The Delaware Bayshore Byway is now officially a National Scenic Byway.
As part of Earth Day celebrations across the state, Gov. John Carney and state officials gathered April 22 on the marsh boardwalk trail at St. Jones Reserve to make the announcement and unveil the first America's Bywaya sign.
The reserve, located south of Dover off Kitts Hummock Road, contains a visitors center and 2-mile nature trail. It's also a key center for research and monitoring of the Delaware Bay marsh system.
Carney was joined by Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Nicole Majeski, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin, Delaware Tourism Office Director Liz Keller, and representatives from Delaware Greenways and tourism groups.
“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway encompasses so much of our state’s unique natural and cultural heritage, and will only become more of an attraction to our state,” Carney said.
He said the byway also provides a connection to the historic John Dickinson Mansion, which borders the reserve. Dickinson, the fifth governor of Delaware and one of the country's founding fathers, owned all of the land and marshes from his farm to Delaware Bay, Carney said.
“Although this is one of our best-kept secrets, the byway attracts people worldwide,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin.
“This Delaware treasure is now a national treasure,” said Steve Borleske, chairman of the byways management team. “It connects communities that are in strong support of the byway.”
Route 9 was designated by the state as a Scenic Byway in 2007 and was expanded to become the Delaware Bayshore Byway in 2020.
The Delaware Bayshore Byway extends 157 miles from New Castle to Lewes, including 100 miles of Delaware coastline and the entire length of Route 9 along the east coast of New Castle and Kent counties. It features 19 discovery zones highlighting the history and environment of the area.
The Delaware Bayshore Byway provides a connection to Delaware's history, open spaces, horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, fresh and saltwater marshes, small communities, fishing villages and large farms, coastal rivers, the Delaware Bay and its beaches, lighthouses, historic mansions, and waterfowl and watermen.
Towns along the byway include New Castle, Delaware City, Port Penn, Woodland Beach, Bowers and South Bowers Beach, Magnolia, Milford, Frederica, Broadkill Beach, Milton and Lewes. Fort Delaware, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DuPont Nature Center and First State National Historic Park are among stops on the byway.
For more information, visit delawaregreenways.org.