A Beautiful Connection – The Junction and Breakwater Trail

by Dave on August 22, 2009

For six beautiful miles along an old railroad trestle between Lewes & Rehoboth Beach, you can forget all about the hustle and bustle of summer at the beach and relax into the natural setting that is the Junction & Breakwater Trail. The path runs from Lewes’ Gills Neck Road to Church Street in Rehoboth Beach.

Mark Chura, the executive director of Delaware Greenways and a former official with DNREC who helped spearhead the project at its inception, is pleased that the trail has turned out to be such a gem.
“It’s very encouraging to see on a daily basis, especially in the summer, bikers of all skill levels, families trying it for the first time, and regular users,” says Chura. “It’s nice to see it become a regular part of life in the area.”

For beach-area businesses the trail has opened up new possibilities, too. For instance, visitors can rent a bike in Rehoboth and ride the trail to enjoy lunch in Lewes. And Lewes’ visitors can do the reverse, easily spending some of their time on Rehoboth’s Boardwalk without any concerns about parking.

“It’s an amenity that offers interesting lifestyle opportunities with going into lunch or to shop or even going into Rehoboth to see the fireworks on 4th of July,” adds Chura.

He notes the myriad options that were discussed at the beginning all remain as possibilities today, including the potential of connecting the Rehoboth and Lewes ends of Cape Henlopen State Park, which would result in a full ‘loop’ around the two towns.

“I hear people all the time come to me and ask what happened to the trail that would connect North Shores and Cape Henlopen, and I think it’s probably time to revisit that,” notes Chura. “There’s a way to do that in an environmentally responsible way. I hear a lot of people say, ‘Wow, this is a great start, but why not make it a grand loop that takes us from Cape Henlopen to North Shores to Rehoboth and back to Lewes?’”

With the Junction & Breakwater Trail in existence, with many of the initial concerns about that trail set aside, and with discussion about creating a full loop, it appears that the sky’s the limit for outdoor recreation in the areas between Lewes & Rehoboth Beach.

“We’ve only scratched the surface of the potential of that trail and the parkland that it goes through, says Chura. “When I was with State Parks it was always envisioned that there be walking trails, mountain biking trails, equestrain use. We had talked about ball fields and play areas on that land. We had talked about a cross-country trail at one point. I think that there’s an enormous potential.”

This article first appeared in Coastal Sussex Weekly, June 25, 2009.

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