Follow This Abandoned Railroad Trail For One Of The Most Unique Hikes In Delaware
Today, we’re headed to one of the most unique rails to trails in Delaware. But first, here’s a bit of backstory. Years ago, New Castle County was packed with rail lines. Freight trains brought resources from the Port of Wilmington or traveled down to deliver goods, and waiting forever by the railroad crossing became part of the daily commute. Today, trains aren’t as common, and many of the rail lines have been abandoned. Rather than letting them get overgrown with weeds and vines, Delaware’s Rails to Trails project has been slowly converting these routes into public access trails. One of the nicest, newest trails in the state is a converted rail trail and is one of the best hikes in Delaware – check it out!
From the trailhead in Wilmington, you can park at either Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park or the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge. In New Castle, the trail ends just north of Battery Park. If you’re hitting the trail from that end, park either in Battery Park or in the Public Parking along Delaware Street.
Be sure to spend some time exploring the trails at the Wildlife Refuge, too. It was named one of the most underrated attractions in Delaware, and you’ll quickly find out why! Care to see a bit of the trail in action? Check out this immersive go-pro YouTube video below:
More to Explore
Rails To Trails Delaware
What are the best kid-friendly hikes in Delaware?
It can be difficult to find kid-friendly hikes that are good for the whole family. Sometimes they have to be a bit shorter or less steep than you were hoping for, but we have some of the best kid-friendly hikes in Delaware to help you choose.
- Gordons Pond Trail
- Swamp Forest Trail
- Alapocas Woods Trail
- Rocky Run Loop
Gordons Pond Trail is long but flat. Located in Cape Henlopen State Park outside Lewes, Delaware, this 6.4-mile hike will take you around the beautiful Gordon Pond and its surrounding wildlife area. This path is well maintained and wide, making it a great hike to meander through the state park exploring the area. Swamp Forest Trail is another long and easy hike. At nearly 7 miles, the Swamp Forest Trail in Lums Pond State Park will take you around Lums Pond and is a great place to hike or bike. There are also plenty of footbridges and piers to give you better views of the pond all along the trail. The Alapocas Woods Trail is much different from the Gordons Pond Trail or the Swamp Forest Trail. At a short 1.8 miles, this hike in Alapocas Woods Park isn’t centered around a pond or lake, but instead, will take you through the woods with rock walls and towering trees. There is also a small creek and a river waterfall here that is very relaxing to sit and watch. This is a great hike if you are looking for something short and quick to escape the indoors and breathe some fresh air. Outside of Wilmington, Delaware is our last kid-friendly hike. Rocky Run Loop takes you around Brandywine Creek State Park and is a 3.2-mile loop that takes you around Rocky Run Creek and Hurricane Run Creek. The views on this hike are incredible, with towering trees and waterfalls, making this the perfect half-day hike in Delaware.