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In MD the Castle Trail becomes the Ben Cardin Trail approaching Chesapeake City.

On June 15th the Wilmington News Journal reported that Delaware Governor Jack Markell cut the ribbon on the Delaware City extension of the Michael Castle Trail which runs nearly the length of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal connecting the historic canal towns of Delaware City and Chesapeake City, MD.

The trail is now nearly complete with only a one half mile section of gravel remaining to be paved in August.

Similar to the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway in Massachusetts it is the closeness of the 16 mile trail to the busy canal that makes the trail unique for the region. There is only one road crossing Route 9 in Delaware City the rest of the path is water-level flat, although there are couple of short climbs and fun downhills west of the Summit Marina.

Delafort Ferry

In Maryland, the Castle Trail becomes the Ben Cardin Trail. When you reach Chesapeake City take a break by dining or drinking on the deck at Schaefers Canal House.

Lum’s Pond State Park, about a mile from the trail in Delaware, has camping, too.

With a little planning you can even arrange a car free getaway weekend from Philadelphia. Take SEPTA Regional Rail to Wilmington and then transfer to the DART First State Route 25 Bus to Delaware City. A more adventurous option is take NJ TRANSIT bus routes 401 or 402 to Pennsville or Salem and biking to the Fort Mott, NJ ferry landing to catch the Forts Ferry to Delaware City (call for bike reservations 302.834.7941).

Chesapeake City has several inns for overnight stays. For maps and more info on the Michael Castle/Ben Cardin Trail go to the Traillink.com website.

John Boyle

Author

John has been a commuting cyclist for more than 20 years. In 1994 he began working as a volunteer for the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley after attending a volunteer night, and later served as a board member in 1997-98. In 1999 John left Philadelphia for Charlottesville, VA, where he helped establish the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT), a bicycle and walking advocacy group.

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