Another Delaware gem hiding right in front of me! I’ve driven past it about a hundred times as it’s on the way in to Tri State Bird Rescue (which I volunteer for in case you didn’t know) and it’s been on “the list” but we just hadn’t gotten there until now. I had to take a hawk up and we didn’t have other plans so after I dropped my bird off, we headed in to this Delaware wonder. So many beautiful things here. It’s hilly, the trails are narrow, there are meadows and forests and bridges and creeks and mushrooms and flowers.
We quickly discovered that it’s also a mountain biking hot spot as we were passed quite a few times by serious bikers that were dominating the difficult trails. This is definitely not a stroller friendly adventure location (at least in the area we were in.) Too many roots, hills, and narrow pathways so bring your baby/toddler/hiking carriers for the little littles if you plan on doing a longer hike, which you should do if you can. Our kids get tired after walking about 100 feet, so we didn’t make it too far this time before the whining set in but they did really enjoy all the bike obstacles. Hubby and I plan to go back without the boys to do some longer hikes here.
Like all adventures, I highly encourage you to review the trail map closely before you go (which we never do) because the paths cross a lot and Middle Run Valley area connects with several other larger trail systems so it could be easy to get off track. If you were to google “Middle Run Valley Park” you wouldn’t find much helpful information which is the case with many of our lesser known adventure spots. Here is what I can tell you… there is no admission fee (yay!) and no “official’ trail map posted online that I could find but I did find this one that may be helpful in planning a nice loop hike:
You can use Tri-State as a reference point and park at the Middle Run Day use lot. Take a photo of this map along with you and keep it handy on your phone. Another great option for a visiting a place like this is to go with an experienced group or guide which we just so happened to have in New Castle County, DE: Hike It Baby Delaware! This organization is relatively new to the first state but not the country as a whole as there are groups in nearly every state and even in other countries. The Delaware branch recently celebrated their first anniversary… with a hike of course! In order to participate in the group hikes, all you have to do is sign a waiver and pay an annual $10 membership fee. You can attend as many or as few as you’d like. This is a great way to meet other like minded families, go to new places and expose your kids to the great outdoors with experienced guides leading the way so you won’t get lost!