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The Northern Delaware Greenway Trail spans 10 miles of northern New Castle County from Bellevue State Park on the Delaware River to Brandywine Creek in Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city. The surface varies along the way from asphalt to crushed stone. At its western end, the urban trail connects with Wilmington’s waterfront path system, combining to link residential communities, schools, businesses, parks and cultural sites.
Much of the trail is filled with rolling curves and short drops, so leave the in-line skates at home and instead enjoy a nice stroll or a fun bike ride with family and friends. The segment adjacent to Park Drive in Wilmington was built on a former rail corridor, offering a more level surface for a change.
In northern Wilmington, a particularly scenic stretch runs through Alapocas Run State Park, where visitors can check out the Blue Ball Barn. The converted dairy barn is now home to the Delaware Folk Art Collection featuring works from more than 50 local artists. Two hiking trails provide additional opportunities to explore the wooded park on foot.
Like many urban trails, the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail is well-used by commuters during the workweek. Parts of the trail are also concurrent with segments of the East Coast Greenway, an in-progress effort to create a multi-use trail system from Maine to Florida.
Parking for the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail can be found at the three state parks along its route: Brandywine Park in downtown Wilmington, Alapocas Run State Park in northern Wilmington and Bellevue State Park in eastern Wilmington (near Bellefonte).
I decided to test this trail out recently during the month of November. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and you have plenty of opportunities to stop and check out some points of interest such as the Blue Ball Barn, the Carriage House, Rockwood Museum, and other attractions at Alapocas and Bellevue. You could really make an entire day trip out of this whole experience.
I parked at the parking lot for the Brandywine Zoo. If you are facing the zoo, the trail begins to the left of it along the tree line.
The trail was decently marked with signage.
However, I'm from southern Delaware. Everything is FLAT down this way so I am not conditioned for biking hills. If you are used to riding on flat terrain like me, be advised, this trail is FULL of hills. I had to hop off my bike and walk up many of them. It was extremely challenging for me at times. All in all; however, it was an excellent workout.
I highly recommend this trail, but please be aware that it's no walk in the park!
The trail fun from Clayton to Wilmington and is very hilly. The Wilmington section had several high grade hill. If you are interested in a serious workout this trail will get the job done. The trail head in Bellevue park requires park admission from 5/1-11/30
really nice, has some hills. nice scenery
Hiked the open parts of the NDG today. I was under the impression that it began at Fox Point State Park (FPSP), but that portion is not open yet. So we began on Governor Printz Blvd. and hiked through to the Brandywine Park. The trail is very nice. It is wide and fairly busy. It has many markers, but the distance is calculated as if one began at FPSP. I believe the hike I did was about 8.5 miles. I saw some great features of New Castle County that I didn't know about. From the rock climbing, Bancroft Mill to the Brandywine Park, it was great. Thank you Delaware and Delaware Greenways!
P.S. The Alapocas Run State Park portion of the trail is said to be closing from mid-August to September, but it was open today the 08.22.15
today 4/29/15 I did the Delaware Greenway Trail. I will start with I am not a big fan of Greenways but i live in the Wilmington area so I needed to do this trail. You can park in Bellevue Park for free. The signage is OK but not great. It is mostly paved and just a little hilly so you will need to use a little gearing. I gave it only two stars as I never give out one star and have only gave out five stars once. This is a family friendly trail so if you live in the Wilmington area you need to put this on your bucket list.
Vehicle parking is clearly marked (and in all but one area at Bellevue, completely free,) and trail access is very easy to find. The trail is mapped, and the "main" path is marked at each intersection with blue arrows painted onto the path, indicating which is the correct way in order to turn to stay on the trail.
Starting from the south, I found that the old quarry at Bancroft Mills has excellent views, rock climbing, picnic areas, and lots of wide open spaces, while still offering plenty of shade. There is an absolutely brutal hill right next to the Brandywine River, which is a must-go to test your hill climbing endurance.
At the peak of this massive hill, I connected to the Nemours stretch of trail, which is serene and densely wooded. The streams are picturesque, and it somehow felt like a completely different (though very pleasant) trail.
Emerging from the woods into the open grassy plains was a sudden change in scenery, though not altogether unwelcome. The terrain flattened out as I headed towards the restored Blue Ball Barn (a sort of community center). The trail took me past a golf course, an excellently furnished playground, bathroom facilities (not port-a-potties, but genuine facilities, with full plumbing and bike rack parking and drink fountains, which I made use of). The trail continued along the edge of the golf course, through some woods, offering great fun as I zipped through the corners at speed.
The trail took me along the entrance to a development, then along a newly constructed separated and protected lane, straight down. I passed by Rockwood Manor, and began a strenuous hill climb along some rather dense forest. The noise of I-95 did ruin the scenery a bit, but overall I really enjoyed this stretch. The last bit, through Bellevue, was quite nice (it has bathrooms, bike parking, and quite a few trails inside its walls).
Overall, there are tons of community tie-ins and branch-offs in every direction make this a very popular trail with lots of community access, the hills allow it to be challenging (but, on a properly geared bike, not insurmountable. Hand brakes are a MUST!) Lots to see and do along the trail, too. The entirety of the trail has excellent scenery, and it is a must-see and a must-ride. Bring water bottles and food.
Needed improvement: the section that passes through the DuPont Hospital's wooded grounds; it is unpaved (gravel) and hilly, a very unhappy surprise, as this is not announced until you are very suddenly completely off of the pavement for a couple miles. While making a roundabout trip through Alapocas Woods is not a hazard, there is no signage on how to pick the trail back up via the neighborhood unless you are familiar with the area or have access to maps.
Concerns: There are a few bumps between the pavement and bridges at a few points that I hope get addressed at some point, especially along the stretch near the golf course and along a branch near a retirement home.
Idea for improvement: If they turned the old Kentmere Railway Branch into a rail-to-trail, they could extend the trail by a long way, plug it into 52's connection to 141, and add a considerable amount of access to the trail's Southern terminus.
I've lived in Delaware for seven years, and still marvel at the state's commitment to open space. Exhibit A: the Northern Delaware Greenway. This mostly off-road, mostly paved trail goes for miles in suburban Wilmington and into the city itself, connecting several very scenic state, county, and city parks along the way. I often ride part of the trail to work, and arrived energized by the chance to spend time outdoors before hitting my desk. The trail is heavily wooded and hilly in several sections. They've had a difficult time keeping it clear this summer with a number of heavy storms, but most of the time, it is maintained well. I especially like the section along the edge of Rock Manor golf course. They recently opened another section that connects it to Brandywine Creek Park right downtown (though that section is unpaved with several steep short hills). The Greenway is one of the reasons I enjoy living here.
Trail is great for the family towards the east and pretty hilly down past 202. Bellevue State Park to Rockwood Museum Section: Great trail for the family if you start at Bellevue SP ($6 out of state fee is well worth it.) I take my 10 & 6 year old here all the time. You can ride the trails at Bellevue for a while and there's a nice big oval the kids like. Last time out we decided to cross over March Rd and follow the trail west into the Bringhurst Woods Park and made it a few miles to Rockwood Museum Park. A few hills my 6 yr old had to walk his bike (no gears!!) but my 10 yr old was fine. Overall kids loved it they'll be bringing me back for sure. Note there were 3 road crossings we had to do, so extra care must be used. Apacolas State Park: I road the trail down in Apacolas State Park last year by myself and it gets hilly for a part timer like me, this section definitely not for family riding.
"This is a nice trail, about 4 miles long at this time. There is no trailhead at Fox Point State Park as I discovered after paying a $6 (out of state auto) parking fee. "
"Discovering that this was an asphalt trail, I drove about an hour intending to skate this trail on my inline skates. To my dismay I found it was unsuitable for skating. That is unless you are skilled enough to make the 90 degree turns at the bottoms of steep hills without hitting any trees at the high rate of speed you will find yourself traveling and if you can also find a way to keep from being thrown off your skates by all the debris on the path. In other words, it was way too dangerous to skate on this trail. So my quest continues for inline skating trails.
If anyone knows of any close to Dover, Delaware, feel free to shoot me an email."
"I commute to work on this trail from Bellevue State Park through Bringhurst Woods and into Rockwood Park. The trails are fabulous! They are paved, in woods, curvey, and hilly. I've also ridden from Bellevue State Park to try to get to Fox Point State Park, but there is no way to cross Rt 13 and I-495. I've also walked the trail at Fox Point State Park along the Delaware River. Again it is paved and nice (though the fact that Fox Point was some sort of Super Fund Site doesn't make it too appealing).
I haven't found a way to connect Rockwood Park to Brandywine Park. I would love to learn if it is connected, but as far as I know, they are not connected yet."
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