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The Georgetown-Lewes Trail is popular for its relatively flat route that runs through tree-lined countryside into the coastal town of Lewes before ending in an oceanside state park. The trail is part of a developing 17-mile trail network that, when completed, will link Georgetown and Lewes to each other and to Cape Henlopen State Park, as well as to Rehoboth Beach by way of a connection to the Junction & Breakwater Trail.
Beginning from its western end, a disconnected segment of the trail spanning 0.9 mile runs from Ingramtown Road and South King Street to Airport Road. Opened in late 2021, this section is mere blocks from downtown Georgetown and provides trail access to residents of an ad-jacent apartment complex and connections to the Georgetown Little League Complex, the Sussex Academy of Arts and Science, and the future Sussex County Park. It’s also the first section of rail-with-trail in the corridor as it was built along an active freight line, the Delmarva Central Railroad.
Farther northeast, after a gap of 7 miles, the main segment of the trail begins at Cool Spring Road and the Lewes Georgetown Highway. The route offers plentiful shade and seclusion via a tree tunnel, opening up to meadows and fields as you head east toward Lewes.
The ancestral home of the Indigenous Siconese people, the town of Lewes dates back to 1631 when Dutch colonists settled on this “purchased” tribal land. It became a strategic naval point during the War of 1812, and during World War II, Fort Miles, located in present-day Cape Henlopen State Park, became a vital defense against potential German attacks on Mid-Atlantic port cities. A list of more historical sites is available from the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, located 0.2 mile from the trail near its eastern end.
On the eastern end of the trail’s main segment, parking is located at the Lewes Public Library, where the trail runs beside the building. Here you’ll find restrooms, benches, a water bottle–filling station, and an in-formation kiosk. A community garden and a set of historical rails are nestled nearby. Flowers and public art dot the stretch of trail between the library and Gills Neck Road.
The easternmost section of the trail leading to Cape Henlopen State Park is separated from the main route by the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. To reach this disconnected segment, turn left from the eastern terminus of the main segment onto Gills Neck Road. In 0.2 mile, turn right on Savannah Road to cross the canal bridge. Continue 0.3 mile to American Legion Road/Massachusetts Avenue. Take a right and travel 0.2 mile to the trailhead for the Georgetown-Lewes Trail.
After this brief stretch of street traffic, the trail’s wide lanes open up to a beautiful mix of sand, sea grass, and pine trees, offering intermittent shade and a fresh scent as you head to Cape Henlopen State Park. The park is home to Delaware’s highest sand dune (80 feet tall), where the Henlopen Lighthouse sat until it eroded into the sea in 1926.
Alternatively, just before the canal, you can connect to the Junction & Breakwater Trail by turning right onto the trail at Gills Neck Road. You might even catch a glimpse of a boat or two drifting past you along the canal.
For the main segment, free parking and restrooms are available next to the Lewes Public Library (111 Adams Ave) and the Coolspring Presbyterian Church (28843 Log Cabin Hill Road).
Parking for the disconnected northeastern segment is available with a fee in Cape Henlopen State Park Seaside Nature Center (15099 Cape Henlopen Dr), or at the trailhead off of American Legion Road (American Legion Road & Massachusetts Ave) in Lewes.
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