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Location: Running north-south in the southwestern side of Cape Henlopen State Park, this trail connects Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Trail access in Lewes is from Kings Highway (US 9) opposite the Cape Henlopen High School (75°08'54"W 38°45'20"N) or from Gills Neck Road west of the entrance to the Hawks Eye Community (75°08'00"W 38°45"30"N). Rehoboth Beach access is from Hebron Road/273 just off Route 1 (75°06'03"W 38°42'51"N) or at the Hebron Road and Holland Glade Road intersection (75°06'13"W 38°43'25"N). No parking is available at these access points. Designated parking lots are off of Wolfe Neck Road near Wawa on north bound Route 1 (75°07'14"W 38°44'26"N), or off of Holland Glade Road behind the Tanger Outlet Seaside Center (75°06'41"W 38°43'12"N).
The Junction and Breakwater Rail Trail follows the route of the former Penn Central railroad between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. The first 3.6-mile section of the trail opened in December 2003 and another 2.4 miles were added in June 2007. The trail has two bridges including a refurbished 80-foot railroad bridge that was originally built in 1913. The trail surface is made of finely crushed stone and is 12 feet wide at most, narrowing to 10 feet at the restored railroad bridge at Holland Glade. The trail is mostly flat making it an easy route for bicyclists, walkers, runners, wheelchair users, and families with strollers and dogs. Interpretive signs are located along the trail to inform the public about the local plant and animal life. There are also scenic outlooks that look over the coastal marshes.
The trail is bordered by a mix of landscapes offering a break from the nearby beaches. The trail passes through a beautiful wooded area of oak, hemlock, pine, and maple trees, past wide-open corn fields, and across two recognized natural areas, Holland Glade and Wolf Glade. At one point you can see the World War II observation towers of Cape Henlopen State Park. Trail users can even gather handfuls of ripe red blackberries that are prominent on most parts of the trail during July.
The Junction and Breakwater Trail is one of the most important economic and fitness boosts for eastern Sussex County. During the peak season (May 1- August 31) in 2011, the trail directly generated an estimated $114,167 from hard goods, like bicycles and walking shoes, and an estimated $390,645 from soft goods, such as food and beverage.
Both ends of the Junction and Breakwater Trail lead into residential and commercial areas of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. This trail is essential in connecting the two communities and gives residents and visitors an alternative to driving a vehicle. The public can easily access the trail from either town and quickly, and safely, get to their destination by way of bicycle or foot. This, in turn, promotes physical activity and reduces traffic congestion, especially during the busy summer months.
The Junction and Breakwater Trail is part of the Park Watch Volunteer Program. Volunteers of this program walk or bike the trail and are a visible point of contact to provide information and assistance to visitors on the trail. They give directions, answer questions, report safety/security problems, and assist in the maintenance of the tail. This program helps to improve the trail and gives personable visitor service to trail users.
Width: 110 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed Rock
Secondary Surface: Asphalt
Average Grade: 1%
Maximum Grade: 11%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 2013
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
Park Administrator I
Delaware State Parks
42 Cape Henlopen Drive
Lewes, DE 19958
Delaware State Parks
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19904
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