Appreciating the outdoors, expanding trails despite corona

December 31, 2020

One of the bright spots in the blizzard of suffering brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is an expanded appreciation for being outdoors. There has never been more outside dining and socializing, more appreciation for sunrises and sunsets, sunlight and starlight – the ever-present beauty of nature.

In Delaware’s Cape Region and farther out in Sussex County, the impressive and expanding system of trails beckons to ever-increasing numbers of people ready and willing to get outside for walking and bicycling.

Young and old are embracing the old adage instructing us that there is no such thing as bad weather, just weather for which we aren't prepared. So if it’s cold, we don’t just stay inside. We bundle up and get out the door. Many are also discovering that keeping the dreaded masks on even when there aren’t others around helps keep our faces warm. If it’s raining, we put on our raincoats and get outside.

Cheeks flushed, our bloodstreams exhilarated and energized by the extra oxygen coursing through our veins and arteries, our immune systems strengthened by it all, getting outside and active is making us better able to meet the challenges ahead, physically and creatively.

And we are making progress in the midst of it all. The Sussex County Land Trust announced recently that it is promoting construction of a pedestrian and cycling bridge over Route 9 at Cool Spring as part of the continuing development of the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail. In cooperation with Sussex County Council and state agencies, the conservation group is working to develop the 30-acre parcel on the southwest corner of the Route 9-Cool Spring Road intersection into a trailhead with parking and restroom facilities for trail users. The proposed bridge could land in what is now known as Stephen P. Hudson Park.

The trail is now complete from Lewes to that Route 9 intersection, and work has begun on the Georgetown end of the trail to bring it east and make the connection in the park. There are also discussions underway about connecting the trail network in the vicinity of that intersection with Milton’s trail system.

Within the next 10 years, Georgetown, Lewes, Milton and Rehoboth Beach – and the many residential communities developing in between – could all be connected with a continuous system of off-road trails. That will be good for transportation options, health and our overall quality of life.

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