Staying fit isn’t just about your state of mind. Sometimes, the journey to physical health is about your state. If you’ve chosen Delaware as your hiking location, you’re already on the road to fitness. Delaware’s vast landscape harbors miles and miles of certified hiking trails, not to mention those off the beaten track trails you never knew were hiding in the wilderness. These destinations cover so many different types of ground, from sandy beaches to historical sites to secluded spaces covered in plush greenery. Here are 14 trails to explore.
This is such a scenic pathway that it's 4.6 miles of stretching trail can be completed with less effort than you're used to, regardless of your pace. This trail is best suited for serious hikers and/or horseback riders with a passion for nature. Discover a whole new reason to fall in love with the seashore as it whizzes past you on a visually enticing journey in a space where cargo ships and World War II memorabilia are tucked away behind the dunes.
History buff and fitness enthusiast? No problem. The Hagley Museum’s hiking loop is a circular trail situated at the birthplace of the Du Pont Company and on the grounds of the Du Pont mansion. The trail is a stunning .8 miles of semi-paved pathways that wind through the remnants of yesteryear’s black powder mills and travel past quaint gift shops and alongside the babbling Brandywine River. With a hiking trail like this, you won’t even notice you worked up a sweat.
Nature lovers will rejoice at this flexuous eight-mile trail that affords a comfortable hike through the wilderness thanks to its level ground and paving. Here you’ll tread past the glimmering pond and on through forests, past campgrounds and boathouses. Feeling tired after that exhilarating workout? Feel free to stay on the campgrounds and get the full experience.
Challenge yourself to an uphill battle at this trail that’s every bit a reflection of its name. The Rocky Run Trail features two miles of uneven terrain to really pump up your adrenaline but it ends with a refreshing descent. Along the way, hikers can enjoy expansive views of the shimmering Brandywine River as it twists and turns through the nature surrounding the Northern Delaware Greenway and makes its way past the iconic Rocky Run Bridge.
Hike from state to state with ease via the Brandywine Valley Trail, a colossal pathway that crisscrosses with several other trails and boasts a beautiful 10.4-mile jaunt. Depending upon how far you travel, taking this trail can lead you past botanical wonders, wildlife, historical bridges and more. This is the road that leads you to wherever you want to go.
Wisps of flowing Beach Heather surround you on all sides while the ocean breezes blow along this maritime hike trail over the dunes. This trail is unique in its topography and botanical features and it’s also a cool choice for beginners. Its hills aren’t so steep that they pose a difficult challenge but they do make for an energetic romp.
While moving forward along this sprawling, semi-secluded trail in the Alapocas Run State Park, it’s easy to forget you’re in the city. This is a pretty straight forward trail—.7 miles of pavement complete with a quaint, tiny bridge over water. That being said, it earns a place on the list for its location, which is easily accessible to major highways for both Pennsylvanians and Delawareans alike. Be on the lookout for views of the Blue Ball Barn, an easy to miss historical site that houses a very impressive collection of Delaware folk art.
Shimmy down a pathway comprised of Delaware Beach boardwalks where you'll ease past wildlife, two bays and a region of salt marsh. The trail is a mere 1.5 miles, the Goldilocks number for hikers if ever there was one.
Marvel at the sight of bald cypress trees and Great Blue Heron while traveling across the wetlands of Laurel, Delaware. This lovely 4.6-mile hike is equally delightful as a bird watching destination.
The Post Marked West Monument adorns this 2.1-mile loop that was designed for intermediate level hikers. Hardwood forest and meadows sprawl along the pathway that eventually connects with Delaware's famous Paper Mill Road.
This is yet another monument clad hiking destination in the vicinity. It's notable for its varying types of forestry and terrain but also for its location. Pennsylvania very subtly connects with Delaware right here in this very space making crossing state lines as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
If urban scenery inspires you to pick up the pace and you love watching ships set sail out of the corner of your eye while you're hiking, you might want to opt for the river walk. This technically isn't considered a "hiking trail" but just because it breaks away from the traditional description doesn't mean it deserves to be ignored. This is a local favorite for stretching the legs and it features urban views you won't likely find elsewhere. The walk stretches for up to three miles in total and it's dotted with award winning restaurants and shopping destinations.
This trail is unique in that it affords a comfortable hike for all levels of skill. Nestled into the breathtaking wetlands of Lauren, Delaware, the hike circles the edge of a glistening pond. Enjoy an enchanting experience with minimal interruptions to the natural landscape that serves as the setting for this trail.
This trail that aims to please everybody’s inner fitness enthusiast completes Kent County’s 66-acre Pond State Park. Parking for this trail is positioned in the parking lot of a sports complex and the trail is surrounded by a multitude of equally energizing activities. The attached resort-style waterpark and campground make this a fun stop for a weekend with the family but the trail itself can stand alone as a unique Delaware attraction. Why? Because along its brief .8-mile course there are 20 exercise stations so you can work out while you hike and you won’t ever have to distance yourself too far from the rest of civilization.
As promised, Delaware’s hiking trails are rooted in diversity as are so many other Delaware attractions. Stick around to learn all about how Delaware’s unique landscape makes it a great place to explore.