Phoenixville, Pennsylvania


Limited river access

Currently, the only public river access in the Borough is the PA Fish & Boat Commission’s (PFBC) boat launch, near the Route 113 bridge, upstream of Black Rock Dam. There is access on the other side of the river in Upper Providence, both upstream of dam (at Upper Schuylkill Park) and downstream (one near Lock 60 and one near downstream end of canal).

River access is further constrained by lack of a trail from downtown to the river near French Creek, and by lack of a trail from downtown to PFBC boat launch. See Limited Trail Access for more details (below).

A related issue is the lack of a clear portage path around the dam on the Phoenixville side necessary for safe transport from upstream and downstream. The land in this area is owned by Chester County; administered by the Chester County Parks Department. A map of the Black Sanctuary can be found here

Action: Advocacy to the county to providing a safe, clear, and well-marked portage path for paddlers of all types.

Limited trail access

The Borough has recently constructed and opened a significant portion of the regional Schuylkill River Trail, an exceptional asset to the town. The Borough-built section runs from Bridge St and Ashland St, along the French Creek and then turns northward and crosses Mowere Rd and Fillmore St before it joins the County-built trail at the Cromby trail head at Township Line Rd. A link to a map of the Schuylkill River Trail is here. 
Current development plans for apartments (“Madison at French Creek”) call for a parallel trail to be constructed along the opposite (north) bank of the French Creek from Main St to near the Norfolk Southern rail viaduct. While this construction of the trail along French Creek is an important link in the Borough’s trail system, and provides additional places for residents to walk and bicycle, it does not connect to the river. A sketch of the development plans can be found here.

These trails could be part of improved trail access to the river, in combination with a trail coming from Black Rock Sanctuary along the river (see below), benefiting birders, walkers, cyclists, paddlers and other recreationalists.

    There is an excellent network of trails through Chester County’s Black Rock Sanctuary, including the Phoenixville Iron Canal Trail Association (PICTA) trail that runs along the river from the PFBC boat ramp to Black Rock Dam, and then a short distance along river. Unfortunately, the trail from the dam downstream is a rough path,  and is not well maintained which impedes use and level of safety. Additionally, this trail does not connect to the French Creek, a missed opportunity to provide a much needed link to French Creek, an outlet for nature lovers, bird watchers and fishermen. 

Action: Advocacy to the county to promote the construction of a multi-use trail from Black Rock Dam to the French Creek.

 Want to Take Action?

Great! Resident and community support are the keystone to advocacy. Schuylkill River Towns Program suggests you:
•    Read some of the resource material for helpful information and tips. HYPERLINK HERE TO “ADVOCACY RESOURCES” PAGE
•    Schedule an appointment with your elected officials. They will listen to you, their constituents. 
•    Remember, be respectful to be effective, this is an ongoing conversation
•    Attend County and Borough monthly meetings. This is a great way to learn firsthand what is going on in the community and specific issues that can be addressed.

Government Information

Borough Government: 

Phoenixville Borough Council
Meets: 2nd Tuesdays, 7:00 PM
Borough Hall
351 Bridge Street, 3rd Floor
Phoenixville, PA 19460

For information about individual council members, meeting agendas and more, visit Phoenixville Borough's website.

The Borough Of Phoenixville offices:

351 Bridge Street, 3rd Floor Phone: 610-933-8801
Email: none given
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm

County Government:

Chester County Board of Commissioners
Meets: 1st Wednesdays, 3rd Thursdays, 10 AM or 11AM
313 West Market Street
6th floor
West Chester, PA 19380

For information about Commissioners, meeting agendas and more visit:
For more information on Chester County Parks Department visit:

The County of Chester offices:

313 West Market Street, Suite 6202
West Chester, PA 19380
Email: none given
ph: 610-344-6100