A hiking and biking trail that would run from Phoenixville to Great Valley could be a possibility in five or six years.
Details of the proposed Devault Trail Activation Project were unveiled at an open house hosted by officials at Charlestown Township, the Chester County Planning Commission, and the Transportation Management Association of Chester County.
The 6-mile-long study corridor spans portions of Charlestown and Schuylkill townships, and Phoenixville. The study determines how best to link Phoenixville and the Great Valley Route 29 corridor in Chester County, with a multi-use trail that connects people and neighborhoods with parks, community services, recreation, schools and the regional trail network.
Details, however, remain sketchy because the land, owned by Norfolk Southern Railroad, has not been acquired. And although a feasibility analysis was performed in 2015, there has been no engineering or design work, meaning officials can’t even put a price tag on the project. The trail project would still need to go through a detailed master planning process.
The funding could come from a variety of sources, including private donations, foundations or federal or state grant programs that relate to trails and open space.
“I think it’s wonderful to see interest in creating a connection between the Schuylkill Trail and the Chester Valley Trail,” said Patrick Starr, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. “I think it will be a beloved connector once it exists as it passes through beautiful countryside.”