Tag Archives: rail-trails

From Rails to Trails: Turning Rail Corridors into Public Spaces

The National Trails System Act, adopted in 1983, has helped preserve and restore thousands of miles of rail corridors that would have otherwise been abandoned. Instead, old tracks be can be turned into parks, nature trails, cycle paths and public gardens that offer a much-welcomed green pocket at the heart of fully urbanized communities. Read more... Read more

Trail of the Month: Maryland and Washington, D.C.’s Capital Crescent Trail

Forming an emerald arc around the northern and western borders of the District of Columbia, the Capital Crescent Trail connects Washington to its Maryland suburbs. The pathway is so lushly wooded that, at times, it might be easy to forget the thrum of the nation’s capital lies just over the trees. But a glance over the shoulder while pedaling along the Potomac River provides a nice view of the iconic Washington Monument and a reminder of the city’s closeness. The... Read more

The 606 Landscape Grows, as Do Concerns about Displacement

Two years after opening, the 606, Chicago’s signature rails-to-trails project, is growing in with growing pains. The “growing in” involves The 606’s nicely maturing, but not yet magical, landscape of 224 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, bulbs and forbs. The “growing pains” are The 606’s unintended consequences: Rising rents and a wave of development threaten to force out some of the very middle- and working-class people to whom the elevated park was supposed to deliver much-needed open space. The... Read more

Phase One of the Rail Park, Philly’s High Line, Will Open Soon

This early portion of the Rail Park, ​Philly’s own version of the High Line, is almost ready. The cost is $10.3 million, and nearly all of the money has been raised through local, state and private funds. This part of the Rail Park is about relaxation, entertainment and community gathering as much as it is about walking. There will be benches, trees, flowers, art from the Percent for Art program and industrial swings modeled somewhat after the makeshift swings built on... Read more

Englewood Line Trail Could Create Recreation and Job Opportunities for Chicago Residents

Building on Daniel Burnham’s vision to create a network of interconnected parks, Chicago is looking to build more rail-to-trails like the Bloomindale Trail. One rail-to-trail in the works is the Englewood Line Nature Trail, a proposed two-mile elevated greenway located in the South Side community of the same name. Englewood is a predominately African-American neighborhood that was once home to a bustling commercial district. If the rail-to-trail were built, it could bring in more community investment and improve the quality-of-life... Read more

Philly Breaks Ground on Its Own High Line-Style Park

Construction on Philadelphia’s long-anticipated Reading Viaduct Rail Park broke ground this week, with phase one of the project slated for completion in early 2018. The full vision encompasses three miles of abandoned railroad transformed into an above- and below-ground park. Phase one tackles a 25,000-square-foot section of elevated tracks that will feature a walking path, seating, landscaping, lighting and gathering spaces. Read more... Read more