by Eric Dolente
The beautiful and untroubled landscape of Erdenheim Farms gives the viewer feelings of serenity and peace.
Hundreds of acres are filled with long, flowing green pastures and farm animals roaming across the vast landscape of Lafayette Hill.
Montgomery County now wants to show off the farm’s beauty to the local community through construction of the Wissahickon Connector Trail.
The plan is to extend the Cross County Trail into Erdenheim Farms and connect the Wissahickon Trail in Fort Washington State Park to the end of Wissahickon Trail by Stenton and Northwestern Avenue near the Morris Arboretum.
Both segments will be about a mile each. The Cross County Trail will connect with the new extension of the Wissahickon Trail once construction is finished.
The trail will be extended 20 miles, at a width of 8 to 12 feet, with asphalt or hard-cinder pavement surface that will be suitable for biking, walking, jogging, and rollerblading.
“We have a big vision for the trails,” said Jody Holton, executive director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission.
“It’s almost like giving residents a free gym pass,” she said. “People love these trails.”
Urban Engineers Incorporated, of Philadelphia, will be working on engineering plans and bidding documents with Montgomery County to begin construction of the trail’s extension next year.
Once construction is finished, walkers, runners, bikers and pedestrians alike will be able to enjoy Erdenheim Farm’s scenery because of its collaboration with the planning commission’s efforts to extend the trail in 2017.
Montgomery County paid for necessary easements and has received money for the trail’s expansion through the agreement and has completed preservation of Erdenheim Farms’ deed, recorded back in 2009.
A public meeting was held May 9 to discuss with the local community and hear its responses to plans to extend the trail. Everyone who attended was in agreement that the trail would be beneficial for the community.
The Montgomery County Planning Commission also has adopted a plan for the future extension of other trails called “Montco 2040: A Shared Vision Plan.” The goal is to “provide overall growth and development in the county,” according to the commission’s website.
“There’s over 250 miles for people to enjoy,” Holton said.
For more information about Montgomery County’s future trail plans with “Montco 2040: A Shared Vision Plan,” visit: www.montcopa.org/montco2040