CMLF Officials Encourage Bike Riders to Use Ferry Service & Regional Bike Trails

by Dave on July 17, 2009

On July 14, Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF) officials celebrated the 45th
Anniversary of the first bicycle crossing on the Cape May – Lewes Ferry as Mr. Neil Jackson, now
a resident of Forest, Virginia, made the ceremonial crossing with his family on Tuesday, July 14.

It was July 14, 1964, when Jackson, then 15 years old living 125 miles away from the Ferry
Terminal, was on a mission to make a surprise visit to see his grandmother in Lewes, Delaware.
He rode his bicycle all day from Barrington in Camden County, New Jersey to the North Cape May
terminal. At the time, Jackson paid 50 cents for the crossing, the same as a foot passenger.

Today, the CMLF encourages bicyclists to use the ferry service to take a break and cross
Delaware Bay for fun and recreational purposes. According to Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry
Operations, the ferry service typically transports more than 300 bicyclists a month during the
summer season; but has already logged more than 350 bicycles during July, an increase of 29%
compared to last year. The fare for bicycles and riders is the same as a foot passenger. The ferry
service does not charge a separate fee for bicycles.

“With the advent of eco-tourism and the growth of regional bicycle trails on the both sides
of the Delaware Bay, the CMLF has experience an increase in interest and usage by the cycling
community,” Gehrke remarked. “Both Delaware and New Jersey have done a lot to improve bike
trails locally and we have plans to improve the Sandman Boulevard access road to the North Cape
May, New Jersey Ferry Terminal, including a bike path separate from vehicles. It’s an inexpensive
way to take a break from the ordinary and explore the other side of the Delaware Bay.”

After bicyclists leave the ferry terminal in Lewes, they are greeted by a state that prides
itself on being bicycle friendly. In fact, the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) has selected
Delaware as the ninth most bicycle friendly state in the nation. One reason for Delaware’s high
ranking is a trail in Lewes called The Junction and Breakwater Trail. This 6-mile-long trail, which
is a former rail line connecting Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, is located on the southwestern side of
Cape Henlopen State Park.

The trail includes two bridges that offer gorgeous views of the coastal wetlands of the Cape
Region. The trail consists of finely crushed stone with an average width of 12 feet and is used by
tourists and locals alike who want a scenic ride – and to avoid the highway – while they pedal from
Lewes to Rehoboth Beach. For more information about bicycling opportunities in Delaware,
please visit www.bike.deldot.gov

In New Jersey, the Cape May Shoreline Ride, which is located near the ferry terminal, is a
46-mile route with generous sampling of sites, vistas and ambience of the bayside and seaside of
Cape May County. There are lighthouses, Victorian architecture, bays, beaches, barrier island shore
communities, wetlands, boardwalks and bird watching. The terrain is flat with the highest elevation
60 feet above sea level; the ride is considered moderately easy.

In addition, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is an organization dedicated to assisting
local communities in the acquisition of abandoned railroad corridors and the conversion of these
corridors into trails that are used for biking, walking and running. For more information on bike
trails in Cape May County, please visit www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/
tours.shtm or www.newjerseyshore.com/bike-trails.shtml.

{ 1 comment }

hillary blatt July 25, 2009 at 8:38 am

Can you tell me how far it is from the ferry into the town of cape may and if it is back roads, trails or busy roads.
Thank you

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