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The Gordons Pond Trail is located in Cape Henlopen State Park, where it skirts the western side of Gordons Pond, a 900-acre salt water lagoon. The finely crushed gravel pathway winds through coastal maritime forest, grassy marshes and sandy dunes.
The southern end of the trail begins at the parking lot for the Gordons Pond Day Use Area and continues to an observation deck, which overlooks the pond and Atlantic Ocean. There are also two historic World War II observation towers on the beach to explore.
Along the way, be sure to look for osprey nests and bald eagles in the pine and oak trees that line the path. The trail is popular with bird watchers as it is located on one of four migration "super highways" in North America. In winter, fall, and spring, the pond is a popular resting spot for a wide variety of waterfowl. As sections of the trail may be closed seasonally for nesting or hunting, check with Cape Henlopen State Park before your trip.
The trail's northern end includes a half-mile elevated boardwalk over wetlands with observation areas to enjoy the surroundings. The trail ends at an intersection with the Walking Dunes Trail, which allows travelers to continue two more miles through the park’s beautiful natural landscape, especially scenic in the spring when dotted with wildflowers. At the junction with Dune Road, travelers can trek north a short distance to connect with the paved Cape Henlopen State Park Bike Loop. Near the Biden Center, hop on the Salt Marsh Spur to head west into tidal marsh.
Access the Gordons Pond Trail at the north end of Rehoboth Beach via Ocean Drive through the North Shores community. A 500-space parking lot is available.
The Gordon Pond Trail is a great ride. We rode from Rehoboth Beach to Lewes and linked up with the Junction and Breakwater Trail for our return trip to Rehoboth Beach. The total loop it about 18 miles. We have done this ride numerous times and each time it is great experience. Both trails are well maintained.
We know the route but for someone who is not familiar with the route this could cause a problem. The connection between the two trails is not well marked. The bike shops in the area provide maps but markings that link the two trails would be very helpful.
After parking in Cape May, we ferried our bikes to Lewes and rode to Rehobeth Beach through Cape Henlopen State Park. Almost half of this very pleasant, 7.4-mile ride was on the Gordon Pond Trail. The packed-cinder trail was no issue for my 28 mm tires and the ride was smooth and incredibly scenic. We rode on a beautiful Sunday mid-morning of Memorial Day weekend and for most of the southbound trip it was like riding on I-95 in terms of traffic - never seen anything like it. I've been in bike-a-thons that were less crowded. That said, the packed trail did not detract from one of the better biking experiences I've had. Highly recommended - though you may want to choose your times with care.
The Gordon's Pond trail is a pleasure to ride and is thoughtfully designed and carefully maintained. It is an excellent example of how a park trail can be built so as to minimize harm to the park environment and to provide its users a high-quality outdoor experience. The surface trail is built on a winding low earthen berm with a fine gravel surface and over the wet marsh areas, is served by a raised trestle built of steel and wood (with water draining and slip-resistant deck panels and side railings with observation turnouts). The structure is of very fine design and materials and does not intrude upon or diminish the natural beauty of the salt pond. The rest areas at Herring Point and at the park entrance off Ocean Avenue in north Rehoboth Beach have clever and convenient bike self-service installations with pumps and tools. I have enjoyed riding the Cape Henlopen State Park trails for several years and the Gordon's Pond Trail is a high point in that experience. If you are only going to ride in one area, I recommend this trail.
Awesome trail, and hats off to Delaware State Parks for this one. Our trip started in Rehobeth Beach and we rode to the Gordon Pond southern trail head. It was well marked and we found it easily just past the park entrance. The surface is a fine crushed cinder trail that 28cm and 35cm tires rode smoothly on. About halfway through we hit the elevated section that took us over the dunes. Nice views from the overlooks. At the end of the trail, we connected with the Cape Henlopen Bike which is a paved 3 mile loop around the park which we circumnavigated back to the Gordon Pond trail to come back.
Recommendation....take water, most of the trail is out in the sun and it could be brutal in the heat of summer.
Extra feature...bike fix-it stations at both ends with air and tools!
One of the most awesome trails I have ever ridden. The views were spectacular and the trail is extremely well maintained
Very scenic with stunning views! If you are trying to find a great bike trail look no further! I have seen Bald eagles and all kinds of birds! This is the perfect nature trail! The trail is clean, safe and full of wild life!
Rode the trail for the first time today. Really liked the ride. The nicest trail that I have rode. I loved the elevated section.
Please put signs up to mark this trail. Finding the trail once you get to Cape Henlopen park is nearly impossible.
Good luck finding this trail as there are maybe two total signs along the way coming from Cape Henelopen Park. The trail itself is easy but the lack of signs and various turn offs and side "streets" make this quite the adventure. I felt like a mouse trying to get out of a maze!!!
One of the best rides connecting Lewes and Rehoboth Beach while also winding through Cape Henlopen State Park.
I walked this trail for the first time and just loved it. The walk was nice and easy and the view of the whole area and the birds was fantastic. I would definitely recommend this trail to anyone that enjoys biking,walking, and nature and bird lovers.
Just rode this trail a few days ago. It is absolutely gorgeous. A super smooth trail, and the views are great. You get Gordon's Pond with all the birds and along with that, glimpses of the ocean, lookout stand etc. We just loved this trail and you can't ask for anything better than this. There are other trails in Cape Henlopen State Park , which include Fort Miles towers and buildings. Overall, just a really nice place to ride.
The long awaited Gordons Pond trail is now open, and it is beautiful. It follows the coastal marsh land through the entire length of the Cape Henlopen State Park, which was previously not accessible by bicycle. The peaceful scenery and the area's natural wildlife are abundant, but the trail can get pretty busy during the peak summer season. They did an excellent job on the elevated boardwalk section, which is about half a mile long. It passes over environmentally sensitive areas, and ends just before you reach the Herring Point section of the park. From there you can follow the paved bike trails and park roads north to Lewes, and if you want to, follow the Junction and Breakwater Trail back to Rehoboth, which makes for a loop of approximately 15 miles. You have to ride on the roads in both towns, but they mainly have paved shoulders and are pretty safe.
If you decide to drive to the parking lot at Gordons pond (also known as North Beach), consider taking along your beach chair and umbrella and spend some time at the beach there. It is a wide scenic area, and not developed like the main beach in Rehoboth. There are bathrooms and some limited food options there, as well as chair and umbrella rentals during the season. Enjoy the beautiful, natural surroundings of Delaware's southern coastline.
We have walked a portion of this trail many times but today was the first time we have been to the newly-completed 3.2 mile Gordon's Pond Trail with the raised boardwalk. We rode our bikes all the way from the Gordon's Pond parking lot to the entrance of Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes. It is a wonderfully gorgeous trail. If I had one complaint it would be that I would have liked the boardwalk to be about 2 feet wider to allow more room for passing slower bike riders or walkers on the trail; other than that you can not ask for a more beautiful, peaceful trail. It's hard to believe that just a short distance away is the hustle and bustle of the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.
You could actually do a much longer loop trail by doing this trail in conjunction with the Junction Breakwater Trail. We will have to work up to that one but it would be great to do it one day. This is much safer than riding on the roads in this area which are so busy.
This new path through Henlopen State Park enables you to bike/walk from one end of the park to the other and adds beautiful views and an exciting elevated section over the marsh!
In June 2014 a new alignment of the Gordons Pond Trail - inlcuding 3000 feet of raised boardwalk - was completed and opened to the public. The first 0.7 miles of the trail to the accessible observation platrform remains the same as described above. The next 1.1 mile section of trail has been upgraded from the sand and grass surface mentioned above to the same accessible stone dust surface of the first trail portion. This section of trail skirts the western edge of Gordons Pond, a brackish water impoundment that provides habitat for foraging shorebirds, terns and gulls and herons and egrets from spring to fall and a wide variety of waterfowl from late fall to spring. At this point the trail diverges from the original alignment as a 3,000 foot long, 8 foot wide raised boardwalk crosses a few small sections of salt marsh and skirts the western edge of an active dune face. This section of the trail offers views across the expansive wetlands on the west side of the park and coastal scrub and maritime pine forest habitats. At the end of the boardwalk the trail once again becomes a stone dust trail for approximately 0.3 miles to the Dune Overlook Trail at Herring Point. The trail described here is a 2.5 mile one-way trek from Herring Point to the Gordons Pond Parking Lot. It is a short walk from the northern trailhead to the Herring Point overlook where you can get a beautiful veiw north and south along the beach and out across the Atlantic Ocean. Bottlenose dolphins are commonly seen from here during the warmer months. In winter, on rare occassions, larger whales (or at least their spouts) might be seen. When the beach between Herring Point and Gordons Pond is not closed for beachnesting birds (roughly mid-August to early May) hikers can walk a few hundred feet from the Trail Head at Herring Point to the vehicle/pedestrian access road out to the beach and then down the beach, past the WWII fire control towers to the Gordons Pond parking lot for a round trip hike of 4.3 miles. The trail is also open to bikes so be careful when hiking - especially on the boardwalk section. Early morning and evenings (even during the busy summer season) are the least crowded times on the trail. Mosquitos, biting flies and no-see-ums can be numerous from spring to mid-fall. If you wander off the trail be prepared to check for ticks (which are numerous in the park) and in mid-summer for chiggers. Wildlife that may be seen along the trail include White-tailed Deer, Raccoon, Bald Eagle, Osprey, herons and egrets, diamondback terrapin (females nest along the trail in June and early July), eastern fence lizard, eastern rat snake and eastern hognose snake. This may provide the best trail experience in any Delaware State Park!
Gordon's Pond has always been a great trail, but the last section past the lookout has always been too sandy for me to ride. So I was absolutely thrilled to discover that that section of the trail has now been completely upgraded, making for an easy and beautiful ride from the Rehoboth / Gordon's Pond end of the park to the Dune Road/northern section of the park. Part of it now includes a unique boardwalk section floating over the sand dunes. A trail you definitely don't want to miss - probably one of the best in the mid-Atlantic. You can extend it by continuing onto other trails in the northern end of the park (and of course a dip in the ocean). For the really adventuresome, you could create a Rehoboth-Lewes loop probably close to 12-15 miles, by returning on the Junction and Breakwater, if you don't mind a couple of sections on the road with traffic (not something I plan on trying towing my daughter behind me).
I walked the trail mid-January and had a fabulous day. The first 1/2 mile of the trail, which is crushed stone, is a nice warm-up for the rest of the trail, if you choose to continue on after reaching the observation deck. Although there is a sandy stretch shortly past the deck, once you get past that it is packed earth for quite a while. I was in heaven when I turned around at one point and saw a group of six deer standing probably less than 100 feet from me!
It had rained a couple of days before my visit, so I ended up turning back around the two-mile mark because of flooding on the path, so I can't speak about the last part of the trail, which is supposedly pretty sandy.
Since it was January when I visited, I only encountered a few other people using the trail. I would assume that once it warms up and the tourists at the beach start showing up, it probably gets a lot more people using it.
Just a note that the trail description is from the south end of the trail near Rehoboth not the north end of the trail inside the main part of Cape Henlopen State Park at Herring Point. The paved 1/2 mile is great, past that the sand is hopeless. Youker 9/20/11
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