Christina Riverwalk

Delaware

Christina Riverwalk Facts

States: Delaware
Counties: New Castle
Length: 1.3 miles
Trail end points: S. Poplar St. and Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6533895
Trail activities: Bike, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Christina Riverwalk Description

The Christina Riverwalk is short (1.3 miles) but pleasant pathway along the Christina River, between the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge and the end of S. Popular Street, just beyond Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park. The trail offers access to the Shipyard Shops and downtown Wilmington. It's nicely landscaped and passes through small parks where you can stop to sit on a bench along the river. Hare Pavilion overlooks the Christina River at the foot of Old West Street and is a nice gathering place.

Parking and Trail Access

Park at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park (Rosa Parks Drive) at the Shipyard Shops off Justison Street or at the southern end of the trail at the wildlife refuge.

Christina Riverwalk Reviews

A previous reviewer compared the Chrstina Riverwalk to Baltimore's Inner Harbor and said "it hasn't quite worked." I think this is unfair. The Riverwalk may not feature such high-profile anchor attractions as the Baltimore Aquarium, MD Science Center or USS Constellation, but Wilmington, though the largest city in DE, isn't as large as Baltimore, either. One advantage is that I did not encounter any of the panhandlers or large crowds that are often found on the Inner Harbor. Instead, I found a pleasant, concrete walkway lined with lush trees and gardens, following the calm waters of the Christina River. Numerous works of art, including sculptures, memorials and birdhouses carved to resemble Delaware landmarks, added further charm, as did several sidewalk cafes and restaurants that you can stop at for lunch or refreshments. Several restored cranes attest to Wilmington's heritage as a seaport, while a commitment to preserving nature can be seen with the elevated boardwalks that carry the Riverwalk over several wetlands and with the Russell Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, which the trail connects at its southern end. Named in honor of the former governor and environmentalist, the wildlife refuge covers the marshlands at the city's southern end and provides panoramic views of the river and city skyline. Although the wildlife refuge is currently as far as you can go, future plans call for a new trail, the "Riverwalk Connector," extending west to the New Castle Industrial Track Greenway. When this happens, the Riverwalk will become part of a greenway system that connects the south side of Wilmington with New Castle's Battery Park. This trail system, in turn, will become part of the East Coast Greenway, an ambitious "mega-trail" project that will eventually run from Eastport, Maine to Key West, Florida. When this happens, the Riverwalk will attract many more users that it currently does and will become one of Wilmington's main attractions. It is definitely a first-rate example of the city's commitment to urban renewal.

The riverwalk’s south end enters the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, crosses a bridge over railroad tracks and ends at the front door (and 3rd floor) of the DuPont Environmental Education Center. Take the flight of stairs down to the 1st floor to continue your walk on 1,200' of boardwalk into a freshwater tidal marsh, which is a rare habitat in Delaware. The center is operated by the Delaware Nature Society and has programs year round for children, families, adults, groups and schools. The refuge is 212 acres and home to over 200 species of wildlife including a resident pair of osprey. The site is a nice retreat 2 miles from the center of downtown Wilmington. http://www.delawarenaturesociety.org/deec.html

I did this short but nice trail this past week. The City of Wilmington tried to copy the Inner Harbor at Baltimore and it just has not worked. Back to the trail, there are a number of very good restaurants along the way and a number of Bird Houses made by Thomas F. Burke that are modeled after famous houses in Delaware. It passes the Blue Rocks Baseball stadium and has lots of parking. I under stand that there are plans to connect the New Castle Industrail trail, It would be a great trail as it would go from Downtown Wilmington to Old New Castle about seven miles.

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