AMC Completes Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Pilot Project

The Appalachian Mountain Club has completed its Visual Assessment Pilot Project of a section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Montgomery and Berks Counties.

Study Objective

The aim of the Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Project is to identify potential land conservation opportunities within the trail’s viewshed, and develop a conservation assessment that scores and ranks priority lands. The results of this analysis will be used to provide organizations and project partners with a conservation and visual assessment report to assist with local conservation efforts. The full Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Project will launch in February 2018, and will include 31 Circuit Trails in the greater Philadelphia region.  Some of the trails included in the study are the Schuylkill River Trail, the Perkiomen Trail, the D&L Trail, the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail, and the Chester Valley Trail.


The pilot project focused on the 8.8 mile section of the Schuylkill River Trail between Pottstown and Birdsboro. Using LIDAR data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), study area parcels were ranked according to visual magnitude, scenic character, topography, land cover, water features, historic and cultural features, key observation points, and adjacency to the trail. These individual rank scores were combined to create a composite score (see map below). The same methodology will be applied to the full Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Project. AMC will reach out to participating trail groups and County Planning Commissions to provide input during the project. The final Circuit Trails Visual Assessment Project will be completed by the fall of 2018.

Pilot Project Report

To see the final Visual Assessment Pilot Project of the Schuylkill River Trail section, click here

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