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Spanning 5.5 miles, the Jack A. Markell Trail (JAM Trail)—named after a former Delaware governor—is part of a trail system that connects the Wilmington riverfront with New Castle. The asphalt rail-trail, formerly a freight rail line, was completed in 2018. Connecting to the Wilmington Riverwalk on its northern end and the Battery Park Trail on its southern end, this trail is the center portion of an 8.6-mile trail experience.
The northern end of the JAM Trail begins at the DuPont Environ-mental Education Center, which offers interactive exhibits and programming about the area’s habitats and wildlife. A variety of shopping, restaurants, and a baseball stadium are only about a mile north of the parking lot. A bike repair station is also located at the beginning of the trail. As you continue through the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, you will enjoy a beautiful elevated boardwalk over the freshwater tidal marsh with views of the Christina River
Heading south from the wildlife refuge, you will travel through marshland and wooded areas, over bridges, and through a tunnel under I-295. There are two at-grade road crossings with pedestrian crosswalks to ensure safe crossing.
The trail ends at Young Street Park, where you can visit the New Castle Italian Immigrant Memorial commemorating Italian immigration to the area as early as the 1600s. South of the park, continue the route on-road along South Street for 0.4 mile to Battery Park on the Delaware River. You can pick up the Battery Park Trail in the park along the river and follow the waterway to the southwest. A bike repair station, restaurants, and shopping are also available near the park.
The trail is not only an important local connector but also a part of the larger East Coast Greenway, a growing network of multiuse trails connecting 15 states and 450 cities and towns on a 3,000-mile route between Maine and Florida. Future connections to the JAM Trail include the 2.3-mile Newport River Trail near the marsh and the 2.35-mile Commons Boulevard Pathway near the I-295 tunnel.
At the northern end of the trail in Wilmington, parking and restrooms are available at the DuPont Environmental Education Center (1400 Delmarva Lane).
At the southern end of the trail in New Castle, parking is available at Delaware St & 10th St, at Suburba Little League (north of Boulden Blvd), off Delaware St./Route 273 adjacent to New Castle Elementary School, and in Battery Park (South St & W Third St), which lies just southeast of the trail on the Delaware River shoreline. From Battery Park, head north on what was known as the Heritage Trail until Delaware St., then continue north on Jack A. Markell Trail.
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