Length: 3.9 miles
Great for: Hiking
This hike in White Clay Creek State Park, mostly through a hardwood forest, includes wooden bridges, old stone walls and the Arc Monument, which marks the line between Delaware and Pennsylvania. You may even encounter a 1950s-era Buick in the depths of the forest. While the state labels this trail for hikers, don’t be surprised if you see a mountain biker or four. White Clay Creek State Park is a mecca for cyclists who don’t mind getting dirty on rocky terrain. Most of White Clay’s trails are open to biking, as well as hiking. The 3.1-mile Tri-Valley Trail encompasses three sites: the Judge Morris Estate, Middle Run Natural Area and Possum Hill. It passes through open fields and woods and crosses both Polly Drummond and Paper Mill roads, so use caution.
More trails paved with history
The Arc Monument
Many Delaware trails sidle up to historical and historic sites or are part of a historic property. Consider the 0.8-mile Prison Camp Trail on Pea Patch Island, home to Fort Delaware, a prison for thousands of Confederates during the Civil War. This leisurely hiking loop extends through woods and over grass and packed earth.
In nearby Delaware City, Fort DuPont State Park, a military base from the Civil War through World War II, offers two trails for hiking: the 1.1-mile Riverview Trail, which passes gun batteries, and the Port Penn Trail, which crosses a tidal marsh in the Augustine Wildlife Area. Interpretive exhibits along the trail note the trapping and fishing that sustained area residents.
The 2-mile Pinelands Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park includes a section that the Army used to ship supplies to Fort Miles, which once occupied the site. Hikers on this trail—which in 1981 became the state’s first designated National Recreation Trail—pass by old artillery bunkers.