Page 153 - The Hunt - Spring 2019
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                 ChesLen Preserve
Located just north of Unionville in
Chester County, ChesLen’s 1,282 acres— with nine miles of trails—provide the most diverse walking and hiking in the region.
Its beautiful open vistas can be seen as you pass through meadows, woodlands, corn and soybean fields and stretches along the creek. Though privately owned, it’s open to the public. Some of the trails are shared with horseback riders.
Located along the West Branch of the Brandywine, ChesLen is part of what was once the vast eastern segment of Texas’ King Ranch. It was used to fatten beef cattle shipped east by rail from the ranch’s western operation. In addition to a potter’s field—or poorhouse cemetery—ChesLen also contains Star Gazers Stone, used
by the surveyors Mason and Dixon, who laid out the borders between Delaware and Pennsylvania and Maryland and West Virginia. There are parking lots off Route 162 and along Cannery Road. Visit natlands.org/cheslen-preserve
Alapocas Run State Park
Alapocas was another land gift from Bancroft. This one was originally offered to the city of Wilmington, and it became a state park in 2002. It’s relatively small, with limited trail work within woodlands that run between the Brandywine and Route 141.
Alapocas has the advantage of being a nearby walking alternative for Wilmington residents. Parking is accessible from Alapocas Drive. Visit destateparks.com/ fieldsstreams/alapocas.
Among the other local options, the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail runs from the Washington Street Bridge in downtown Wilmington almost to the Delaware River. The walkway goes north along the eastern side of the creek, through Alapocas Park, then into Bellevue Park, with views of the Delaware River. It terminates at I-495. Some of it is along public streets. “We’re working on filling in the missing links that would take the trail from river to
ChesLen’s 1,282 acres, with nine miles of trails, provide the most diverse walking or hiking in the region.
  river,” says Mary Roth, who heads Greenway.
Visit delawaregreenways.org.
Another recently opened Delaware Greenways project is the Jack A. Markell Trail, which extends from the Wilmington Riverfront across a newly constructed bridge above the Christina River and ends eight miles later in New Castle’s Battery Park. The trail is also open to bikers.
Visit delawaregreenways.org/portfolio_page/ jackamarkell-trail.
And if you’re willing to stray from the Brandywine, there are the trails through
White Clay Creek State Park, extending from Newark to Landenberg, Pa.
Back at Brandywine Creek, we follow the trail’s loop back up the hill from the stream and glimpse the morning traffic along Thompsons Bridge Road before plunging back into the denser woods on the hill’s flank. Soon we’re at the top, making our way past the stone wall to the parking lot.
Such walks are a great morning respite, a chance to mainly get away from civiliza- tion’s noise while experiencing the mead- ows, woods, marshes and creek. Then it’s on to the rest of the day’s work. o
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