Mission Statement

The purpose of Metrotrails is to assist in the planning, development, maintenance, and promotion of trail systems in the New York/Philadelphia metropolitan area, as well as education and preservation of natural and historic aspects of their routes.


Metrotrails grew out of a hiking group formed in 1997 by Michael Helbing. The group saw that hiking the trails was no longer enough; the access (and history) of many properties were threatened from development and political issues. Mike became a voice for forgotten trails, and his vision grew for both an organized trail system of abandoned railways, as well as a repository for information related to these trails.

The Origins of Metrotrails:

(From the home page article) In 1997, in lieu of having a 17th birthday party, Mike gathered his closest friends for a twenty mile hike on the former Warren Railroad. This trend continued with high school friends, and then later with college friends and co-workers over the next couple years. The hikes became weekly events, and each hike would connect with a previous hike we had done. This, along with higher mileage (15 miles) became part of the format for the hikes.  This arrangement grew organically into a vehicle built for seeking and promoting large scale greenways. Members of the hiking group brought forth various talents, and together joined Mike in forming Metrotrails. We are very proud to present to you a group unlike any other. I hope you can join us in our endeavors as Metrotrails continues to grow as an organization!


Michael Helbing


Mike is a lifetime hiker; beginning at the age of three. Since then, he has worn out a multitude of footwear hiking over the tri-state area. Most weekends, you’ll find Mike on a trail somewhere, leading groups of outdoor enthusiasts on 15 to 20 mile hikes. He is also involved in the Warren County Board of Recreation, and countless other trail organizations.

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