7 Best Hikes in Delaware
Delaware, located between Maryland and New Jersey, covers most of Delaware’s eastern half of the Delmarva Peninsula. As you might guess, this 180-mile-long, 71.5-mile-wide patch of land is named after the states it occupies: Delaware and Maryland.
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Rhode Island is about twice the size of the state that ratified the United States Constitution. This makes it the second smallest country in the Union. Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean define the state’s eastern border. This allows a variety of wetlands to be explored, including swamps, tidal streams, and marshes. Due to the state’s flat terrain, most scenic hiking trails in Delaware can be walked by anyone with a basic level of experience.
Ashland Nature Center
The Ashland Nature Center is located just across the Delaware-Pennsylvania border and offers 4 miles of hiking trails that traverse 130 acres of woods, meadows, and marshes.
The Succession Trail is one of Ashland’s most popular hikes. This 1.2 mile loop begins near the Visitor Center. It follows Wildflower Brook and ends at Red Clay Creek. Visitors can also find pet-friendly interpretive trail options and spot native wildlife like hawks or butterflies.
Pro advice. Delaware’s oldest bridge spans Red Clay Creek, just east of the Ashland Visitor Center. This bridge is one of three remaining covered bridges in the state. The Ashland Covered Bridge was built using trusses and trusses in the mid-1800s.
North Delaware Greenway Trail
You can explore northern Delaware beyond Brandywine Creek State Park by taking the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail. This trail connects Alapocas Run State Park to Bellevue State Park hiking trails. This trail is for those who like to see more than old trees, seasonal wildflowers, flowing streams, and other things.
Two historic estates can be seen along the trail. Rockwood, located east of Alapocas Run State Park and on 72 acres, was built in the mid-1800s for Joseph Shipley as his retirement home. This 170-year-old home is the result of a Delawarean who spent a lot of time in Liverpool, England during his career.
Bellevue Hall is also accessible from the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail. You might feel a touch of deja vu looking at the sleek white columns and admiring its sunny yellow walls. Because the du Pont family owned the house, it was renovated to look like Montpellier in 1930.
Brandywine Creek State Park
Brandywine Creek State Park, located north of Wilmington on land that was once part of a dairy farm run by the du Ponts family, covers hundreds of acres. Three nature reserves offer hikers the opportunity to explore: a hardwood forest; woods filled with old oaks and tulip poles; and a freshwater marsh.
Brandywine Loops and Rocky Run are some of the most popular hiking trails. Both trails include trails that follow Brandywine Creek.
Pro advice. Brandywine Creek State Park is at its best in late spring and early summer, when the polar tulips are covered in sunny yellow and bright orange flowers that resemble Dutch flowers.
White Clay Creek State Park
The du Pont family generously donated some 3,600 acres in White Clay Creek State Park on Delaware’s northwest border with Maryland and Pennsylvania, as if they hadn’t already made many contributions benevolent.
White Clay Creek State Park is crossed by sections of the Mason-Dixon Line. This straight ruler is used to determine parts of West Virginia’s borders before the Civil War.
Over 37 miles of trails traverse the park through fields and forests, past streams and around lakes. Whitely Farms Loop, which is a 3.3 mile loop through the park, is one of the most visited hikes in the northern region. This trail crosses hills, cornfields, then winds through forests. Twin Valley Trail is another popular choice, measuring 3.6 miles. This path leads to the Arc Corner monument through hilly forest terrain. It also crosses several bridges. Cross the state lines of Pennsylvania and Delaware to read the inscription on the stone marker.
Amish Country Bike Route
The capital of the First State is 15 miles away, so don’t let that stop you from exploring its countryside. You can start at First State Heritage Park, just north of the Capitol Building. Then follow this map to The Green. The stories that could have been told if only the gentle breeze from this grassy spot in the heart of Dover could tell! Here, the people of Dover heard America’s declaration of independence. The first state ratified this Constitution just over a decade later.
Samuel Burris (a free black conductor on the Underground Railroad) was also convicted of helping a woman escape slavery and sentenced to the river. The Green gave the first state the opportunity to become the last state to ratify on the 19th. Unfortunately, Delaware lawmakers did not vote, disenfranchising nearly half of the American people. Until Tennessee saves the day,
Follow the Amish Country Bike Route clockwise. Leaving the historic center of Dover, you will enter the scenic Delaware countryside. There are many family farms. Watch out for grazing cows, neatly planted rows of corn, and apple orchards.
Pro advice. If you decide not to hike and want to explore the two-wheeled bike path, be sure to brush up on these basic rules.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Reserve
The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a protected area that covers approximately 16,000 acres in Delaware Bay. It was created in 1937 as a refuge for migrating and wintering birds. Bombay Hook has hiking trails that can be hiked from as little as one mile up to 10 miles. They are easy and accessible to hikers of all levels.
You can see the most important shorebirds and waterfowl here by taking the Boardwalk trail through the salt marsh. One of three steel observation towers, each 30 feet high, offers a bird’s eye view of the park.
Bombay Hook has many species of birds, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for them.
Cape Henlopen State Park
Beginning east of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal and continuing to Delaware Bay at the end of the hook-shaped land section, Cape Henlopen State Park’s scenic hiking trails offer beautiful views on the water. They do. But there is more.
Start at the southeast corner and follow Gordons Pond Trail to the bay, canal, lake and end at Herring Point. Watch out for gulls as well as herons and other seabirds. Do this loop by walking south along the beach from Herring Point to make a loop. To complete the 2.6 mile loop, connect to the Walking Dunes Trail located at the north end of the Gordonspond Trail near Herring Point. This trail is surrounded by wildflowers in the sandy pine forest.
Pro advice. Lifeguards are on duty at the entrance to Lewes Park from late May to early September.
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