Project Update: Monster Trail!

Current Projects // August 12, 2020

By Pauline Berkowitz, FOW Capital Projects Coordinator

“The Monster”: Building Sustainability on the Yellow Trail

The steep, rocky section of the Yellow Trail heading south from West Bell’s Mill Road, is favored by park users who enjoy a physical and technical challenge – and known affectionately as “The Monster” by the Wissahickon’s biking community. However, the current route is vulnerable to erosion and the effects of heavy usage. One of five trails scheduled for improvement in FOW’s Sustainable Trails Initiative (STI), a multi-year campaign to restore and preserve an environmentally and socially sustainable trail system in Wissahickon Valley Park, making sure “The Monster” is a stable and sustainable piece of the system is key to serving a growing community of park users for generations to come.

Starting next week and continuing through the middle of September, FOW will work in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Paul Steinbeiser to armor parts of the trail to stabilize the tread and reduce erosion, while maintaining the current challenging alignment. By following the natural contours of the land and incorporating additional sustainable principles in construction, the reroute will rate highly in the three sustainability criteria categories, which are environmental, social, and fiscal. The “Monster” will be environmentally sustainable by reducing erosion and stormwater runoff, be socially sustainable by allowing for moderate to heavy use, and fiscally sustainable by reducing future trail stewardship costs.


STATUS: In Progress Summer 2020
SCHEDULE: August 10th – September 19th 2020
PROJECT TEAM: Paul Steinbeiser, Inc.
PARTNERS: Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Paul Steinbeiser, Inc., & FOW Crew Leader Volunteers
FUNDERS: National Fish & Wildlife Foundation & PECO Green Region
AREAS OF IMPACT: The entirety of “Monster” Trail will be closed to the public for the duration of construction. There will be a staging area at the base of the trail on Forbidden Drive below Bell’s Mill Road where the parking lot connector trail meets Forbidden Drive.
DETOUR: The entrance to Yellow Trail will be accessible via connector trail roughly ½ mile south from Bell’s Mill along Forbidden Drive. Access to Houston Meadow will remain.
*Please heed the work zone and safety signage at all times — even if the crew is not working.*