Schuylkill River Trail, Bartram's Garden win top spots in USA Today's travel awards

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you need another reason to get outside, we got two!

Two of Pennsylvania's trails won top spots in USA Today's 10Best Travel Awards.

The Schuylkill River Trail came in third for Best Riverwalks.

USA Today says:

"More than 75 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail exist across five counties of historically rich Southeastern Pennsylvania. The multi-use trail runs alongside the revolutionary Schuylkill River. A notable section of the trail is a 30-mile stretch from Philadelphia to Parker Ford, passing through Valley Forge National Historical Park along the way. A highlight is the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, where pedestrians and cyclists can walk or ride over the Schuylkill River while taking in skyline views from one of four scenic overlooks."

"We are thrilled that so many people voted for the SRT-people who recognize what an extraordinary and unique asset we have in this region." Elaine Paul Schaefer, executive director of Schuylkill River Greenways, said on a blog from the Circuit Trails Coalition. "The SRT offers bikers, runners and walkers the opportunity to experience every different kind of trail-urban, industrial, suburban and rural. In addition, it connects incredible historic and cultural resources including the city of Philadelphia, Valley Forge National Historical Park, historic industrial towns like Phoenixville and agricultural landscapes in Berks and Schuylkill Counties. The SRT is one of the most important economic drivers in southeast Pennsylvania and we are so grateful that our residents enjoy it and support it."

Detroit International RiverWalk was number one.

Bartram's Garden was awarded fourth in the Best Urban Kayaking Spot category.

USA Today says:

"One of Philadelphia's best kept secrets, Bartram's Garden, offers a kayaking launch point with art installations along the Lower Schuylkill River. While put on hold for the time being, the garden typically offers free boating on Saturdays, giving members of the community a chance to get out on the water even if they don't have their own kayak."

"The lower tidal Schuylkill River is indeed a beautiful spot for kayaking and we're delighted to be recognized by the community," said Maitreyi Roy, executive director of Bartram's Garden. "The Philadelphia-Camden Riverways Collaboration that we belong to offers amazing on-water programs to explore the Delaware and the Schuylkill rivers. As temperatures warm up and we emerge from the pandemic check for ways to get back out on kayaks safely to enjoy the beauty of these waters."

The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio took the top spot in this category.

Construction is currently underway for a swing bridge connecting the Schuylkill River Trail and Bartram's Garden.

The connection will continue the expansion of the Circuit Trails network which, when completed in 2040, it will encompass 800 miles of trails on both sides of the Delaware River.

USA Today says a panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees in the categories, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.
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