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A Guide to Outdoor Excursions Around the Delaware Beaches

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Courtesy of Southern Delaware Tourism

Here are the best places to bike, paddle and explore this season, far away from beach crowds.


Winding trails, bike paths and roaring rivers: Sussex County has plenty to offer when it comes to the great outdoors. As we look for ways to enjoy our surroundings—especially wide-open spaces without crowds of people—there’s no better place than the beaches to rent a bike or kayak, or to lace up your sneakers for a hike.

Here’s a guide to outdoor excursions around the Delaware beaches that you can enjoy solo or with a small group.

Biking

Atlantic Cycles

Located on the Rehoboth Boardwalk at 1 Virginia Ave. and 18 Wilmington Ave.

Rental options include beach cruisers ($8 per hour, $24 per day and $56 per week); comfort bikes ($10 per hour, $30 per day and $70 per week); and kids’ bikes ($7 per hour, $21 per day and $49 per week). Additional options include Burley trailers ($7 per hour, $21 per day and $49 per week) and Trail-a-Bikes ($7 per hour, $21 per day and $49 per week).

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reservations are accepted by phone only.

Call 226-1009 or 226-2543, or go to atlanticcycles.com for more information.

Bike to Go

This locally owned, female-run bicycle shop offers full services, including bike sales, rentals and repairs. Rental options include cruisers ($16 for four hours); e-bikes ($25 per hour); hybrids ($20 for four hours); and kids’ bikes ($15 for four hours). Repair options include a basic tuneup package for $69; an advanced tuneup for $139 and a complete overhaul for $299.

Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

Contact 227-7600 or go to rehobothcyclesports.com for more information.

Breakaway Bikes

This shop provides opportunities for bike and beach enthusiasts. Services include bike purchases, rentals, repairs and tuneups. Rental options include cruisers ($15 for half-days, $25 for full days and $65 for a full week) and kids’ bikes ($15 for half-days, $20 for full days and $45 for a full week). Brands include Felt Bicycles, Pure Cycles and State Bicycle Co.

Open Monday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Contact 567-5139 or go to breakawaybikesdewey.com for more information.

Lewes Cycle Sports

This local shop has provided a variety of bicycle services to the Lewes–Rehoboth community for more than 30 years.

Services include bike purchases, rentals, repairs and trade-ins. Rental options include cruisers ($16 for four hours); e-bikes ($70 for four hours or $100 for full day); hybrids ($20 for four hours); and kids’ bikes ($15 for four hours).

Open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Wednesdays.

Contact 645-4544 or go to lewescyclesports.com for more information.

Ocean Cycles

Located in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, Ocean Cycles’ services include bike rentals and repairs. Rental options include cruisers ($50 per week); hybrids ($80 per week); and kids’ bikes ($45 per week). Additional options include child seats ($85 per week); trailers ($50 per week); and baskets ($10 per week).

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact 537-1522 or go to oceancycles.rentals for more information.

Seagreen Bicycle

Services include bike rentals and repair. Rental options include beach cruisers ($8 per hour); comfort bikes ($10 per hour); and kids’ bikes ($7 per hour). Repair options offered are a basic safety check for $30; a basic tuneup for $70 plus components; and a complete overhaul for $130 plus components.

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lewes location and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rehoboth location.

Visit seagreenbicycle.com for more information.

Kayak/Paddling

Coastal Kayak

Services include rentals, instruction and tours. Rental options include single kayaks ($20 for one hour for either basic or upgraded); tandem ($25 for one hour for either basic or upgraded); and paddleboards ($20 for one hour). Tours include Bald Cypress  ($55 per person); Burton’s Island Wildlife ($50 per person); and Sunset Kayak ($50 per person).

Open daily Memorial Day to Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Off-season hours are available by phone.

Call 539-7999 or go to coastalkayak.com for more information.

Delmarva Board Sports Adventures

Services include rentals, lessons and other excursions. Rental options include single kayaks ($25 for one hour); tandem kayaks ($35 for one hour); and paddleboards ($25 for one hour). Lessons with an excursion are available, and the cost depends on the location.

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Morning/daytime sessions are open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and evening sessions from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact 260-9008 or go to delmarvaboardsportadventures.com for more information.

Quest Kayak

Services include rentals, tours and beach parties. Rental options include single kayaks ($25 for two hours; $35 for four hours), tandem kayaks ($35 for two hours; $50 for four hours), and stand-up paddles ($35 or two hours; $50 for four hours). Tours types include Dogfish Pints and Paddles ($65 for 90-minute paddle and brewery tour); Dolphin ($65 for 90- to 120-minute paddle); History ($65 for 90- to 120-minute paddle); and Sunset ($50 for 90-minute paddle).

Open daily at 8 a.m. from May to September. By reservation only from October to May.

Contact 74-KAYAK or go to questkayak.com for more information.

Sussex County offers plenty to do in the great outdoors, including kayaking and paddling./Courtesy of Southern Delaware Tourism

Nature Trails

Assawoman Canal Trail

This trail is open to hikers and bikers. It extends to 1 mile from Route 26 to the south side of the Ocean View Marina. Other access points include at Central Avenue, Osprey Lane and Route 26. Restrooms and parking spaces are available at the Town Road parking lot trailhead. A Delaware State Parks Passport is required for entry.

Burton Island

This trail is open to hikers only. It extends to 1.5 miles from the north side of the Indian River Marina, looping around from the sands of the Delaware shoreline to the deep forests via elevated boardwalk. It provides hikers access to views of the Rehoboth and Indian River bays, as well as the habitat of local wildlife. Trail use is strongly recommended during the cooler months. Staying on the trail is required. The trailhead begins at the north end of the Indian River Marina.

Fred Hodson Road Trail

This trail is open to bikers, hikers and equestrians. It extends to 1 mile, bridging from the Fred Hodson Road Pathway to the Prickly Pear Trail. Biking and hiking are allowed throughout the entire course of the trail, while horseback-based excursions are available for a 0.6-mile portion. The trailhead begins at the Hickman Road parking lot.

James Farm Ecological Preserve

This trail is open to hikers. It extends across the Indian River Bay, close to Bethany Beach. Views include seven habitats, ranging from low saltwater marshes to maritime forests bearing red cedar and holly trees. Opportunities include volunteering via the James Farm Docent Program and educational opportunities for school districts. The trail begins on Cedar Neck Road on Ocean View. No fee is required for entry.

Prickly Pear Trail

This trail is open to bikers, hikers and equestrians. It extends 3.5 miles, providing access to scenic, open meadows, pine forests and views of the Indian River Bay, as well as access to two connecting trails throughout the surrounding Fresh Pond community. The trail begins at the Hickman Road parking lot. A Delaware State Parks Passport is required for entry.

Thompson Island Trail

This trail is open to hikers. It extends 0.7 miles, beginning at a mature upland conifer and hardwood forest and descending through small marshes and pine forests towards the Lewes/Rehoboth Canal and to scenic views of Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Bay and the titular Thompson Island skyline. The trail is connected to private property; leaving the trail at any point is strictly prohibited.


Published as “Off the Beaten Path” in the September 2020 issue/Fall Beach Guide of Delaware Today magazine.