Delaware’s Trail System should be commended
On Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend, I had the privilege of running the Junction & Breakwater Trail which extends between Rehoboth and Lewes through the salt marshes, cornfields and woodlands on the east side of Sussex County within three-quarters of a mile of the Atlantic Ocean. I have spent years running this trail and the beauty and serenity never grow old. On my run, I encountered nearly 100 runners, walkers and bikers also enjoying the trail. Some of these folks were local and some out-of-state all with the same interest, enjoying the great outdoors.
The Junction & Breakwater Trail is a former Penn Central railway bed which became obsolete and was transitioned into a crusher run trail that is ideal for runners, walkers and cyclists and a fantastic eco-tourist attraction for the area. The implementation of this trail was a direct result of local community leaders and politicians who had the foresight to create a perpetual amenity for everyone to enjoy. Great leadership.
The Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club in partnership with Sussex Outdoors recently published a fantastic publication titled “Great Walks & Trails” highlighting 25 trails and tours around Sussex County. Nearly all of these tours are located within a conservation area or state-owned wildlife area. The publication explains the length of each tour, the calories you will burn, directions to the trail, color images of the trail and the total amount of preserved acres in each specific wildlife area.
The State of Delaware, with leadership and direction from Gov. Jack Markell, has recognized the need for future trails, outdoor amenities and open space that will attract and encourage more eco-tourism to our great state. A couple of great examples are the extension of the Gordons Pond Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park, the new trail out to Thompson's Island near Dewey Beach and the “Rail Trail” which will ultimately connect Lewes and Georgetown.
The construction of these trails will lead to additional commerce to our area and will hopefully serve as a catalyst for folks to enjoy the outdoors and ultimately lead a healthier lifestyle. Society today is faced with rising health care costs which can be indirectly attributed to the lack of overall health awareness. As we continue to balance the benefits between property rights and conservation, we cannot lose sight of the need for these perpetual amenities. This is a call to action for all to explore these trails, enjoy the great outdoors and encourage our community and legislators to continue the creation and implementation of these fantastic amenities.
Casey H. Kenton