A Bold Challenge:
Create a world-class statewide network of pathways and trails for Delaware’s citizens and visitors, to promote biking, hiking, walking and active living.
Delaware Governor Markell has challenged a team of state agencies to create an interconnected network of shared-use trails and pathways that will support non-motorized travel and recreation opportunities for Delawareans and visitors.

The focus is on bicycling and walking and providing safe and convenient ways to reach local work, shops, schools, recreational sites and transit.
Initiative Goals:
  • With the First State Trails and Pathways Initiative, we seek to establish Delaware as one of the top ten Bicycle Friendly States. The League of American Bicyclists ranks states, communities, universities and businesses annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. In 2012, Delaware was ranked 10th nationally.

  • The Initiative will support the creation of jobs resulting in investments for bicycling and walking. It will also support construction and trail maintenance jobs. Investing in trails and pathways will create tourism opportunities, support tourism-related jobs, and support recreationally-related goods and services.

  • Expand the connections between neighborhoods, towns and cities to create more vibrant and active communities.

  • Create healthy communities by providing safe and affordable transportation and recreational trail choices.

  • Incorporate native vegetation and environmentally-friendly practices into trail and pathway projects.

  • Develop new strategies for ongoing maintenance and upgrading of existing trails.

The Trails and Pathways Initiative

In June of 2011, the Delaware General Assembly passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 13 requesting the study of the building and maintaining of non-motorized travel connections within and between communities, cities and towns in Delaware and to link these connections to form uninterrupted networks for walking and bicycling.

Building upon past local, state and federal investments in trails, pathways, riverwalks and promenades, this new Trails and Pathways Initiative will extend those systems within communities and make linkages city-to-city.

At the request of Governor Markell, the General Assembly allocated $7 million within the Fiscal Year 2012 Capital Improvements Budget (the Bond Bill) to begin this work.  in Fiscal Year 2013, the Bond Bill allocated $13 million for trails and pathways.

The Trails and Pathways Initiative is a partnership led by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control with regional and local organization and government partners.

The Existing Trails and Pathways Network

Delaware has approximately 506 miles of public trails and multi-use pathways.

The State operates and maintains almost two-thirds (312 miles) of the existing trails and pathways network, with nearly half of the state’s portion located in Delaware’s State Parks.

Federal, county and municipal governments maintain another third (150 miles) of the trail network, while 35.3 miles are maintained as part of private conservation areas.

There are 13,507 lane miles of roads and highways.
Use interactive map to view current and proposed trails and pathways

Photos 1 & 3 courtesy of Delaware State Parks. Photo 2 courtesy of: www.bikede.org.