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Phase 1 of the long-awaited Georgetown to Lewes Rail with Trail was officially opened to the public in October 2016. When completed, the trail will extend 17 miles west to Georgetown, making it the longest multi-use trail in Delaware.
The easternmost section of the trail picks up on the former rail line at the entrance to scenic Cape Henlopen State Park, where trail users can connect to several gorgeous beachside trails and explore the park via the Cape Henlopen Bike Loop. Further west into Lewes, a trailhead off of American Legion Road provides a nice starting point for this segment, where trail users will be greeted by the relocated historic railroad swing bridge that once allowed both boats and trains to navigate the nearby canal. With the bridge no longer in place, the trail dead-ends at the canal, so trail users unfortunately have to backtrack if they wish to continue onward - you can utilize bike lanes and sidewalks on Savannah Road to reach the main trail, but make sure to exercise caution along the well-trafficked road.
The main trail begins at Gills Neck Road, sharing a terminus with the Junction & Breakwater Trail, which has recently been extended beneath the Route 9 bridge. The trail parallels the now-inactive rail line to the north, passing the Lewes water tower and numerous private residences, many of which have lushly landscaped yards with colorful trees, bushes and flowers in the spring and summer months.
The trail crosses the tracks immediately west of Adams Ave. and passes a trailhead that also serves as an access point for the Junction & Breakwater Trail. It then passes the Lewes Public Library and crosses the railroad tracks a second time, again following the former line to the north. After crossing busy King's Highway, the trail continues through the west end of Lewes to Savannah Road, another heavily traveled road.
Phase 2 was completed in mid-2019 and the additional 4.9 miles from the initial endpoint on Savannah Road to Log Cabin Hill Road was dedicated to the memory of Tom Draper, TV station owner, avid cyclist and lover of the outdoors. Long stretches at a time are well shaded offering relief from the summer sun. Interpretive signage tells the story of the Junction & Breakwater Railroad. In 2020 the trail was extended an additional 3/4 mile to it's current terminus just shy of Cool Spring Road.
Luckily for everyone who loves this trail, more is on the way. Delaware DOT is actively working on bringing the trail to its ultimate destination in Georgetown, with several additional segments slated to begin construction in late 2021.
Parking for the disconnected northeastern segment is available with a fee in Cape Henlopen State Park, or at the trailhead off of American Legion Road in Lewes.
For the main segment, free parking and restrooms are available next to the Lewes Public Library between Adams Avenue and Monroe Avenue. Additional parking is available further west along the trail off of Nassau Road, by the intersection with New Road.
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