Tri-Valley Trail located in state park
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.”
Three cyclists ride the new Tri-Valley Trail on Tuesday afternoon.