does extend to a future train station, that could definitely be interesting for housing and business development in that area.

The volunteers who saw this effort through after the passing of Friends of Chester Creek Trail President, Mike Fusco deserve a lot of credit for their persistence.  I'm not sure if trails like this are given awards for layout and design, but this one would have to be a candidate.  As for Mike, the true testament of his vision and success will be the many people who use this trail each and every day for generations to come.  It's a masterpiece!

Bridge over Pennel Rd (Rt 452) going towards Lenni
Trail through Lenni




52 comments:

  1. Walked it as a kid too. It used to be almost impassable especially down by Mt. Alverno Rd. Can't wait to ride it! Great article.

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  2. CAn you add a map of where this is?

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    1. There is a small parking lot on Knowton road, not far from Linvilla Orchard. There is parking at the start of the trail, which is marker .08 at Lenni and Station Road

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    2. There is a parking lot by Linvilla Orchard. There is a lot at the start of the trail at Station and Lenni Road.

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  3. Walked it yesterday!!!! Beautiful and everyone was so friendly! Hoping that next phase will include trash cans (not fun to carry a doggy bag for 3 miles), and maybe a few benches, water fountains and bike racks!

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    1. We said the same thing!! Needs some trashcans.

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    2. Who's supposed to be responsible for the trash cans? I'm wondering if Middletown Township would be involved and would a vehicle be able to get through there to empty them?

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    3. Why trash cans? People are just walking. If you put in trash cans you also have to have people to constantly empty them. Don't complicate things.

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    4. People in the county need jobs. There are small vehicles that could go through there to collect. It's not that complicated to make something as user friendly as possible.

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    5. Trashcans would be useful so that people who walk their dogs have a place to put their waste. Also, joggers with water bottles, people who bring a snakc with them? You know, it just makes sense.

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    6. Suggestion put your house up for sale and move. I would love to have a trail like that outside my home! I can't wait to use it. Yes the trail should have trash cans. That should be a no brained.

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  4. Such a wonderful project. I personally plan to enjoy it forever. My hope also is that they add trash cans, benches, and maybe lil trails to the water.

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    1. Don't complicate things, just take a stroll down the trail and keep your trash at home.

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    2. I totally agree! It's not a picnic area it's a trail. Who wants dog waste baking in the sun in a trash can. That and people saying they want Porta potties only serve to Unbeautify the natural setting. Ridley has those things if you want that :).

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  5. Any plans to build the trail down through Brookhaven and upland?

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    1. Aston approved extension to Bridgewater Road.

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  6. Excellent pictures and thanks for the article. This is a great asset for the community.

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    1. Tedman congrats on all the comments we need this number of comments for media boroughs councils arrogant attitude that they can do whatever they want

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  7. Fuck this trail let's have strangers walk directly behind your house it was beautiful untouched land it's not a trail it's a sidewalk that tore up everything in sight to put in now I have weirdo trail traffic going in front of my house and staring us down in the back thanks fukkos why didn't you fix all the potholes instead of making a gluten free trail..lets walk thru your back yard thanks for nothing Big Government pissing on more shit

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    1. glad you enjoy it so much

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    2. "Untouched land"

      This trail is on an abandoned railroad line. Would you rather they bring that back instead?

      If you don't want people looking into your house then put up a privacy fence, cheap ass. It's not like this thing magically appeared in your backyard overnight.

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    3. Anon 12:40 feel your pain but most on here will say you are self serving NIMBY. Make sure you are armed and ready to defend your property.

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    4. This trail has been in the works for 23 years!In those 23 years,there were plenty of public meetings. Did you voice your opinion at any of those meetings? Also when did you buy your house? Those train tracks have been there for over 80 years! Maybe your realtor should have informed you about the trail before you purchased your home.

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    5. I would walk these trails long before this project.There was plenty of activity going on and I'm sure you know it. Beer cans by the hundreds.Makeshift campfires.Trash everywhere.It was party central for teens and others.If anything it should cut down on a lot of the illegal activity that goes on in the woods.

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    6. To the person who doesn't like the trail. Where were you when the Friends of the Chester Creek had so many public meetings over the years? Did you voice your opinion at the Middletown Township Meetings? If not, you can only blame yourself. This Rail line I believe has been there over 80 years. I also believe this group has been working on this trail for 23 years. I am not sure when you bought your property, but maybe your realtor should have informed you that a trail was being built before you bought it?

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    7. I went to meetings, but who am I, we have Astons park of Mt Alverno, called the washboard road and where is the light at Pennel Road that everyone wanted? They had to build a trail that crosses roads that people speed on, waiting for a tragedy, no one in local government thinks before they act.

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    8. Know what's more fun. Having intoxicated people, allegedly, fall on your sidewalk and then being sued for not maintaining it to some arbitrary standard that can't be articulated. You give up certain things to live in beautiful Delco��.

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    9. Nothing personal here I just hope those bike paths are clearly marked. If it is like Ridley Creek it will be awful. Nothing like taking a nice stroll especially with kids while dodging bicycles. It's awful. 1 wrong twist and your getting ran over. Just saying. Don't hetw the messenger folks.

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    10. I walk the trail and don't see it being that close to anyone's home and everyone I see on the trail is friendly. I doubt anyone will need to "protect" their homes. Actually the trail deters any issues as opposed to the area being covered and acting as a great hiding spot for any nefarious activity. Probably makes great people on your end.

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  8. You won't publish until it's approved by those who approved the trail on the first place

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  9. You won't publish until it's approved by those who approved the trail on the first place

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  10. Who exactly approved the trail ?
    Was this a federal funded project or a rails to trails ?

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    1. Middletown approved the trail. So did Aston, it will continue to Bridgwater Road

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  11. Are there any port a potties along the way?

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    1. Plenty of trees and bushes
      Take your trash with you

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  12. Anon 1240 Pure magic

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  13. It's not untouched land genius

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  14. I hope there is an administrator or moderator who will delete the inappropriate comments on here. This is an amazing concept for the community. It brings people outdoors and a place for family an friends to walk together. I cannot for the life of me believe how people complain about everything. If they built more homes on the property, there would be complaints about that as well. I personally plan to utilize the wonderful opportunity and to spread the word to those who appreciate the earth and nature.

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  15. Where is there parking near Linvilla. Is it marked for trail use. Went on here and parked on lemmings. We had a stroller. Crossing the road was scary because it's close to a bend. Luv the trail. No hills

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  16. What's going to happen when it snows.Who's gonna be responsible for snow removal and who will be sued when someone falls on the ice!

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  17. At least Middletown residents get a nice trail / sidewalk and a tax cut for its residents

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  18. If you want trash cans and port-a-potties, please volunteer to empty them here. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe_GAHaLUhjzpAIZnffZuiH6f0eaE2TTJcD7MWPBEMLn7rFAw/viewform?c=0&w=1.

    'people in the county needs jobs' - was this a county project? Middletown Twp. approved the use of open land but not funding. Since the trail also goes through Aston the cost of maintaining trash and waste removal would fall on taxpayers. Middletown just reduced our taxes. If we're expected to pay sanitation to clean and empty portable bathrooms and trash cans on a walking trail used by everyone in the county, forget it.

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  19. I hate to mention, but the curve on Knowlton Rd near the trail's entrance could use some repaving from all the construction vehicles tearing it up.

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  20. I already can't wait for this to be further extended. It is great for walking and running right now, but not quite long enough for biking (yet).

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  21. I hope the bike trail is clearly marked. Nothing personal however if it's the same as ridley creek it will be a nightmare. Your tri g to take a walk with your kids especially and bikes are all over the place. It's not to safe either. 1 wrong twist and your ran over

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  22. Wondering whether the creek running parallel to the trail is stocked with trout come April? I used to fish Chester Creek down from Wawa dairy farm and the next road that crossed the creek a mile or so further down. I caught a lotta trout outta that creek. I live in SoCal now but am planning a trip back there and maybe that trail would be nice to walk with a fly rod. Anybody who knows anything about that creek would be nice to here a reply on here. Thanks, a trout fisherman.

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    1. Yes, that section of Chester Creek is well stocked. In fact, the area shown into the final phone was recently deepened and held some really nice fish. That stretch is a short hop downstream from where the two branches come together on Convent Road where they're replacing the bridge.

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    2. That should be a popular stretch for trout fishing. The trail provides easy access to pretty much any spot along the east bank of the creek.

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  23. Why don't all of the complainers just move? Maybe one of the complainers can purchase a huge piece of land, take the rest of the complainers with them, and start a whole new country full of unhappy, idiot complainers. Take Trump with you, too. I hear Russia has plenty of land available.

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  24. Here's a link to an overall map showing the Chester Creek Trail. https://plus.google.com/100597352276788591930/posts/VmcAiWNKAWR?iem=4&gpawv=1&hl=en-US

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  25. Trail is A gem for our community. Keep it simple. No Trash cans needed just a sign that says "CARRY IN CARRY OUT LEAVE NO TRACE" Also if you are going to walk your Dog pick up and carry it out ( it is your responsibility as a dog owner to clean up) If you don't want to pick up leave your dog home in the yard.

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