A Call to Trails on Delmarva

  

A few nights ago I was asked by a friend where she could hike on Delmarva with her family and if there was a website that explained a little about the trails. I started to think and realized that there wasn’t really a “go to” page for running trails around The Greater Salisbury area. I know at this time there are not a lot of trail runners on Delmarva, but that is changing quickly and I hope this blog encourages more people to get out and experience the outdoors especially the trails. I will break this up into two sections: actual, existing trails and potential (hopefully future) trails. I will include websites to the parks, where available, and give my opinion and experience on the trails. Enjoy. 

1. Pemberton

Pemberton Trails

These are the first trails I ever had the pleasure to run on and are also the closest to where my running group meets for training runs. It consists of over 4.5 miles of trails and is just minutes from downtown Salisbury. It is open from sunrise to sunset. The trails are for the most part wide and nontechnical (meaning not many rocks or roots) and parts are covered in soft mulch lending itself to comfortable running conditionals. It does get quite muddy after large rainfalls. It is very beautiful to experience during a sunrise over the Wicomico River and during the fall with the changing of the leaves. Beware of ticks and biting flies during the summer and be mindful of your footing when crossing the foot bridges. It is a great place for families since there are bathrooms and the trails are well marked. It is also a very cool historical site to visit. 

2. The Zoo Trails

How difficult could it be to find a map of the trail right next to The Salisbury Zoo? Obliviously pretty difficult considering I just spend 20 minutes trying to do so. Park at the zoo on the east side and cross the street to the other side parking lot going toward the dog park and that is where you will begin to find the zoo trails. If you only run the zoo side you can get in two miles around the trails. These trails are a lot of fun and will give you the closest thing we can come to when it comes to hills. It is newly marked (Thanks to the mountain biking club in town) and easy to follow. I wouldn’t recommend running this area alone in the dark since it could potentially be dangerous due to roots and the occasional stranger. It more technical than Pemberton and more difficult due to the twists and turns of the trails. If you find a good map of the trails send me the link. 

3. Trap Pond

Trap Pond

Our neighbors to the north in Laurel, Delaware have quite the gem in Trap Pond. Although it is a good twenty to thirty minute drive up to the park, this trail is fast and very safe. The trail is wide and the views of the lake and trails are breathtaking. There are often other hikers, runners and bikers on the trails so be cautious. If you want a real fun adventure try running the horse trails. There is a camp store that sells snacks and Gatorade and in the spring there is an ultra marathon that runs the loop around the park like six times. This is the perfect park to bring the family out of a picnic and a bike ride around the pond. The pond loop is a little over four miles and I was able to do it with my two young sons. 

4. Naylor Mill Trails 

Naylor Mill Trails
Be prepared to get lost. These trails are not marked at all, which I find very appealing. It is fun to get lost. I had to run these trail at least a handful of times before I began to get a feel for where everything connected. The entire system of trails is over five miles long. These are some real singletrack trails. The are some rolling hills and fun mountain biking obstacles to run over or around. The trail is as close to nature as you can get in my opinion in the Salisbury area. It is quiet and secluded in the mornings. On the weekends there are more people since it borders witha number of soccer and baseball fields. For trail running it is the best location in Salisbury due to its beauty, difficulty, and location. There is a big parking lot to use to park in or to do speed work. Be cautious of ticks, chiggers, and bugs in the summer. Also if it is during the daylight be cautious of mountain bikers (This is their baby). We need more locations like Naylor Mill that are free of trail markers and signage and full of amazing trees and trails.  

5. Algonquin Cross Country Trail 

Algonquin Cross Country Trail 

This is fabulous 12.5 mile trail from Snow Hill road to Pocomoke is quick, when not flooded, trail that winds through woods, fields, and roads. It is well marked with makers every 1/10 of a mile. I wrote an entire piece on this last week so I won’t dwell on it, but it is definitely a trail I will revisit often. If you haven’t hiked or ran this trail, do it. 

6. Wicomico Demonstration Forest Trails

Wicomico Demonstration Forest Trails
These are flat and in the middle of nowhere in the forest off of sixty foot road in Parsonsburg. There are no hills, no twists, and no real turns. Wide, not singletracked, and built for horses and humans. Be careful holes in the trails from horseshoes. In the winter it is not unusual to see crosscountry ski tracks or even snowmobile tracks. There are at least six miles of trails in the eight different trials. The dark blue trail I three miles apart from the rest of the trails and I have yet to explore it. The trails are well marked and very safe for families and individuals running or hiking alone. There are maps available at the parking lot. The trails do tend to flood at times and in the summer avoid the long grass since they are full of chiggers. There are lots of fast country roads around theses trails if you want a fun hybrid run. 

———- Potential Trails———

1. Pirate’s Wharf

Pirate’s wharf is a piece of land that Wicomico county owns that would make for a perfect location to blaze trails through the woods and along the Wicomico River. I would love to see at least six miles of trails running through this property. Using this land for anything other than outdoor activities would be a travesty. Let’s push to encourage the county to use this land for trails that can be used for runners, bikers, and hikers. 

This video will tell you all about Pirate’s Wharf 

Pirate’s Wharf Video
2. The green corridor

I’d love to see a trail or greenway between Pemberton Park and Salisbury Park/Salisbury Zoo area

3. Ellis Bay Wildlife

I’d love to see trails running through The Ellis Bay Wildlife management area Nanticoke, Maryland. 

4. Winterplace Extension

There are currently two miles of trails at Winterplace, but frankly they aren’t worth writing about. There are not enough miles and the miles that are there are not spectacular in beauty of difficulty. There is land around Winterplace that could be used for more trails.  We could easily add eight miles of trails in the woods around Beaverdam Creek and Halloway Branch. This could easily be another Pemberton and I look forward to the day it is. 

 
We have beautify trails in this area of Delmarva and the opportunity for more. Let’s get out and enjoy the trails and promote making more of them for ourselves, our families, our friends and our visitors. 

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