a pleasant hike along the delaware river

Sunday, December 4, 2011

We opted to skip the Black Friday sales last weekend. The cousins were in town and the weather was warm, so we decided to do a mini-hike in Old New Castle, DE along the Delaware River instead. To get to the start of the hike, you enter the town via rt 273/Delaware Street and take it past Jessop's Tavern and all the way to the end where there is a small parking lot and dock. Old New Castle itself is a historic 17th century town that is quaint to go exploring in, but today we chose to walk along the water through Battery Park and the paved trail that makes a short, doable 3 mile round trip.
click to enlarge map
The kids whined a little at the idea of a hike, but this is a great one for kids. Being close to the mouth of the river and the bay, the shore is sandy and covered with beachy stuff. There is a lot of driftwood to pick through, some shells, and a good amount of sea glass to find.
It's a picturesque walk despite the power plants visible across the way. 

Battery Park has some osage orange trees that have dropped their fruit. Although not an uncommon tree, we'd never noticed one or seen its distinctive fruit before. Not related to citrus trees at all, the osage orange is named so because of the pleasant citrusy smell of its fruit. They aren't edible are said to repel ants and look good in a bowl with gourds.
Once under way, we realized there must be some geocaches set up on the route. Sure enough, a check of the smartphone there were 3 to find which kept the kids going, even running, during the hike.
What kids doesn't like a treasure hunt?
Near the start of the hike was this old ticket booth from a now defunct railway line. We'll come back another time to tour the whole town and visit the Read House and the other historical sites. There is a garden tour in the summer that I haven't been to in years...

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