Since it opened as a railroad spur in the 1800s, this pretty trail has always been about connections. In 1834 the Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad launched the spur to carry goods from Bristol, Pennsylvania, then a bustling little port where the Delaware division of the Pennsylvania canal system met the tidewater of the Delaware River.
The canal still exists in Bristol, but the original main line of the Philadelphia and Trenton railroad was relocated in 1882. That line became Amtrak's New York to Washington corridor, one of the most heavily traveled passenger railroad routes in the country. Conrail donated the old spur line to the town of Bristol, and the trail opened in 1980.
The path incorporates the rail corridor and some of the former canal towpath, carrying trail users to the Bristol Marsh, a unique and sensitive freshwater habitat. Traversing downtown Bristol, this residential trail eventually will provide public access to the Delaware River and waterfront at the end of Green Lane. This smooth asphalt trail also connects with nearby ball fields, grassy parks, retirement communities and an elementary school.
Parking and Trail Access
From the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take the Bristol Exit. Take Green Lane into the Borough of Bristol and turn right on Radcliffe Street; continue through the historic district to the Bristol Spurline Park parking lot at the end of the street. The trailhead is marked at the parking lot.
Made a point of riding it for 50th birthday
I wanted to ride my age for my 50th birthday on June 8. I rode my hybrid into Bristol from Levittown and found a short portion of the spurline park on the left, though the map showed it on the right. I rode that along the Delaware river, then got back ...