Enjoy early summer weather with a bike ride on one of Delaware’s scenic bike trails where it will be easy to maintain social distancing while taking in beautiful views and spotting local wildlife. Try one of the trails below in order from northernmost to southernmost. Happy riding!
Jack A. Markell Trail – Beginning at the beautiful Riverfront in Wilmington, this 7.9 mile trail will take you past the DuPont Environmental Center then on a boardwalk through the marshland of the Russel Peterson Wildlife Refuge where you’re likely to see shorebirds. You can stop at signposts along the way showing the map along with information about the area and wildlife you may see along the route. Upon your return, cool down with a stroll along the Riverfront and consider grabbing a bite to eat or an ice cream cone.
Scenic DE-9 Bike Route – Begin your ride at Battery Park in New Castle. Admire the view of the Delaware River and before beginning the 10 mile ride which ends in Delaware City where you can stop for a bite to eat or take some rest beside the water where you’ll see the Civil War island fortress of Fort Delaware State Park in the distance. Upon your return to New Castle, consider taking a walk around the charming colonial town with its cobblestone streets. You can expect the route to take approximately 50 minutes each way.
Mike Castle C&D Canal Trail – Mostly flat and paved, start this trail under Summit Bridge and enjoy nearly 9 miles along the C&D Canal where you’ll boats will pass on one side and you may spot some interesting birds and animals on the other as you ride along a wildlife preserve. This out-and-back route ends in Delaware City. Plan for approximately and hour and a half round trip ride.
Lums Pond State Park – The 6.2 miles Swamp Forest Trail is a great option for more adventurous bikers as the path is mostly unpaved and winds through the trees with a great view of the pond. This route is more suited for mountain bikes rather than road bikes. Catch your breath at any of the picnic tables or piers you’ll pass during the ride.
Woodland Bike Route – Park at Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, a 6,000 acre plot of tidal marsh, woods and fields. Before your ride, take some time to look around and catch a glimpse of local wildlife that call the area home. Pedal down the path and onto the road for the 8.3 mile trek to Big Oak County Park in Smyrna. Expect this route to take around 40 minutes each way.
Amish Country Bike Route – Starting in historic downtown Dover, this 14.8 mile loop will take you through Central Delaware’s countryside on flat, paved roads. You’ll see farms, animals and maybe even be passed by a horse and buggy on the wide open roads. Check the map ahead of time as you will need to make several turns to stay on course. The loop should take about an hour to complete. The Green and Legislative Hall both make great picnic spots for a post-workout snack.
Killens Pond State Park – Stretch your legs on this quick 2.3 mile trail starting on Killens Pond Road and circling the northern portion of the park. The trail is very flat and partly paved and partly crushed rock, making it enjoyable for all fitness levels. If you want a little more out of your exercise session, take in the views of the 2.6 mile pondside trail.
Georgetown to Lewes Bike Trail – This 17 mile, paved bike trail connects the towns of Lewes and Georgetown. Start in Lewes by parking at the trailhead right next to the Lewes Public Library. This may be a lengthy ride but it’s low-stress with a flat paved route crossing under busy Route 1. Consider ending this expedition with a walk in charming downtown Lewes or a stroll along the beach.
Seashore Bike Route – Beginning and ending at two of Delaware’s beachside state parks, begin your journey at Fenwick Island State Park and turn around at Delaware Seashore State Park – a distance of 11.4 miles. This route is mostly along a narrow portion of Route 1 so depending on the direction you’re headed you either be right near the ocean or bay, so enjoy the sea breeze you’ll feel the whole ride. Keep an eye out for turtles and seabirds which have homes along the route. Please note you will need to pay an entrance fee at which ever location you park your car.
Where to rent
Lewes Cycle Sports or Seagreen Bicycle – Both are great options in Lewes, close to the Georgetown to Lewes Bike Trail and Cape Henlopen State Park. Both have everything you need including helmets, child trailers and infant seats if you’re brining the kiddos along for the ride.
Atlantic Cycles – In downtown Rehoboth Beach, you’ll find rental options for the whole family. Want to really ride together? Try a tandem bike or one of their Surrey bikes with two bench seats and four sets of pedals!
Fenwick Islander Bicycle Shoppe – Perfect for rentals for the Seashore Bike Route or just for riding around town during your vacation, check out their wide variety of bikes available for rent.