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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, which parallels an active, but little-used freight line whose future is uncertain (the Delaware Department of Transportation recently concluded that the swinging bridge that carries the railroad over a canal in Lewes is too expensive to replace, and is considering abandoning the line from Cold Springs to its current eastern terminus at SPI Pharma), will extend 17 miles west to Georgetown. It will be the longest multi-use trail in Delaware.
The completed segment begins at Gills Neck Road, and shares a terminus with the Junction & Breakwater Trail, which has recently been extended beneath the Route 9 bridge. The trail parallels the 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 line to the north. After crossing busy King's Highway, the trail continues through the west end of Lewes to its current, western terminus at 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.
Luckily for everyone who loves this trail, more is on the way. Another phase from Georgetown to Park Avenue is in the design stages.
Parking is at the trailhead off Adams Ave., next to the Lewes Public Library.
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