Six New trails to explore to maintain social distancing

The Coronavirus pandemic has encouraged many of us to embrace new habits that are environmentally friendly.

And while people have been hitting the trails in record numbers, it's making social distancing increasingly difficult to maintain.

"When I got there, I was somewhat shocked at what I saw. There were just mobs of people. We had been told over and over again we needed to get six feet distance from each other, and I didn't see anyone get in six feet distance," said Randy Lobasso, Policy Director, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission says there's been a 400 percent increase in people using the trails compared to this time last year.

"We have put up thousands of signs, we've even done lawn signs along trails to ensure that people are reminded frequently as they are running, walking or cycling of the importance of staying six feet away from other folks," said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is hoping to spread out the crowds of people to other lesser known trails in the region.

Here are six of them:

"I know there's my family members who live in the northeast (who) have been using the Pennypack," said Lovell.

There's the Manayunk Bridge, the Towpath and Cynwood Trails, too.

"There's some great trails in Manayunk. There's the Towpath Trail along the Manayunk Canal and the Manayunk Bridge is a great pedestrian, running and cycling trail that also takes you into the suburbs and connects you to the Cynwood Trail," said Lovell.
For a more scenic run, try the 5k Centennial.

'The 5k Centennial trail in West Fairmount Park that goes to the Horticultural Center and the Please Touch Museum is a little less challenging," she said.

But if you want to take it up a notch head to East Fairmount Park

"The Boxers Trail in East Fairmount Park is pretty challenging, it's a very cool and different trail as I said because it's actually named after boxers who trained there like Joe Frazier and Mohammed Ali," she said.

But there's another step the Bicycle Coalition and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation are working toward to free up even more space.

"We are now in the process of looking at what other park roads we can close temporarily to open them more fully to pedestrians and cyclists and runners," she said.
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