Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail

The Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail (FOCHT) was founded in 2008 by a group of dedicated volunteers committed to supporting the construction of the Trail. Currently, the Friends focus on supporting the volunteer efforts in beautifying the park.

In the future, the group hopes to support the recreational and educational resources of the park and provide for trail amenities. The Friends are now in the United Way’s Donor’s Choice Program. If you want to donate to the Friends through United Way, we are donor organization #51240. You can still use PayPal, too, by clicking the “DONATE NOW”.

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Join us for our Annual Meeting

The Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage trail are hosting our Annual Meeting on December 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Conservatory in West Laurel Hill Cemetery. We welcome the public to join us for an open discussion of the Trail’s development this year and in the upcoming year. Chris Leswing will update us on the imminent construction on the Manayunk Bridge and planning for the “Lower Trail” connection to the Schuylkill River. We are also pleased to have joining us our new Township Manager, Ernie McNeely.

Please mark your calendars. Refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing everyone interested in this popular public park.

Manayunk Bridge Groundbreaking Recap

Lots of dignitaries — Congressman Chaka Fattah, Senator Vince Hughes, State Rep. Pam Delissio, Montco Commissioners Leslie Richards, Josh Shapiro and Bruce Castor; Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor Mike DiBerardinis, DCNR Deputy Secretary Flood, SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey.

Lots of smiles – Lots of words about partnerships, colloborations, persistence and getting stuff done! We think Leslie Richards said it best….”This is the coolest project!”
A great day for the Circuit. Click here to learn more

Construction on Manayunk Bridge to Start Soon!

The much-anticipated contract to extend the Cynwyd Heritage Trail over the Manayunk Bridge was awarded this week, opening the door for construction to start on a bicycle and pedestrian trail that will connect the beloved Cynwyd Heritage Trail with bustling Main Street Manayunk and the entire Schuylkill River Trail network. A.P. Construction, Inc. of Blackwood, N.J., will lead the project, budgeted at $4.12 million. Construction is expected to last between 12 and 15 months. The contractor will be given a notice to proceed in 30 days, and construction will start this summer.

Staff from Lower Merion Township and the City of Philadelphia are coordinating with the numerous project partners on a formal groundbreaking to take place in early September.

“We have been looking forward to extending the Cynwyd Heritage Trail over the Schuylkill River ever since we started to redevelop the Trail and the SEPTA Cynwyd train station in 2007,” said Bob Duncan, the Township’s director of Building & Planning. “The Manayunk Bridge connection will be a very special place, not just for Lower Merion and Manayunk, but for the whole Delaware Valley.”

Lower Merion Township is contributing $250,000 in capital funds to the project, and the Township has secured a $500,000 Pennsylvania DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grant. Major partners in the project include PennDOT, SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia, Montgomery County, the Manayunk Development Corp., the William Penn Foundation, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Grant funding comes from the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative ($1.3 million) and PennDOT’s Surface Transportation Program ($1.1 million).

“It is because of the incredible strength of this partnership that we were able to secure these grants and to build the political and public support necessary to pull off a complex, multi-municipal transportation improvement,” said Chris Leswing, Lower Merion Township’s assistant director of Building & Planning.

With sweeping views of the Schuylkill River Valley, the landmark bridge has multiple open-spandrel reinforced concrete arches, and was built on a gentle curve over the river. It opened in 1918 and was last used as a railway in 1986.

In its new use, the bridge will serve as a connector, but will have its own design, landscaping and lighting. It will be a destination for trail users from the city as well as suburbs and will host events.

“This is a big step forward for a remarkable project, one that will connect our new multi-use Cynwyd Heritage Trail to Manayunk on this historic bridge over the Schuylkill River,” said Ward 10 Commissioner Scott Zelov, chair of the Township’s Parks & Recreation Committee. “The view from this bridge is unforgettable.”

The iconic span is about a half-mile long and about 30 feet in width. It will continue to serve as an active utility corridor. The bridge has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.

Summer Solstice Park to Park Bike Ride

Starts: 10:00 am
Ends: June 21, 2014 – 2:00 pm
Location: Linwood Park, East Athens Avenue, Ardmore, PA, United States

Description: Meet at the Park for this fun, relaxed bike ride to several Lower Merion Parks and the Cynwyd Trail and back. Learn safe bike routes through the Township, learn about the horticulture and history and future of several parks in LM and get some exercise! Limited to adults and bike-able teens ages 13 and up. This is not a ride for little kids. Free, suggested donation ( we will “Pass the helmet”) 10.00.

 3rd Annual 5K Trail Trot June 1 – Well done, ALL!

Trot flyer

What fine day for the he spring 5K on the Trail it was! This is turning into a fine community annual event.

Nearly 100 runners of all ages came out to run. Shirts and prizes were distributed.

To see race results and awards, go to http://brynmawrracing.com/race-results/.

FOCHT Video

The Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail was founded in 2008 by a group of dedicated volunteers committed to supporting the construction of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. Currently, the Friends focus on supporting the volunteer efforts in beautifying the park. To learn more about the Friends, please see our Membership brochure.

Video created by Joel Tomar Levin