Constructed along the path of the long-defunct Pomeroy Railroad, the Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail is easily the centerpiece of the region's emerging greenway network. Despite its relatively short distance, the trail's environment changes radically between its northern terminus off Hopkins Road near the Pennsylvania border and its southern end at the James F. Hall Trail on Newark's east side. The first 2 to 3 miles of the trail pass through the dense forests of White Clay Creek State Park. This section, completed in 2008, forms a concurrency with the Tri-Valley Trail, until the latter abruptly turns west at a point about halfway through the park, crosses a large bridge and follows an abandoned section of Creek Road back up to Hopkins Road. The Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail continues further south at this junction, and eventually crosses White Clay Creek on a separate bridge before intersecting with Creek Road. The portion of the trail in the state park is paved with a mix of coarse stone and dirt. Although this does not interfere too much with hiking or cycling, the trail can be muddy after wet weather and there are few amenities. On the upside, the natural beauty and serenity of the forests are breathtaking and give no hint of being just outside of a small city in the heart of the Northeast Megalopolis. Several relics of the old railroad, including the rock walls of old ravines, causeways across wetlands and concrete abutments from two long-dismantled bridges, are still visible, and a kiosk at the junction with the Tri-Valley Trail gives a detailed history of the line.
After a brief concurrency with Creek Road (hopefully a side path will eventually be built, though this road gets little use), the trail resumes next to two large abutments that once formed part of an underpass that carried Creek Road under the line. Here, the trail gradually slopes up the side of a hill, then continues along the old railroad grade through more wooded land to a junction with a branch trail that extends west to the University of Delaware's Laird Campus. This short portion, which is paved with stone dust and includes two bridges across drainage swales, can be described as a transition between the "wild" northern section in White Clay Creek State Park, and the recently completed southern section that extends into the city of Newark.
Heading southeast from the Laird Campus Connector path, the trail takes on a radically different character. The lush forests give way to the suburban and urban environments of Newark, and the stone dust surface changes to freshly poured asphalt. Retro-style lights provide additional character to the trail as well as making it safe for nightime use. Branch paths provide access to George M. William and Kershaw parks, and several of the apartment complexes off the trail have constructed their own access paths. A number of smaller pocket parks, with their own benches, interpretive plaques and patches of flowers, bushes and trees, have also Although the grade-level crossing at College Ave. is relatively safe, getting across the busy intersection at Paper Mill Road and Cleveland Ave. is much harder. Until DelDot makes some changes to better accomodate trail users, this crossing easily rivals the intersection of the Chester Valley Trail at Route 100 in Exton as one of the most dangerous grade-level crossings in the Philadelphia/Wilmington metropolitan area. Extreme caution is recommended.
The trail next crosses under the active CSX line, where freight trains can often be seen rumbling overhead. Interestingly, a canopy has been raised over the trail under this bridge, possibly to guard against rain water or debris from trains falling onto the path. The trail next enters downtown Newark and runs along the west side of the Newark Shopping Center. A small shelter immediately north of the Main Street intersection provides a nice place to rest and enjoy a frozen treat from a nearby Rita's. South of Main Street, the trail passes through more apartment complexes and a DART transfer station to its southern terminus at the James F. Hall Trail. The pocket park at this trail junction features a couple refurbished artifacts from the Pomeroy Railroad; a segment of track with an old switch and a bench that was creatively placed over a set of train wheels.
In addition to giving users the opportunity to enjoy nature in White Clay Creek State Park and providing a crucial link between the park's internal trail network, the Tri-Valley and James F. Hall trails and Mason Dixon Trails, the Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail also makes it much easier for students and faculty to travel between the University of Delaware's numerous campuses scattered around the city. It is also now possible to travel from the community's located just north of the Amtrack lines to Hopkins Road almost entirely offroad, and the fact that the trail connects the DART transfer station to the Amtrack/SEPTA train station via the James F. Hall Trail opens up new opportunities for multi-modal transportation. The Pomeroy Newark Rail Trail is the new centerpiece of northwest Delaware's emerging greenway network.