Pennsylvania Names Philadelphia’s
As 2018 Trail of the Year
PA – Today, Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn
announced that Forbidden Drive located in Wissahickon
Valley Park, has been named 2018 Trail of the Year.
trail truly is among so many Fairmount Park gems, and one that shines
brightest for the thousands of hikers, bikers, anglers and others who travel
it each year,” Dunn said. “For decades, Friends of the Wissahickon
has been working hard to make a great trail even better. It’s all here.
Quality, benefits to the region, and a strong volunteer network and
multitude of partnerships qualify Forbidden Drive to be singled out in this
fifth year of very special recognition.”
Also known as Wissahickon Valley Park Trail, Forbidden Drive stretches five miles
along Wissahickon and through Wissahickon
Valley Park, passing the Thomas Mill Covered Bridge, Valley Green Inn and
other numerous landmarks. Runners, bikers, and equestrians all frequently
share the trail.
thrilled that the beautiful and historic Forbidden Drive has been named
Trail of the Year," said Maura McCarthy, executive director of Friends
of the Wissahickon. "The name belies this urban oasis
that welcomes visitors of all ages on foot, bikes, or horseback to enjoy the wonders of nature that Friends
of the Wissahickon work to conserve."
Pennsylvania is a leader in trail development,
providing its citizens and visitors with more than 11,000 miles of trails
across the commonwealth to enjoy, from gentle pathways threading through
miles of preserved green ways, to remote, rugged trails scaling the state’s
Each year, the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee designates
a Trail of the Year to help build enthusiasm and support for both large and
small trails, and raise public awareness about the value of Pennsylvania’s
a National Recreation Trail in 1975, Forbidden Trail connects users with a
rich history through many historic landmarks, 50 miles of natural surface
trails, and a regional trail network that takes them into Pennsylvania’s
countryside on the Schuylkill River Trail (with access to state parks), and
The Circuit (with a link to the East Coast Greenway).
The Wissahickon Valley once served as the hunting and
fishing grounds of the Lenni Lenape. It later
became the site of more than 25 mills that were built along its banks in
the 1800s, and numerous taverns and roadhouses were built along the Wissahickon Turnpike, now known as Forbidden Drive.
The Wissahickon Valley Park has been celebrated in poetry
and in paintings. In 1868, Fairmount Park acquired the 1,800 acres of the Wissahickon Valley to preserve the purity of a then-city
water supply. Mills and taverns were demolished, but the dams remain,
telling the story of the industry that was once there.
of the Wissahickon (FOW) works in partnership
with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, organizations, and volunteers to
maintain the park and its trails. Today, the Wissahickon
Valley is viewed as among the most natural places in the City of
Philadelphia, and is visited by more than 1 million people each year. FOW
partners with 40 or more organizations annually, and one thousand
volunteers a year, including 15‐20 volunteer
groups, who contribute over 12,000 hours annually toward maintaining
Forbidden Drive and the park.
Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee is charged with implementing the
recommendations of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan to
develop a statewide land and water trail network to facilitate recreation,
transportation, and healthy lifestyles. The 20-member DCNR-appointed
committee represents both motorized and non-motorized trail users and
advises the commonwealth on use of state and federal trail funding.
more information on Forbidden Drive -- named long ago when it was closed to
motor vehicles -- visit https://www.fow.org/.
more information about Pennsylvania trails, visit www.explorePAtrails.com. More than 600
trails covering almost 12,000 miles in Pennsylvania are featured on the
site. In 2017, DCNR named Montour Trail in Allegheny and Washington
counties as Pennsylvania’s Trail of the Year.
Terry Brady, 717-705-2225; email@example.com.