Liberty Bell Trail

PEC is working with residents and leaders in Montgomery County to make the Liberty Bell Trail a reality. When completed, it will link to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown and provide the same connections that the Liberty Bell Trolley did nearly 70 years ago.

The Liberty Bell Trail (LBT) corridor has been nearly 250 years in the making. The path was first trod by a few brave Pennsylvanians just before the British Army invaded Philadelphia, who carried the Liberty Bell out of Philadelphia to safety in Allentown.

In the early 1900s, as Philadelphia and its suburbs were rapidly expanding, the historic route colonists used to rescue the Liberty Bell over 100 years earlier was converted into the Liberty Bell Trolley Line. For the next half century, this trolley took Pennsylvanians from Philadelphia, through Norristown and Quakertown and into Allentown. The Liberty Bell Trolley Line was known as one of the best trolley systems in America at the time.

As the use of automobiles became increasingly widespread starting in the 1920s, the Liberty Bell Trolley saw fewer and fewer passengers until 1951, when the Lehigh Valley Transit Company (which owned the Liberty Bell Trolley) ceased operations. Sadly, the rails and many of the trolley cars were immediately taken and scrapped for the Korean War effort.

However, to this day the LBT corridor is lined with historic landmarks, cultural resources, natural amenities, and vibrant commercial and residential districts. In 2005, a feasibility study along the Liberty Bell corridor by the Waetzman Group sought to reinvigorate this historic path by turning it into a pedestrian and bicycle trail.

Beginning in the winter of 2021, eight Montgomery County municipalities – with support from PEC – have hired Michael Baker International to conduct an updated feasibility study for the Montgomery County section of the LBT. This feasibility study is now underway, and the public outreach process has begun.

Provide your input

Check out this WikiMap for more background on the Liberty Bell Trail, updates on the ongoing feasibility study, and opportunities to share input.

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