A bump in temperatures, no matter how slight, makes many fitness enthusiasts itch to get outside. At the beach, that means hitting the trails, walking the beach and occasionally just stopping to smell the flowers. For the brave—and sensibly geared—it might also mean a trip down a waterway. Here are some outdoor activities to try on Delaware’s coast that locals favor at this time of year.
Hike or bike Gordons Pond Trail
Running from Lewes to Rehoboth, the award-winning trail offers views of bald eagles, deer, osprey and migratory birds. It’s a pleasant 2.65 miles one way from the Cape Henlopen State Park lot in Lewes near Herring Point to the lot in Rehoboth Beach.
Event planner and runner Nicole Bailey, who often looks for preening blue herons, says the filtered sun “warms her up” on chilly spring days. Frequent visitor Mary Alice Chase says many of the local plants are already starting to bloom.
Stroll the beach for treasure
Chase is an avid morning beachcomber all year long, but spring makes the hunts more pleasant. She’s found treasures on Lewes Beach and Rehoboth Beach. She rearranges her finds—including sea glass, driftwood and bottlecaps—into works of art that she sells at Sassy Chic in Lewes. Hint: Visit the beach during low tide and target areas heavy with pebbles and sea debris.
Yes, the water is still chilly for stand-up paddleboarders, says Janis Markopoulos, owner of Delmarva Board Sports Adventures. “Don’t be fooled by a single warm day,” she cautions. But it is doable for the determined; just wear wetsuits, booties and a beanie. “If you have those items, paddle the Broadkill River, the Bethany canals or Abbott’s Mill Pond, which provide shelter from the wind,” she advises.
Check out Phase II of the Lewes-Georgetown Trail
Although not officially open, bikers and hikers are already taking advantage of this stretch of the former railway trail, which is now paved. There is parking in the Old World Breads lot on New and Nassau roads.
To attract hungry trail-trudgers, Old World Breads has expanded its breakfast sandwich menu, and is offering sandwiches on weekends, says owner Keith Irwin. There are tables and chairs perfect for al fresco dining. If you’re done your workout for the day, pop into Beach Time Distilling, located next to Old World Breads, for a new canned cocktail.
Go running through a historic town
Karen Sposato’s regular route takes her through her hometown of Milton, where trees have started to bloom along the Broadkill River. But she also likes to run through downtown Lewes, which is known for its streetscapes and flower pots. The town’s 10th annual 2019 Tulip Festival is April 5-14 this year.
Take a stroll through a coastal community
Karen Falk feels fortunate to live in Rehoboth Beach Yacht & Country Club, which is nestled next to Rehoboth Bay. “I love to run or walk through my section, and I always take a break and take in the shorebirds along the canal and bay,” she says. “Salt air and coastal vibes are motivating.”