Scenic views enhance the enjoyment of using The Circuit Trails. As development pressure southeastern Pennsylvania increases, areas of scenic value may disappear, presenting challenges for planners. The targeted protection of land that provides high scenic values to nearby trails will preserve and protect a high-quality trail experience, as well as conserve important natural resources.
The goals of the Circuit Trails Visual Assessment project are two-fold. First, the study analyzes Circuit Trails in suburban and rural landscapes to identify potential conservation needs based on the trail’s viewshed. Second, using the results of the analysis, a conservation assessment and ranking of priority lands is developed. This report also describes the methodology used to assess the land conservation priorities of The Circuit Trails viewsheds. The methodology was developed from a visual assessment pilot project that focused on a section of the Schuylkill River Trail and was reviewed by the project steering committee. The study results can be used as a tool by conservancies and land managers to assist in prioritizing conservation efforts.