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Delaware is Full of Great Hiking Trails – Part One

A lot of people enjoy lazy summer days when they can lounge by a beach or by a pool. Others like to keep moving, with mild to vigorous levels of exertion on a hike or a bike. If that describes you, and if you live in Delaware, there are lots of places where you can find fresh air, shade and beautiful vistas. Here are some local favorites in New Castle County. 

Around Wilmington

Alapocas Run State Park’s trails take you past historic sites and so many natural wonders, including woods filled with pawpaw trees. It also has Delaware’s only natural rock climbing wall, formed by what used to be a quarry. One of its trails is marked by the Blue Ball Barn, which houses a visitors center and a folk art collection. You can go on a 10.4 mile hike on the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail – which is ADA accessible – or go on shorter hikes on the Alapocas Wood Trail and Pawpaw Loop. Learn more at

Brandywine Creek State Park in Greenville is in Delaware’s piedmont region and has more than 14 miles of trails. It’s known for its blue gneiss stone walls, which were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s to mark property lines during its agricultural past. On your walk you’ll see rolling meadows with native pollinators, ground nesting birds and rare native plants. There’s also great fishing in Wilson’s Run and Brandywine Creek, and you can rent a canoe or kayak. If you want to walk amid tall trees and cool shade, you’ll love the Tulip Tree Woods Nature Preserve and the Flint Woods Nature Preserve. Get the details at

Bellevue State Park is also near Wilmington and is set at a former DuPont estate. There’s a 1.8 mile fitness track around a catch-and-release pond stocked with bass, catfish and sunfish. There are also cycling trails and – if you’re an equestrian – a horse track. It’s all built around William DuPont’s home, Bellevue Hall, an elegant venue for private events. Get details at

Fox Point State Park on the Delaware River offers the Riverview Trail, with vistas of cargo ships, meadows, grassland and the Commodore Barry and Delaware Memorial Bridges. It’s a great place to look for bald eagles and has several picnic spots. Learn more at

Near Bear

Lums Pond State Park surrounds Delaware’s largest freshwater pond and offers 17 miles of trails winding through hardwood forest. Wetlands around the park are home to reptiles, amphibians and dragonflies. There’s a campground and a boathouse where you can rent canoes for exploring the pond and the Nature Center features a 500 gallon freshwater aquarium. Learn more at

Around Newark

Rittenhouse Park is set in 45 acres of scenic natural landscape and features a 2 mile hiking trail alongside the Christina Creek/River. One branch of the trail takes you to secluded sandy beach and another winds around the creek, with multiple resting spots. Learn more at

White Clay Creek State Park is features a National Wild and Scenic River stocked with fish. It’s surrounded by a vast forest that’s a critical habitat for migrating and nesting birds and offers more than 37 acres of trails for hikers, bikers and runners, with two dozen trails ranging in length from 0.3 miles to 4 miles. There’s also a bandshell and state, a playground, fishing docks, disc golf and more. Get all of the details at

Around Yorklyn

Auburn Valley State Park is up near the Delaware and Pennsylvania state line. It features the Auburn Valley trail, a 1.3 mile shared use trail between Red Clay Creek and the state line, where you’re apt to encounter steam cars, the Oversee Farm Trail, a 1.2 mile walking and biking route overlooking the Red Clay Valley and a beautiful stone farmhouse and two more trails. Learn more at

Learn more about all of these fun places at