Get to know the Gateways of Lewes

Gateways of Lewes

The “Gateways of Lewes” are six roads forming a continuous network of greenway leading into the town and out to the ocean. The Gateways also provide an active and enjoyable way to explore the more than three centuries of Lewes history. You’ll definitely want to make a day of traveling these trails by boat, car or bike, leaving plenty of time to take in the natural beauty and interesting stopping points.

The “Gateways from the Land”—Kings Highway, Savannah Road and New Road—run generally east to west, perpendicular to the coast, passing through numerous historically significant areas, including downtown Lewes. The “Gateways from the Sea”—Pilottown Road, Gills Neck Road and Cape Henlopen Drive—run approximately north to south, parallel to the coast. This route follows the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the beach.

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Canoeing at Trap Pond State Park near Lewes.

Among the interesting places you’ll find along the Gateways from the Land are the Lewes Presbyterian Church (est. 1692) and churchyard, the Zwaanendael Museum (built in 1932 to resemble the ancient City Hall in Hoorn, Holland) on Kings Highway, and Bethel Cemetery and the War of 1812 Memorial Park just north of the Canal Bridge on Savannah Road. Along the Gateways from the Sea are the Cannonball House (with a War of 1812 cannonball embedded in its foundation), historic Victorian homes of Delaware River and Delaware Bay pilots, the Lightship Overfalls (a floating lighthouse built in 1938), and Canalfront Park.

At the end of the Gateways from the Sea greenway is the 5,193-acre Cape Henlopen State Park. There, you can hike a three-mile paved loop trail, six miles of beach along the Atlantic Ocean, or the 1.6-mile crushed-gravel Walking Dunes Trail, which ends at the 80-foot-high Great Dune. They’re called “walking dunes” because they actually move slowly across the park.

bike trail

(Image source: Delaware State Parks)

In the park, you’ll discover a World War II observation tower that was part of Fort Miles and used to spot enemy battleships. It’s a shorter climb up one of the former military bunkers in the park, but the view is still impressive. Be sure to visit the Seaside Nature Center to check out the live Osprey Cam.

Visit www.delawaregreenways.org for more information.

5 Things To Love About Ferry Travel in May

There are plenty of fun reasons to ride the Ferry every time of the year, but with Mother’s Day, Memorial Day weekend, and the sun finally bringing some warmer weather, there are so many things to love about a May ferry cruise. Here’s five reasons why you should hop on the Ferry this May:

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1. Warm Weather

The cold of winter is finally gone, and the April showers are over. It’s finally time to go out and enjoy the sunshine and the bay breezes without a big bulky winter coat. There are so many great places on the Ferry to get some sun and enjoy the weather.

nice osprey pic

2. Wildlife

Spring is a time when many birds, and a lot of the local marine life, are either migrating or nesting. What this means for us is that we get to see a colorful menagerie of birds, dolphins, whales, and much more from the Ferry!

Biker B II Big sky II

3. Biking

Now that the sun is finally shining, it’s time to take your bicycle out of the garage and onto the Ferry! There are fabulous bike trails located within just minutes of both Ferry Terminals, and the May weather is an excellent time to explore them. Also, bikes ride free on the Ferry with a foot passenger ticket!

Exterior

4. Fun & Food at the Ferry Terminals

May is a great time to enjoy many of the happenings and community events going on at our Ferry Terminals. Plus, with the opening of our On The Rocks Dockside Grill, you can sit down and have a delicious meal while you’re there.

greenways_CM

5. Day Tripping

As the weather begins to improve, and the calendar starts to make its way toward summer, the cities surrounding the Ferry begin to open their doors for shopping, sunbathing, food, and many other great local events. The Ferry is a fun way to explore the other side of the Delaware Bay, while also getting to take a fun, relaxing cruise.

Biking on the Other Side (Delaware)

It’s true, we have some pretty nice biking areas on the Jersey side of the Bay, but all things considered, I prefer biking the trails and venues on the Other Side of the Bay, the Delaware side. Perhaps they are more user-friendly and offer greater variety, or maybe it’s the boat ride over and back, but for me, a day of biking on the Other Side bracketed by a pair of bay crossings aboard the Ferry is tantamount to a mini-vacation.

Have you never biked through beautiful Cape Henlopen State Park or historic Fort Miles? Never visited the Hawk Watch Platform perched atop old Battery Hunter? Never biked the Owens Pond trail to Rehoboth and then caught your breath over a Dogfish 90? Or returned to Lewes via the Junction-Breakwater Trail and ended your day with a Chianti and antipasto plate at Touch of Italy? If not, then you don’t know what you’re missing!

It’s true, biking in Delaware offers an amazing array of scenic rides with its “rail-to-trail” paths, raised walk ways over protected wetlands, and ancient bunker lined roads, all with very few hills. However, as good as the biking and trails are, it’s really up to you to make sure you’re prepared for a drama-free experience.

It’s really all about the equipment. The mountain bikes available for rent from Lewes Cycle Shop at the Lewes Ferry Terminal are perfect for trail riding, but you can also stick with an old beach cruiser. No matter what you ride, you’ll want fatter tires, fewer gears and handle bars that allow you to sit up straight.

It can be a long day. The entire loop winds all the way through Cape Helopen State Park and old Fort Miles, then along the Owens Pond Trail to Rehoboth, and back up to Lewes via the Junction-Breakwater Trail. It eventually winds up at the Ferry Terminal. The ride is benign with only one hill, but the entire loop can cover over 20 miles and with the round trip ferry ride, can last a full day. Even if it’s a partly sunny day, you’ll want to wear a hat, apply plenty of sun block and take along a reusable water bottle. Finally, you’ll want to bring cash or a credit card if you want to buy that Dogfish 90.