Photo of Junction and Breakwater Trail courtesy of Alissa Rosenstein.
If you want to venture away from the beach and boardwalk for a walk, run, or bike ride, you won’t have to go far. There are a few scenic trails within close proximity to town where you can enjoy gorgeous views of wetlands, farmland and local wildlife.
The Junction and Breakwater Trail is a five-mile pine-studded crushed stone rail-trail that runs from Rehoboth Beach to Lewes and provides a perfect nature retreat. This route is mostly flat and well-traveled by bicyclists, walkers, runners, and families with strollers and dogs. There are three trail heads in Rehoboth Beach: Wolfe Glade parking lot on Wolfe Glade Road, Holland Glade parking lot behind Tanger Outlet Seaside, and Hebron Road just off Route 1 (no parking available here).
The Gordons Pond Trail, open to bicyclists and pedestrians, is a finely crushed gravel pathway that winds through coastal maritime forest, grassy marshes, and sandy dunes. The trail was expanded a few years ago to 3.2 miles and features a half-mile long, elevated boardwalk over dunes and wetlands. Access the trail head from the Gordons Pond parking lot located at the end of Ocean Drive. About 0.75 miles in, you’ll find an observation deck, which overlooks the pond and the ocean, and provides a perfect spot for taking a breather and bird watching.
Get back on the trail and you'll eventually end up at Cape Henlopen State Park where you can continue on a three-mile paved bike loop or take a two-mile detour on the Walking Dunes Trail through the park’s beautiful natural landscape. There are several other trails within Cape Henlopen State Park. Take the time to discover all of them. I promise you won't regret it.
Fellow cyclists, if you're up for a serious ride, make the entire Rehoboth Beach-Lewes loop (which includes both trails, the state park, and some road riding) for a grand total of 17.5 miles. The trails are well-marked and there are several maps along the route for easy navigation. I've done it many times and it is well worth the effort! If 17.5 straight miles is a bit much, include a lunch break in either Rehoboth Beach or Lewes (depending on where you begin). Or if you want to clock in more miles, buzz through either town and just enjoy the scenes of daily activity in town. Leisurely or hardcore, you will definitely enjoy your ride. Delaware is one of the most bike-friendly states in the nation - get out there and see why first-hand!