A key piece of the Schuylkill River trail in Berks County is ready for hikers and bikers.

Officials cut a ribbon Wednesday afternoon on a new stretch of trail that connects Belleman's Church Road in Ontelaunee Township with Canal Street in Leesport.

"We've been having great responses in the other parts of the five counties where it's been built, and we hope someday it does in deed get completed and people can hike or bike from Philadelphia to Pottsville or the other way around," said Kurt Zwikl, Schuylkill River Heritage Area.

Connecting the 20-mile span between Reading and Hamburg is a high priority, officials said.