Lots of Parking
I’m still overly impressed by the new parking lot at Herring Point more than anything. It puts you literally just a few steps from the gravel trailhead in one direction, and a short walk from the beach in the other. Kudos to the powers that be for getting that lot created, it was sorely needed. We’ll have to see how it holds up on a busy hurricane surf morning.
There’s been a lot of press about the new half-mile long “elevated walkway” through the pine swamp and over the dunes and it doesn’t disappoint. I can’t even begin to imagine how workers got everything in there and how much effort it must’ve taken to put it all together. Then again, $3.476 million taxpayer dollars buys a lot of man-hours and equipment.
Lots of Bikes
I love biking and I love riding my bike. When you’re on foot however, bikers can be annoying at times. Initially we’d planned on biking the trail, but dragging the bikes down just wasn’t in the cards that weekend so we decided to hoof it.
Gotta say that we were the minority in that respect, and it was somewhat of a pain in the ass to have to move over every three minutes to let packs of bicyclists heading in opposite directions pass. The walkway is wide, but not that wide. We were hopeful this was just an “opening weekend” kind of thing, but who knows. Next time we’ll probably be on two wheels.
Lots of Smells
There’s something incredibly familiar to me about the way Henlopen smells. Salty ocean air mixed with sand and sweet pine forest is what I love to breathe in when I’m at the park. It’s like being home. Relaxing.
That being said, the new trail will march you through some areas of bog and swamp that give off their own natural farty odor, and at the north end of Gordons Pond there was an area of evaporated mud/salt marsh that was absolutely pungent. Mary has an “overactive nose” and likes to make a big deal about these things. Just a heads up that you might smell some weirdness. It’s au naturel.
An Easy Walk
Elevation change is next to nil along the entirety of the trail. There’s a slight incline near the start of the elevated section if you’re headed south, but it’s so slight I hesitate to even mention it. This trail is as easy as it gets. Like walking on the boardwalk or a gravel road for approximately 2.6 miles, one way.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) for us, the day turned out to be muggy and overcast. The clouds were keeping the temperature down but about halfway through our walk we decided to turn around because it started to drizzle and the clouds looked like they were going to open up at any second.
Not Many Bugs
I’m usually a magnet for any type of insect that can bite or sting. The good news is that I escaped this trip unscathed, except for a sneaky dog tick that Mary spotted tick-tick-ticking it’s way up the back of my leg. There’s certainly a lot of small grasses and shrubbery at leg level on the gravel section around Gordon’s Pond, and I undoubtedly brushed up against some of it while letting bikers pass.
Do yourself a favor and deet up before going. We saw very, very few flies and mosquitoes although we were there around midday. I shudder to think of the horrors that lie in the marsh in the early morning and evening hours.
Overall, it’s an amazing addition to Henlopen and I’m really happy it became a reality. If anyone knows former Rep. John Schroeder, please pass on my thanks. Apparently he’s the guy who pushed for this trail for more than 20 years.
I’ll definitely be heading back, hopefully on two wheels. I had high hopes to ride the trail back and forth to Rehoboth in the cooler off season/late fall, but just read a notice that states “The trail segment north of the overlook is subject to closure from March 1 through September 1.” Bummer. My guess is some kind of migratory concern. Will have to keep an eye on it and see how it goes. Thanks for reading!