The long-anticipated completion of the Lewes-Georgetown rail trail is coming along…but there are still five more sections planned or under construction. The Junction Breakwater trail has been completed, however, so there’s still plenty of places to ride, walk or run along the way.
The most promising development is that the Lewes-Georgetown trail is seeing progress towards the ultimate goal to have a continuous trail from the beginning in the Historic Lewes area to Georgetown, a 17 mile jaunt, end to end (it’s currently 12.7).
Work from Cool Spring Road west towards Fisher Road is currently under construction and is expected to be ready by late August.
Meanwhile, there are sections closer to Georgetown that have already been completed, and more expansion plans are being discussed by the Sussex County Land Trust. They are planning to construct a spur that will end up in the Stephen R. Hudson Park, where they intend to build a trailhead, parking area and hopefully, rest rooms.
Anyone who has biked through Cape Henlopen State Park knows how busy certain areas can be during the summer season, especially Gordon Pond. Safety concerns where the trail narrows can become congested, so trail etiquette should be followed.
The most obvious rule of thumb if you are bicycling is to wear a helmet. Although they are not required (except kids under age 12), they are especially important in the busiest parts of all of the trails, including crosswalks.
In Delaware, bikes do not have the right of way, but pedestrians do, so to be safe when in doubt, dismount. Not all visitors are aware of the rules or location of the many crosswalks – especially in parts of the Lewes-Georgetown trail throughout Lewes. Nassau Road, Old Orchard Road and Savannah Road immediately come to mind. And it’s bound to get worse as massive development along New Road grows.
Electric bikes (E bikes) can also be a concern if you are a pedestrian or are leisurely riding a manual bike. Sure, they are wonderful, especially if you are completing the entire trail, and maybe even the connection to the Breakwater trail towards Rehoboth, but there is a posted speed limit of 12 mph. The same goes for competitive bikers who apparently go much faster, sometimes without giving notice of an upcoming approach.
The trails are such an asset to the beach communities, so hopefully some of these issues can be resolved amicably. The are plenty of dogs and children on the trails, and for the vast majority of people enjoying the trails and their convenience, there aren’t any problems.
Plenty of research has proven that towns with walking/biking trails have generally healthier people enjoy the outdoors and exercise.
So enjoy the progress being made. Happy trails!
(Pictures from the website: https://delawaregreenways.org/trail/georgetown-lewes-trail/)