While we have showcased some great rides up and down the Jersey Shore, it’s hard to beat the growing network of high-quality shared-use paths at the Delaware Beaches. To date, 24 miles of improved trails connect Lewes, Cape Henlopen State Park, and Rehoboth Beach. This allows visitors to stay almost anywhere and be able to bike to the beach. All beaches and State Parks in the State of Delaware are free for those who arrive by bicycle.
The ride starts at the Lewes Park and Ride. Turn right on Shady Rd and onto Delaware 1D. Then turn left on Route 9 until you reach Nassau Commons Rd, make a sharp left on Janice Rd then turn right into the Lewes Senior Activity Center parking lot. Behind the center is the Georgetown-Lewes Trail. Going left will take you on a 7-mile out and back ride under a canopy of Virginia Pines and tall oaks. Notice that many of the adjacent property owners have gates and little bridges that connect to the trail. Camping is available at Tall Pines Campground.
After you pass the Senior Center continue straight under Route 1 into the Town of Lewes. There is a trail center here with water and restrooms and of course one of several bike repair stations. Follow the trail signs to Gills Neck Rd and turn right the left under Route 9 to reach the Junction and Breakwater Trail. The Lewes section is mostly sidepaths and subdivisions but once it turns to gravel you are back in the woods and some scenic saltwater marshes (glades). Big Oaks Campground is located near the trailhead off Wolfe Neck Rd.
The trail winds through farm fields with a spur to Tanger Outlets and then becomes paved again in a narrow cattle chute just before Hebron Rd. Turn left then right past Revelation Craft Brewing to Canal Crossing Rd. Turn left on the Cycletrack on Business Route 1 then turn left into The Grove Park. Beyond the boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach is a pleasant shady town. Turn left at Deauville Beach onto Dune Rd and head north towards Cape Henlopen State Park. The entrance to the Gordon’s Pond Trail is where the press corp waits to intercept President Biden and his entourage (maybe the press should start riding bikes).
The trails through Cape Henlopen are amazing. There is a unique half-mile boardwalk section that takes you over the dunes. You’ll pass a World War II guard tower before reaching the Great Dune lookout, 80 feet above the sea. On the clearest days with the help of binoculars, you can see the Cape May Shoreline and a faint outline of the Atlantic City Skyline. Cape Henlopen is a also popular bike camping destination. After you exit the park the newest section of the trail runs parallel to Cape Henlopen Drive. The ride jogs over to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal (see ferry information below). You can also take the Route 204 bus back to the Transit Center.
The trail continues parallel to Cape Henlopen Drive, crosses US 9 and ends at Savannah Rd. Turn left at Savannah road towards downtown Lewes. This 1/2 mile section can be busy with bike and car traffic. Once you cross the drawbridge over the Lewes Rehoboth Canal turn left and follow the signs for the Lewes to Georgetown Trail and you’re back at the trail center. From here follow the trail for 3 miles to the Lewes Senior Activity Center. From here the Ride with GPS directions will get back to the Lewes Park and Ride.
Cape May Lewes Ferry Option
Bikes are free with a foot passenger ticket ($10). Enter the terminal lot through the Foot Passenger Entrance. After you check in there is a signed staging area to load your bike on the car level of the ferry. Bikes load first and disembark last. From here take the ferry over to Cape May and continue your journey on the Cape May County Bike Path (Summer Beach Bike Ride #2, but in reverse). Reservations and Schedule.
Weekend Public Transportation from Philadelphia
Getting to the Delaware Beaches by bus is quite a bargain and of course, bus tickets can be bought online with the DARTPASS Mobile App. On Summer Weekends and Holidays express bus service is available via the Route 305 Beach Connection. The Fare is $10 for a 3-zone Daily Pass. Once you get to the beach your pass is good on the entire Beach Bus network between Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, DE and Ocean City, MD. The Beach Bus is not timed to meet the SEPTA Trains so hour waits in Wilmington are typical. But on the plus side, you can use the time to explore the City’s Riverfront just outside the Station.
1. 7:40 AM Take the Wilmington/Newark Line train from 30th St Station to Wilmington
2. 60-minute layover, there is a small store at the station but you may want to try Milk and Honey Coffeehouse at 239 N Market St.
3. 9:30 The Route 305 Beach Bus departs from the Wilmington Transportation Center at 100 N. Walnut St a half block from the train station. Load your bike in the luggage compartment. The bus is scheduled to arrive at the Lewes Transportation Center at 11:30.
1. The 5:35 bus arrives in Wilmington just after 7:30 PM
2. 1 hour and 45-minute layover in Wilmington. Take advantage of the downtime by exploring the Christina Riverwalk, part of the Jack Markell Trail.
3. Most of the restaurants and gastropubs on the Riverwalk are open until 9 PM on Sundays.
3. 9:30 PM SEPTA train to Philadelphia departs Wilmington Station.
DART via Wilmington Train Station
Monday – Friday Year Round
From Wilmington use DART Routes 301 with a transfer to Route 307 at the Dover Transit Center. The 2 Zone Daily Pass is good on both buses ($8) using the DARTPASS App. In Wilmington, the 301 picks you up a block from the Amtrak Station on South Market St at Rosa Parks Dr (entrance to the Jack A. Markell Trail)
NJ TRANSIT via the Cape May Lewes-Ferry
Routes 313, 315 and the 316 express go to 30th St Station. The nearest stop to the ferry terminal for all 3 routes is Route 9 at the entrance to Historic Cold Spring Village (3.3 miles) via Route 9 and the Cold Spring Bike Path. Fare from Philadelphia is $23.50 (20 Zones) on the NJ TRANSIT Mobile App.
Route 552 to Atlantic City runs more frequently and stops closer to the Ferry at Bayshore Rd and Town Bank Rd in North Cape May (1.7 miles). The Fare to AC is $5.15 (8 Zones). This bus also runs along Route 9 parallel to the Cape May County Bike Path as far north as the County Park and Zoo.