Pedestrians and bicyclists in Charleston are to be forgiven if they develop a slight case of trail envy — of Philadelphia.
Like Charleston, it has met obstacles in its efforts to become bike friendly. Charleston has the Ashley River. Philadelphia has to deal with big-city traffic, trains and congestion.
But despite all that, the Philadelphia area is on the way to completing a 130-mile Schuylkill River Trail.
The current stretch?
A 2,000-foot-long, 15-foot-wide boardwalk with four lookout areas on the Schuylkill River.
Lucky for Philadelphia, its bike trail doesn’t have to cross a navigable river like the Ashley. Rather it bypasses a spot where the trail now has to dead-end.
It will be slightly above the tidal waters and is expected to be covered by water once or twice a year when there is severe weather.
And it seems Philadelphians have an affinity for trees similar to Charlestonians’.
The boardwalk is being built 50 feet from shore so as not to disturb a canopy of trees on the riverbank.
Eventually, bikers here expect to be able to ride safely from Folly Beach, through Charleston and Mount Pleasant, to the Isle of Palms.
When it’s complete, the Schuylkill trail, which is used for recreation and commuting, will go from Philadelphia through four counties.
Philadelphia has the Philly cheesesteak, but Charleston has shrimp and hominy.
The Cradle of Liberty has Benjamin Franklin as a native son. Charleston has its own colonial and Revolutionary War history.
But the Schuylkill River Trail boardwalk?
Please understand if Charleston is a little envious.