Trail opens

Tri-Val­ley Trail lo­cated in state park

Newark Post - - Front Page - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Af­ter years of plan­ning, the first phase of the TriVal­ley Trail opened Tues­day, fill­ing a gap in the trail sys­tem in the Pos­sum Hill area of White Clay Creek State Park.

The new 3.2-mile trail runs be­tween Thomp­son Sta­tion Roads and a new trail­head at the in­ter­sec­tion of Smith Mill and Pa­per Mill roads. From there, hik­ers and cy­clists can ac­cess Mid­dle Run Val­ley Nat­u­ral Area Park, run by New Cas­tle County.

State of­fi­cials say the new trail pro­vides White Clay Creek State Park users and com­muters with a safe, ac­ces­si­ble recre­ational ex­pe­ri­ence through the north­east­ern por­tion of the park. Part of it is paved, while part is cov­ered with crushed stone.

“Trails ben­e­fit all of us, in terms of health, the en­vi­ron­ment, eco­nomics, jobs and tourism,” said Delaware Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­trol Sec­re­tary Shawn Garvin said in a state­ment. “This new trail expands the over­all area trail sys­tem which is good for recre­ational users and com­muters alike. But most im­por­tantly, the new trail expands the all-weather ac­ces­si­ble trail net­work within the park and cre­ates ac­ces­si­ble links to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses. It also pro­vides var­ied ac­ces­si­ble trail ex­pe­ri­ences not found in the lo­cal area.”

The im­prove­ments also in­clude a new park­ing lot at the trail­head at Pa­per Mill and Smith Mill roads. In ad­di­tion, a new bath­room fa­cil­ity will open there this fall.

Work on the project, which was funded pri­mar­ily by a grant from of the Fed­eral High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion, be­gan in Jan­uary.

The se­cond phase of the trail project, which has not been sched­uled, will con­nect to the county-run Pa­per Mill Park.

“Once the trail sys­tem is com­pleted, it will link the Pike Creek area and the city of Ne­wark,” DNREC spokesman Michael Glo­betti said in a state­ment.

On Tues­day, the trail­head park­ing lot was bustling all day as hik­ers and cy­clists checked out the new trail.

The Wilm­ing­ton Trail Club gath­ered 26 of its mem­bers to hike the trail Tues­day morn­ing.

“This is won­der­ful,” club pres­i­dent Gary Kirk said. “I re­ally like the stone-cov­ered part.”

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

Three cy­clists ride the new Tri-Val­ley Trail on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

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