10 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Delaware

Many people get engaged in riding a bicycle, but not everyone can take the competitive edge of riding on mountainous trails. This advanced riding is for experts known as mountain bikers. The challenge of a new trial is intriguing for every expert. Riding a bike is one of the most beneficial full-body workouts without lifting anything heavy, and it’s an excellent cardio workout.

Delaware, which is among the smallest states in America, is also the third most bike-friendly state. There are roughly 500 miles of available trails and 13,507 miles of highways and roads to bike on.

The Delaware Greenway & Trails project has helped motivate and create a network of athletic trails that link cultural sites, wildlife areas, historical sites, and state parks. Here are the best ten mountain biking trails you’ll find in the state. 

1. White Clay Creek State Park

White Clay Creek State Park
©Delaware State Parks

This trail is located in Newark, Delaware. It offers almost everything you need. Although it’s rated “intermediate,” the 24-mile trail is excellent for riders of different ability levels and ages. 

This wonderful trail gives three bike riding options. The fourteen-mile Boundary Line Trail on the west side is a spectacular ride along the White Clay Trail, offering a pleasurable to-and-fro ride. The second option is on Thompson Station Rd, where the trail intersects a footbridge, ascends to an open area, stretching through some trees before entering Corner Ketch Rd, the park’s highest level at a 370 feet elevation. The third route leads to the south of Corner Ketch Rd Trailhead and links the 3.6-mile Cart Trail loop ride and back to the Thompson Station Rd.

Proclaimed in 1991 as the “National Wildlife & Scenic Rivers System,” the watershed is among the area’s few polluted and eco-friendly river systems. It features areas where visitors can have fun, like the Possium Hill, Judge Morris, White Clay Preserve, and Carpenter Recreation Area, offering many relaxation activities like nesting birds and mountain biking. 

These trails have naturally gentle rolling hills, rushing streams, and hardwood forests. This amazing mountain is composed of Bryan’s Field trail loop, which connects to Whitley Farms Trail, where you’ll encounter some of the wide, grassy areas leading to the forest. The northern half of Whitley Farms directs to another connector that crosses Pleasant Hill Road into the David English area.

Around the park, mostly along the creek tract in the preserve, birds like to nest in the bushes, field edges, and undergrowth. It is essential to remain on the trails to avoid inadvertently harming wildlife. This is the best, short ride for the entire family. The trails are broad and have only gentle grades—they have tough surfaces and are paved in most areas. You’ll enjoy cool air by riding along the shores of Newark Reservoir and then passing along the creek through a lovely forested area. 

2. Iron Hill Trail

Iron Hill Trail
©Alltrails

This ride will take you on a loop passing the woods to a picnic location near the peak, and then ride through the perimeter of the park on lovely wooded slopes. When riding the hills of Iron Hill, you will tour the ancient footsteps of native people who mine jasper for their stone tools and weapons. Now, it is an awesome prominent topographic feature, noticeable from afar. It is at an elevated point south of Piedmont on the Delmarva Peninsula, attaining 320 feet above sea level.

3. Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Trail

Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Trail
©Chesapeakeliving.com

You may find yourself racing huge cargo ships sailing along the shipping channel from the East Coast to Baltimore. The fourteen-mile Chesapeake & Delaware Canal trail passes through Delmarva Peninsula—it adjoins the Baltimore Port and the Chesapeake Bay to River Delaware. The trail features essential wildlife habitat and alternatives for many athletic recreations, including cycling on less busy roads and mountain biking paths. The C and D Canal comprise an extensive network of flawless trails along the canal. Also, it links Delaware City and Lums State Park, where 10 miles of cool easy ride on trails bypasses the state’s biggest freshwater.

4. Blackbird State Forest Trail

Blackbird State Forest Trail
©Only In Your State

Found in Smyrna, Delaware, this forest features a mix of farm fields, lush hardwood forests, tidal marshes, and gushing streams, giving riders a great chance to utilize their skills to cycle through the mountain biking paths. The park stretches through the Delmarva Peninsula, from the Cypress Branch to Delaware Bay, which is among the state’s most beautiful areas.

Mountain biking is allowed and legal on the twenty-mile trail inside the forest, prominent in its unique topography and beautiful natural vegetation. The trail is well-maintained and features several obstacles, such as log jumps, roots, and berms, offering riders an extraordinary recourse to test and master their bike handling skills. Most of the trails cross each other at several points, enabling bikers to take a new route with each ride.

The trail network consists mainly of fire roads (single-track), with some other double-track mileage, great for family groups and beginners.

The forest’s shady trails enhance each new ride’s serenity level as bikers gradually navigate through the picturesque beech, hickory, and oak trees.

5. Brandywine State Park Trail

Brandywine State Park Trail
©Visit Delaware

Located in Wilmington, Delaware, this intermediate-rated trail provides a mixture of some thrilling single track, forest routes with a spectacular sight, and a wide double track.

A vast and diverse trail measuring a total distance of 33 miles, the Brandywine Trail lies on the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line. The region where the Brandywine trail is located is split into two parts along Thompson’s Bridge Rd. You’ll find an area with several spine-shaking obstacles, fascinating slopes, and several natural features.

To the north, there’s a reliable course of loam and hard-packed dirt. This section of the Brandywine Trail flows more effortlessly than the southern peer and provides riders with a ton of good views of the fantastic scenery.

There is enough space for parking at this park and the Woodlawn Nature Preserve. Here, bikers will see the trailhead and several conveniences such as a full restroom, repair stations, and bike wash.

6. Bethany Bay Resort Trail

Bethany Bay Resort Trail
©Singletracks

Situated in Ocean View, Delaware, this resort trail gives several openings for healthy leisure, including a unique mountain bike trail system. Bethany Bay Resort trail is a 420-acre of lush green, unscathed land that provides a favorable atmosphere for a relaxing mountain bike ride.

The trail is rated intermediate due to its averagely difficult level. It stretches to three miles and features an excess of the barriers and peculiarities that most riders love, such as big log jumps, dispersed human-made bridges, roots, rocks, a stunning ocean view, and gushing streams.

The Bethany Resort trail is famous for its friendly and peaceful locale. However, the resort is nearby enough for most riders and their friends and families to have fun on the beach, enjoy a boardwalk, and home to several trendy shops, local festivals, and tasty restaurants.

7. Red Dot Trail

Red Dot Trail
©Trail Run Project

Red Dot trail is one of two trails that lead to the great image of the Delaware Water Gap from Mt. Tammany. This biking trail is rated intermediate but one of the most challenging in the park. Mixing the Red Dot trail with the Blue Blaze trail provides a three-mile loop trail. Over twenty miles of trail to fill your entire day! 

A trail constructed for the community with mountain bikers in mind—the northern section is a smooth and seeping gravel trail that features rocks for the first half section of the trail.

The southern section of the Red Trail, uniting at an intersection with the Blue Trail, is a steady, gravel double-track portion. This segment of the trail is smooth and effortless.

8. Middle Run Trail

Middle Run Trail
©Nankman Adventures in Cycling

The Middle Run Natural Area mountain bike trail course is located around the suburb of Newark. This 850 acres of land is a fraction of Delaware County Park and Delaware State Park. Much of the park hasn’t changed; the forests of Middle Run are Delaware’s pride and joy. Gigantic and plentiful trees exemplify many varieties of indigenous people of Delaware’s Piedmont region. During the summer, the shaded forests offer cool and beautiful leisure spots. Ride in the fall for terrific leafage displays.

Middle Run is a popular den of birdwatchers. There are roughly 170 different types of birds in the park, including woodpeckers, cardinals, owls, egrets, hawks, pheasants, loons, and falcons. Other wildlife you can spot includes rabbits, moles, raccoons, opossum, salamanders, turtles, and the rare white-tailed deer or red fox. The trails in Middle Run offer stretches of conventional hiking, biking, and multi-use trails through a friendly oasis in the middle of the densest region in New Castle County.

The 20-mile network trail is one of the most challenging, tightly-packed dirt wooded single-track trails offering an adequate activity for the moderate to expert mountain bikers. It is also a great workout ground for beginners who, after learning the easier trails close to White Clay Creek State Park, are ready to progress their skills on more demanding topography. You’ll navigate through roots, log jumps, rocky areas, and flowing streams. Be careful on some of the bridges. They are greasy when wet, and the ground has deteriorated in some areas.

For a more fabulous mountain bike experience with tons of variety, stir things up by mixing the trails at Middle Run with a few of White Clay Creek. Several trails within this County Park progress westward to White Clay State Park’s Possum Hill and to the east headed to the Judge Morris area. 

9. Junction and Breakwater Trail

Junction and Breakwater Trail
©Cape Gazette

The Junction & Breakwater Trail is a six-mile stretch that is Delaware’s 3rd and longest trail. It was named after the Penn Central railroad passing between the Rehoboth and Lewes Beach in the nineteenth century.

Although the trail parallels Route 1, you can easily overlook its short length as you bike towards the middle of the path. During summer, the trail gets crowded with different bikers. If you’re hoping for a soothing mountain biking course, try biking during the fall. You’ll enjoy the greenery scene that offers a pleasurable makes autumn ride.  

The first range (3.5-miles) of the Breakwater and Junction trail currently leads to the Lewes trail’s northern route at King’s Highway and Gills Neck Road opposite the Henlopen School. Riding along Munchie Branch Rd down to Wolf Neck Rd, you can also pass through Wolfe House Trailhead trail. The historic recently renovated Wolfe House, sited towards the end of the Wolfe Neck Rd. 

The trail has two bridges that include an 80-foot railroad bridge initially constructed in the early 20th century that offers beautiful scenery of the wide coastal wetlands and intersects Holland Glade. Cape Henlopen State Park has two prominent family-friendly biking paths: the Gordons Pond Trail (3.2 miles), which links to Cape Henlopen Park, and the Junction Breakwater Trail (6 miles). The two trails connect to shape a 15-mile Scenic Byway loop between Rehoboth and Lewes.

You can take a break by swimming in one of the State Park life-guarded beaches or Rehoboth’s beaches, which are family-friendly. You can avoid too much crowd by arriving off-season. Bicycles are permitted on Rehoboth’s alluring 1-mile stretch boardwalk, but adult bikers are not authorized along the sidewalks.

10. Blue Loop Trail

Blue Loop Trail
©MyHikes

Blue Loop is a moderately trafficked 3.1-kilometer loop trail with an elevation of 17 m located close to Townsend, Delaware, that has a river and is great for beginners to advanced riders. This trail is designed and mainly used for walking, hiking, dog strolling, and nature trips. It’s a well-maintained and marked trail that goes through an open grass field. Nice walk for families too.

Conclusion 

You know the saying, “Good things come in small packages?” That characterizes mountain biking in Delaware. A range of different terrains — flat, big roots, scary, and even a swamp — awaits bikers of all skill sets. Whether you are looking to have fun as an intermediate, beginner, or advanced mountain maniac, you can take a pick from this range of beautiful trails in Delaware and get that heart-pumping ride. If you wish to broaden your adventure, just across the state line in Maryland, some incredible mountain biking trails can be ridden at Fair Hill NRMA.