Philadelphia and Montgomery County Communities Unite to Extend Cresheim Trail

NOTE: This story originally appeared on Independence Youth Cycling’s website.

Philadelphia, PA – In a significant community-driven initiative, Friends of Cresheim Trail (FOCT), Independence Youth Cycling (IYC), including its youth mountain bike teams SoMont Cycling and Philly Wiss, along with local volunteers and Cresheim Trail enthusiasts, have successfully extended the Cresheim Trail to the border of Montgomery County, PA. This collaborative effort underscores the power of community connections, cultural engagement, and the collective pursuit of enhancing outdoor recreational spaces in the Philadelphia area.

Brad Maule, President of the nonprofit Friends of Cresheim Trail, expressed his enthusiasm for the project:

“This initiative is proof of the incredible collaborative spirit of our community. It represents another significant step towards creating more connections and extensions of the Philadelphia area Circuit Trails. The Cresheim Trail extension not only enhances and reimagines our local infrastructure, but also strengthens the cultural and community ties within our region.”

The extension project focused on opening an old railroad corridor and creating a parallel natural-surface, earthen trail, culminating in a small loop approaching Stenton Avenue. This addition connects the existing trail network at Germantown Avenue with Stenton Avenue, moving the Cresheim Trail toward its ultimate goal of reaching Fort Washington State Park to the northwest and Cheltenham Township and the Tookany Creek Trail to the east.

John Raisch of Independence Youth Cycling highlighted the role of volunteers:

“We extend a big thanks to all the volunteers who have made this connection from Philadelphia to Montgomery County, PA, possible. Your dedication and hard work have not only contributed to the physical trail but have also forged great bonds within our community. Together, we’ve created a space that encourages exploration, fitness, and appreciation of the great outdoors.”

The trail-building event brought together over 50 volunteers, ranging in age from 8 to 78, who worked tirelessly to realize the vision of the extension. The project was celebrated with the community’s immediate use of the newly built loop, underlining the trail’s significance as a recreational and cultural asset.

This collaborative project emphasizes the importance of trail connections in promoting healthy, active lifestyles, and fostering a sense of community among residents of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. It showcases how partnerships between nonprofits, youth organizations, and community members can lead to meaningful improvements in local infrastructure and recreational opportunities.

As the Cresheim Trail continues to grow and evolve, it serves as a vibrant example of what can be achieved when communities come together to improve their shared spaces. The Friends of Cresheim Trail and Independence Youth Cycling invite everyone to experience the new multi-use trail sections, and to engage with the Friends of Cresheim Trail community on future trail work and extensions.

More about Friends of Cresheim Trail

Incorporated in 2012, Friends of Cresheim Trail volunteers have built approximately three miles of trail that make direct connections from Wissahickon Valley Park into the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and with the new extension, Springfield Township in Montgomery County. Future phases will continue to Cheltenham Township and finally Fort Washington State Park.

FOCT hosts monthly volunteer workdays. The next one is scheduled for Sunday, April 21st, in collaboration with Chestnut Hill Community, marking another opportunity for community members to contribute to the ongoing development of the Cresheim Trail.

More about Independence Youth Cycling

Independence Youth Cycling, a 501c3 non-profit, develops and supports local, state and national youth cycling programs in and around the Philadelphia area.

Want to learn more about IYC and their youth cycling teams Philly Wiss or SoMont MTB? Join them for their “Try It Rides” in preparation for the 2024 season.

Philly Wiss Youth MTB Team – All events are at Blue Bell Park, 842 W Walnut Ln, Philadelphia, PA 19144

  • Saturday, April 13th, 10 am
  • Saturday, May 4th, 10 am
  • Thursday, May 16th, 6 pm

SoMont Cycling Youth MTB Team

  • Saturday, April 20th at Lorimer Park, 10 am. 183 Moredon Rd, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
  • Tuesday, April 23rd at Twining Valley Park, 5 pm. 1400 Twining Rd, Dresher, PA 19025

Loaner bikes and financial aid can be made available.

Visit their website to sign up for pre-season communications, or email them at