Route: White Clay Perimeter (DE, PA)

Submitted by trail_child on Fri, 04/28/2023 - 04:01pm
Delaware, US
Pennsylvania, US
35.5 mi
Vertical Gain
3,100 ft

The White Clay Perimeter route is a loop that circles the "perimeter" of the many connected trail systems in the White Clay area, just north of Newark, Delaware. The route includes trails in White Clay Creek State Park, White Clay Creek Preserve, Paper Mill Park, Middle Run Valley Natural Area, William M. Redd Jr. Park, and the Newark Reservoir. Additionally, the route uses some sections of the 200-mile Mason-Dixon Hiking Trail. The route is generally agreed upon by local runners and stays mostly on well-established trails, while avoiding side connectors, "informal" trails, and private property. There are several road crossings, most with crosswalks.

Runners or hikers of the loop will find a variety of surfaces, including grass paths, double and single-track dirt / gravel trails, mountain biking trails, and a significant number (~20% of the mileage) of paved trails, roads, and side paths. The route is entirely runnable with some steep inclines rarely exceeding 20%. Some points of interest on the route include: the Tri-State Trail, which has a spur where users can access the tripoint of the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; the Arc Corner Monument, where the west end of the circular arc section of the Delaware/Pennsylvania border is located; and the Newark Reservoir, with a scenic 1.1-mile paved loop trail with views of the City of Newark.

The route can be run starting / finishing anywhere on the loop, and in any direction. My recommendation is to start at either Curtis Mill Park or the Newark Reservoir parking lot and run clockwise, so the last 2-3 miles will be mostly downhill. The Judge Morris section (the easternmost section) is to be run in a "lollipop" and must be run in the same direction as the overall loop. There are some points where the route is not obvious (including but not limited to, on and near the White Clay Cross Country Course, in Middle Run Valley Natural Area, and in William M. Redd Jr. Park), so it is recommended to either have good intuition of the trail system or follow the GPX file linked.



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WARNING: In the months of November, December, and January, White Clay Creek State Park closes some sections of trail for hunting. When planning to run this route in these months, please look at the Delaware State Parks hunting schedule. There is no hunting in Delaware state parks on Sundays.