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The James F. Hall Trail, named for the City of Newark’s late parks and recreation director, packs a lot into a short stretch. Its paved surface is great for bicycling, inline skating, and stroller and wheelchair use, and there are multiple access points along the route. The trail runs through a semi-forested area and crosses streams, pristine wetlands, and two tributaries of White Clay Creek Wild & Scenic River—one at Phillips Park and one at Kells Park.
Best of all, this urban trail never crosses a road, so you can ride un-interrupted for its entire length. The trail also functions as a thoroughfare connecting Newark neighborhoods with a regional transit station, the University of Delaware, and shopping centers.
Starting at the southwestern terminus on Bradford Lane, you’ll cross wetlands on a boardwalk before heading into Phillips Park—the first of three city parks along the trail. Just 0.3 mile from the park, right after South College Avenue, is the old Newark Train Station, which houses the Newark History Museum. History and rail buffs will also enjoy the various railroad relics, including old switches, that are placed next to the trail.
Train enthusiasts are almost guaranteed a train sighting along the James F. Hall Trail, as the adjacent rail corridor (separated from the path by a large fence) is used by Amtrak, CSX Transportation, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Riders arriving at the Newark Amtrak/
SEPTA station off South College Avenue will find themselves only a short walk from the trail.
In another 0.2 mile, you’ll hit Lewis Park, and soon thereafter, Kells Park. Families with young children may especially enjoy the multiple playgrounds and picnic areas these parks have to offer. Along the path, trail users will find exercise equipment, baseball diamonds, and soccer fields, as well as basketball, handball, and tennis courts. Police call boxes are placed every 0.1 mile, and the trail is lit for 24-hour use.
Just east of South Chapel Street, 0.2 mile from Kells Park, the trail intersects the 4.4-mile Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail. This connecting rail-trail leads to White Clay Creek State Park, where it goes on to connect to the 5-mile PennDel Trail for hikers. The James F. Hall Trail ends in 0.6 mile, just east of Library Avenue/DE 72, behind the University of Dela-ware’s Technology Park.
The James F. Hall Trail, a designated National Recreation Trail, is also 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.
Parking is available at Phillips Park (101 B St), Lewis Park (727 Academy St), Kells Park (201 Kells Ave) and Delaware Technology Park (15 Innovation Way).
To reach Bradford Lane at the southwestern end of the trail, from Interstate 95, take Exit 1 or 1B for State Route 896 (College Avenue), and travel north 2.1 miles. Turn left onto W. Park Place. After 0.4 mile, turn left onto Apple Road. After 0.3 mile, turn right onto Chrysler Avenue. Follow Chrysler Avenue for 0.1 mile to Bradford Lane (just after Devon Drive). Turn left onto Bradford Lane. The trail is at the end of the road (0.2 mile). There is no dedicated parking at this location.
To reach the College Avenue SEPTA Station, from I-95, take Exit 1 or 1B for SR 896 (College Avenue), and travel north 1.6 miles to head downtown. Take a left onto Moplar Street, and then take an immediate right to stay on Moplar. The SEPTA station and parking are to your right.
To reach Delaware Technology Park at the northern end of the trail, from I-95, take Exit 1 or 1B for SR 896 (College Avenue), and travel north 2.1 miles toward downtown. Turn right onto E. Park Place, and take it for 0.6 mile. Turn left onto S. Chapel Street. Turn right onto Wyoming Road, and take it for 0.6 mile. Park across from the College Square Shopping Center. The trail begins at the intersection of Wyoming Road and Library Avenue.
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