Find Out Why These Eight Urban Trails Are Perfect for On-Foot Exploration

This weblog was written by Suzanne Matyas and Amy Kapp of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a lead group for the April Month-to-month Theme of the Each Physique Walk! Collaborative.  This blog was initially revealed in Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Trailblog on April 22, 2019.

With extra fair-weather days afoot, it’s a splendid time to go exploring—by foot!

Whether or not you’re venturing to a brand new city or lastly getting round to enjoying the tourist in your personal yard, walking can connect you in a singular and unequalled method. As a pedestrian, you’re capable of entry areas motorized automobiles can’t, meet the folks that make up a group, expertise nature and really immerse yourself in your surroundings.

Plus, for these of us who wish to get to know a spot by sampling its signature dishes (*raises hand and fork*), walking might be a good way to work up an appetite and burn off undesirable kilos!

Happily, increasingly more communities in America are being related by trails and path networks—leading to car-free, strolling oases for residents and visitors to discover all varieties of locations. By means of our TrailNation™ initiative, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is working with on-the-ground partners in numerous regions of the nation to develop these very important belongings—and create infinite new connections to all the things that make our communities nice: monuments, gardens and parks, iconic eateries, historic sites, museums, waterside points of interest and different must-see stops.

To assist get you off on the suitable foot, right here’s an inventory of just some trails in our TrailNation challenge footprint which are serving as superb group connectors for tens of millions of individuals!

1. Anacostia Riverwalk Trail (Washington, D.C.)

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail | Photograph by TrailLink consumer caughtmyeyeimages

This planned 28-mile rail-trail, which presently spans 19 miles on each side of the Anacostia River, will ultimately hook up with 16 neighborhoods, in addition to quite a few parks, civic sites and buying areas in Washington, D.C. Part of the evolving Capital Trails Coalition Network, comprising greater than 800 miles of trails in D.C., Virginia and Maryland, the Anacostia Riverwalk Path already boasts links to main destinations similar to Diamond Teague Park, historic Navy Yard and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and will ultimately hook up with the Tidal Basin and the Nationwide Mall.

The venture is a keystone of the District Department of Transportation’s $10 billion Anacostia Waterfront Initiative to “transform the shores of the Anacostia River into a world-class waterfront.” Its connection to the Anacostia River Path in Maryland—and to a number of Metro stations—makes it a viable multimodal choice for individuals commuting in and across the D.C. metro area.

2. Schuylkill River Trail (Pennsylvania)

Schuylkill River Trail | Photograph by Thom Carroll

The 27-mile Valley Forge to Philadelphia section of the Schuylkill River Trail is a kingpin within the area’s path network—providing links to tons of of neighborhoods, parks, business centers, transit stations and waterfront areas in Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Additionally it is a serious hall for the creating 800-mile Circuit Trails network, which travels by way of nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This section of path highlights the world’s wealthy history and tradition as it journeys from downtown Philadelphia out to Montgomery County and Valley Forge National Historic Park. In Philadelphia, the path passes such landmarks because the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork, Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk and historic Japanese State Penitentiary earlier than heading via Fairmount Park and alongside the Manayunk Canal Towpath. Already a busy commuting hall and recreation destination for residents dwelling in the city and northwest suburbs, plans are in the works for the trail to ultimately prolong approximately 130 miles along the size of the five-county Schuylkill River Heritage Hall.

three. Gwynns Falls Path (Maryland)

Baltimore’s Gwynns Falls Path | Photograph by Avery Harmon

The western flank of the creating 35-mile Baltimore Greenway Trails Network, the Gwynns Falls Trail has one thing for everyone! Over its 19 miles, the path connects dozens of neighborhoods to wealthy African-American historic sites, spectacular parks, the urban enterprise middle and the long-lasting Inside Harbor—house to the National Aquarium’s greater than 20,000 creatures, the Maryland Science Middle and a number of other other in style points of interest. Alongside the route, railroad history buffs could have the prospect to journey near the B&O Museum and by the nation’s first masonry bridge for railroad use, Carrollton Viaduct, whose namesake laid the cornerstone in 1828 and was the last dwelling signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Placing the “green” in greenway, the trail supplies access to more than 2,000 acres of public lands inside the historic Gywnns Falls stream valley and connects to Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park—one in every of largest woodland parks on the East Coast. Further contributing to this nature-lover’s paradise is the fact that the path is included in Maryland’s state-certified Baltimore Nationwide Heritage Space and the Nationwide Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways Community.

four. Historic Battlefield Trail (Texas)

Historic Battlefield Trail | Photograph by Mark Lehmann

Transportation, tourism, health and history all come to thoughts with this 8.5-mile rail-trail in South Texas. The scenic Historic Battlefield Trail is a key part of the Decrease Rio Grande Valley Lively Plan, which can finally join 428 miles of trails for walking, biking and paddling in and around the region. From its southern terminus in Brownsville, the path first travels via the town’s downtown, linking neighborhoods, mass transit, outlets, restaurants, recreation and occasion facilities, the courthouse, green spaces and museums, in addition to providing close access to the Gladys Porter Zoo and the College of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The trail at present ends at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park—the place the first battle of the two-year U.S.-Mexican Struggle occurred—and will ultimately prolong another four.2 miles into Los Fresnos. Along with providing ample alternative to explore the region’s wealthy historic and cultural heritage, the path additionally serves as a treasured leisure asset. Adorned with benches, lighting and water fountains, the paved route welcomes ft and wheels alike.

5. San Francisco Bay Path (California)

Golden Gate Bridge | Photograph by Cindy Barks

Launched in 1989, the creating San Francisco Bay Trail is part of the Bay Space Trails Collaborative’s formidable vision of a 2,700-mile regional trail network. Presently consisting of more than 350 miles of trails on the ground, the undertaking, when full, will encircle the whole bay, linking the shorelines of nine counties and 47 cities.

Out-of-towners will respect the trail’s shut proximity to both the San Francisco and Oakland worldwide airports. But each guests and locals will have the ability to benefit from the path’s connections to multiple parks and inexperienced areas, which add as much as roughly 57,000 acres of open area and embrace the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, Middle Harbor Shoreline Park and Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space, as well as other parks and trails. From its entry to wine country to its hyperlinks to colleges, transit and different amenities—the trail, when full, will supply an unimaginable 500 miles for strolling, commuting, getting round and exploring!

6. Hank Aaron State Path (Wisconsin)

Hank Aaron State Trail | Photograph by TrailLink consumer lixunz

Beer, baseball, bay views: The Hank Aaron State Trail gives all these delights and lots of more over its clean 15 miles. From its japanese terminus on the shores of Milwaukee Bay, walkers will be capable of drink in beautiful views Lake Michigan—the third largest of the Great Lakes and the one one which lives utterly inside the USA! This section of the path is inside the Historic Third Ward and grants its users entry to the brilliant purple Milwaukee Pierhead Lighthouse, Lakeshore State Park, art galleries, multiple entertainment and efficiency facilities, eating places, outlets and its neighboring 120-mile Oak Leaf Path. Together, these two trails are essential pieces of the Route of the Badger, a creating 700-mile-plus trail system in Southeast Wisconsin.

Because the path heads west, it treats its users to a mixture of built and natural locations: the Kinnikinic and Menomonee rivers, breweries, Three Bridges Park, the Harley Davidson Museum, an ice rink, the zoo and Miller Park baseball stadium—the house of the Milwaukee Brewers.

7. Three Rivers Heritage Path (Pennsylvania)

Three Rivers Heritage Path near Point State Park | Photograph by Amy Kapp

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail features the perfect that the town of Pittsburgh has to supply. Prolonged outward in three major paved, related segments from Point State Park, the city path parallels its namesake three rivers—the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela—that helped carry the town into prominence as America’s as soon as industrial powerhouse.

A central hub of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition—a 1,500-miles-plus path community connecting Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York—the Three Rivers Heritage Path is a serious tourism destination for the town that connects quite a lot of destination neighborhoods (for historical past, recreation, nightlife and buying)—together with Pittsburgh’s downtown, the Cultural District, the Strip District, the North Aspect, the South Aspect and historic Station Square. The path additionally highlights lots of Pittsburgh’s important points of interest, including Highmark Stadium, Level State Park, the famous inclines to Mt. Washington, and a number of other of the town’s iconic bridges. The trail additionally shares some corridor and offers a seamless connection with the 150-mile Nice Allegheny Passage.

eight. Atlantic Greenway (Florida)

South Seashore Path | Photograph by Lee Smith

Surrounded by palm timber and meandering by way of South Seashore, the Atlantic Greenway (also referred to as the South Seashore Path) is nestled in Miami Seashore, one of the country’s most popular locations.

Part of two much larger, creating tasks—the Miami LOOP, a creating 225-mile path network throughout Miami-Dade County, and the East Coast Greenway, extending from Florida to Maine—the path holds it own as a serious connector, linking recreation areas, bars, motels, parks, inexperienced area, restaurants, outlets and more between its southernmost endpoint at South Pointe Seashore and Pier north to the Miami Seashore Boardwalk (a pedestrian-only section of trail) and on to Indian Seashore Park (north of Mid-Seashore).

Featuring lovely views of the Atlantic Ocean—this true strolling oasis also supplies frequent water stations for washing off seashore sand—and a number of other public restrooms. Fascinating sculptures, rocks, and places to stop and relaxation pepper the length of the path.

Need to explore a group nearer to residence or in another region? Find hundreds of other trails which might be great for strolling and browsing as a pedestrian on!