Industrial Track Greenway Trail

Delaware

Industrial Track Greenway Trail Facts

States: Delaware
Counties: New Castle
Length: 3.7 miles
Trail end points: 8th Street and Christina River
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017291
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Walking

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Industrial Track Greenway Trail Description

The Industrial Track Greenway Trail follows an abandoned rail corridor and will eventually link New Castle with the Wilmington waterfront. Already the trail spans nearly 4 miles in two disconnected segments between the Christina River and a point just north of the Delaware River.

The northern segment begins at the Christina River just north of Interstate 495 and heads south toward the Delaware Turnpike/I-295. On the other side of the turnpike, the trail picks up again and makes its way through an interesting mix of urban landscapes and natural areas toward downtown New Castle.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Industrial Track Greenway Trail is available off Delaware Boulevard/State Route 273 at 10th Street by the New Castle School.

Industrial Track Greenway Trail Reviews

This is a nice trail, but it will be better when it is fully connected.

It would also be better if there was an easy, safe way to get to Battery Park from the New Castle end of the trail.

I studied the description and maps and thought why not give it a try- I'm from 20 minutes away and vaguely know the area. I parked at the elementary school on Rt 273 and had no problem finding the trail. i headed north which is well marked, paved, with signs and distance markers. It runs through a nice elevated railbed through a suburban area but is wide enough and green enough you don't see too many back yards. Rabbits and squirrels are plentiful. At about the half way point of this short trail is a nice peak of the marsh and is a welcome view with geese and turtles. the trail ends just on the other side of Boulden St by the ball fields. The tunnel to connect to the next trail is finished but gated and a road closed sign. Seems that although this tunnel is finished perhaps the next one is not so you cant get through. I was hoping since the last post was a year ago that it would be open by now. I turned around and headed back and went south past my starting point into New Castle and ended up at the park. That part was great. Trail was well maintained and connected with about a 1.5 mile trail along the riverfront that I really enjoyed. Also paved and wide enough for peds and bikers.

We use the southern part of this trail which is lovely this time of year as it is shaded most of the day. Where the Industrial Track Greenway Trail ends at 273, there is a crosswalk that connects you to a short Heritage trail. The Heritage trail ends at 8th and South streets in Historic New Castle, and just a few blocks down South Street (light traffic most times) is the Delaware River and Battery Park, which has its own gorgeous, paved trail right along the river---not as much shade, though! There is a playground in the park and there are public bathrooms in a brick building.
At the northern end of the New Castle portion of the Industrial Track Greenway Trail there is a tunnel under Rte. 13 which looks complete, but is fenced off. This is just past the Champions Little League baseball field. I haven't seen anyone working near the tunnel for a few weeks, but it seems as if there is a path on the north side. Does anyone know when the tunnel will be opened?

Accordion

As its name indicates, the New Castle Industrial track greenway was built on a now-defunct rail line that once serviced numerous factories in northeast Delaware. Fortunately, most of the trail passes through forests and marshlands, with the surrounding cities and suburbs barely visible. Although signs at the 6 kiosks that line the trail depict a completed greenway between Wilmington's Christina Riverwalk and Battery Park in Old New Castle, this is not yet the case. As of this writing, in August 2014, the trail consists of two disconnected segments, separated by a pair of tunnels that will pass under Route 13 and I-295. Completed between 2005 and 2010, the southern segment currently extends from 8th Street in New Castle north to athletic fields situated between Boulden Blvd. and Route 13. Almost completely straight, this paved trail is shaded by trees for most of its length and features 3 kiosks with benches and interpretive signage. Unfortunately, the southernmost kiosk in the marshlands just north of Route 273 has been badly vandalized, and graffiti, some of it obscene, has been sprayed on both the fencing that lines the trail, and on the surface itself.

The northern, completed segment, which currently extends from a point immediately north of I-295 (where a tunnel has already been constructed but remains closed to public use)to the south bank of the Christina River, gets much less use. This is due to its isolated location behind the Delaware Psychiatric Center and the fact that the only public parking is along the shoulders of Baylor Blvd. The presence of security guards outside the nearby Baylor Womens' Correctional Institute, who will likely ask what you are doing (just tell them you are using the trail), also makes for an uninviting environment. Nonetheless, this section features more scenic, wooded areas and passes by a Potters' Field and more marshlands. Despite the close proximity to several major highways, a large city and the aforementioned prison and psychiatric facility, I was surprised to see several deer and numerous other wildlife on this segment of trail. This is a small island of wilderness in megalopolis! The completion of 3 additional kiosks on this segment of the trail, although somewhat surreal in their present state, anticipate the trail's future as a greenway between two of Delaware's prominent cities. Additionally, the southern section is already part of the East Coast Greenway, a much longer series of multi-use trails that will eventually extend from downeast Maine to Key West, Florida. The construction at numerous points is currently an inconvenience, but indicates that these goals are well on their way to being realized. The tunnels under Route 13 and I-295 are nearly completed, meaning that the two sections could be connected as early as this fall. Hopefully, the bridge across the Christina River and the connector trail to the Christina Riverwalk will be finished in the next couple years, allowing the full potential of the New Castle Industrial Track trail to be realized. Until then, I can only give the trail a 2-star rating due to the vandalism, lack of parking for the northern section and intimidation by the guards around Baylor Womens' Correctional Institution, as well as the lack of disclaimers on the kiosk signs indicating that certain segments of the greenway are not yet completed.

For the moment, it's still partially under construction/only partially open.

The trail itself is smoothly paved with asphalt, and has a Heritage trail leading from a wonderfully scenic area of Old New Castle straight to the trail. The trail also has a very lengthy bike path that runs along the very busy roadway of rt. 273, allowing safe access to and from the trail.

When completed, a tunnel underneath of the busy roadways (mostly complete not yet open) will allow access to the rest of the trail, which is also paved. The Christina River will then be bridged and lead up to the beautiful Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington; in the meantime (until the bridge is completed), my only complaints are that crossing traffic in two places is quite hazardous, and there need to be more connections for the local neighborhoods that the trail connects to in order for it to become a great commuter route.

This is a great little trail that would be a very good ride for a young children, it is flat, smooth and has a very good canopy. It has a great view of some wet lands and has park benches and a couple of kiosks that have some great information. I have no idea when the other four miles will be in place but for a short ride it is very nice. I would start at the New Castle School as it is a nicer parking lot.

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