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Jack A. Markell Trail

Trail Photo
Trail Profile

Length:

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7.9 mi
Mixed
Easy
New Castle
Where is this Trail?
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The Jack A. Markell Trail completes a long-awaited connection between the city of Wilmington (including the Amtrak Station) and New Castle Battery Park.  That connection  consists of an off-road elevated boardwalk and paved pathways, the Wilmington Riverwalk, and one on-road section through Historic New Castle, totaling 7.9 miles.

Named after former Governor Jack A. Markell, the 5.5  mile “JAM” trail connects the Wilmington Riverfront with the City of New Castle.  The $26 million trail completed in September 2018 converted an abandoned freight rail line to a shared-use pedestrian and bicycle path. 

  • Trail amenities continue to be enhanced along the route.  Interpretive kiosks, bike repair stations, bike racks and some benches exist.  During certain times of the year bike rentals are available at the DuPont Environmental Education Center.
  • Trailhead access can be found in Wilmington at the DuPont Environmental Education Center (DEEC) within the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge. 
  • The 212-acre freshwater tidal marsh refuge adjoins the Christina River and is home to wildlife such as American Bald Eagles, Wood Ducks, American Beavers, dragonflies, river otters, and Eastern Painted Turtles. 
  • DEEC is open to the public and features a Visitor Center with panoramic river and marsh views, a 10-acre ornamental garden, and a quarter-mile handicap-accessible pond loop extending into the marsh.
  • The trail continues west through the refuge along a 3,300-foot long elevated boardwalk, crosses the Christina on a 300-foot pedestrian and bicycle bridge, and continues on to Historic New Castle through forest, underpasses and a former rail corridor.
  • The off-road pathway includes only two at-grade road crossings, and one on road section through Historic New Castle.
  • Head North from DEEC along the Riverwalk, a pleasant promenade with great river views, access to the Children’s Museum, the Chase Center, condominiums, hotels and restaurants.
  • 1.5 miles from the trailhead is Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park.  The park was named for Thomas Garrett who lived in Wilmington’s nearby Quaker Hill neighborhood, where slaves traveling the Underground Railroad often found refuge, and for fellow abolitionist Harriet Tubman.  A monument to Tubman and Garret can be found in the park.
  • Adjacent to Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park is the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Train Station in honor of the 46th President of the United States and proud Delawarean.  
  • The trail also serves as a section of Delaware’s portion of the September 11th National Memorial Trail, whose founding organization is a Future Trails of Northern Delaware Coalition member.
See Info on Trailheads and Parking

Click on the highlighted trail in the interactive map below for trail information and directions.

Image Gallery

Honoring Delaware's Freedom Seekers Celebration Route

Delaware Greenways invites you to experience our “Celebration Route”. Traveling from the New Castle Courthouse to Wilmington’s Tubman-Garrett Park on the Jack A. Markell Trail, this virtual experience enables you to walk, run, roll or bike in the company of eight important Delawareans who fought for freedom. 

The story map, Honoring Delaware’s Freedom Seekers, details the route of these men and women, and tells the story of their remarkable physical, emotional, and intellectual journeys.

You can experience the Celebration Route in person by viewing the story map on your cell phone, or without traveling its distance, on your home computer. Invite friends to join you or take it in alone.  It’s a powerful story that deserves to be heard and celebrated.

Nearby Trails and Byways

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