Pleasant Valley Road in Delaware to London Tract Road at White Clay Creek Preserve
The 23 mile section is a blend of state and local parks, industrial park green space and road walking through commercial and residential areas. This portion of the trail is located in Delaware, although at mile 16.3, hikers reach the Tri State Marker, the intersection of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
From Pleasant Valley Road, the trail moves onto a mowed pathway that borders industrial buildings on the right. One of the buildings is the home of Midnight Oil Brewing Company. Could it be that was the reason for the incredibly tasty smells that followed us along the path????
The trails continues along the power line maintenance roadway and crosses Muddy Run, which was true to its name: little water, lots of muck. Around the 1.5 mile mark, the path exits a wooded trail onto Four Season’s Parkway, and then the Old Baltimore Pike. The roads are well marked with blazes.
At mile 2.6, the Mason Dixon joins the Iron Mine Trail and passes the Iron Hill Science Museum on the right, continuing through Iron Hill Park. The trail passes a memorial marker in honor of Robert V. Yost, founder of the Mason Dixon Trail. Iron Hill Park, part of the New Castle Park system, has parking, restrooms, pavilions, playgrounds and more.
The MDTS exits the Iron Hill Natural Area onto Welsh Tract Road and crosses I95 via an overpass. It enters the Folk Memorial Park on the left (mile 4.4) and follows the paved walkway through the small local park, exiting into a housing development. The trail follows Chestnut Hill Road and then enters Rittenhouse Park on the left following the lovely Christina River for approximately 1.8 miles.
The trail goes under a wide bridge of the Amtrak railroad tracks and Route 4 by-pass and then follows the river. It travels under another bridge, which is a bit low and dark and then passes townhouses on the left. A short side trail leads to the townhouse neighborhood and some optional parking near the tennis courts away from the homes.
Around mile 10.6, turn right onto Church Road, then left onto New Casho Mill Road. After crossing Route 273, Casho Road is named Delrem Road. Blue blazes mark Delrem Road, to Windsor Drive (right turn) to Country Club Road (right turn). At the intersection of Country Club and Route 896, there are commercial shopping centers: a Rite Aid on the right corner and a Food Lion up a drive area on the left. Country Club Road becomes Fremont Road after crossing 896.
Freemont Road bends to the left, but the Mason Dixon Trail follows a substation access road. It then veers left onto a wooded trail path for just under a half mile. The trail turns left into the White Clay Creek Preserve on Creek Road and crosses White Clay Creek after .8 mile, continuing on the east side of the water on the Pomeroy Trail. Again, the trail turns left, leaving the Pomeroy Trail and following the MDTS across a pedestrian bridge that spans the White Clay Creek.
For the remainder of this map section, the Mason Dixon Trail System weaves through both the White Clay Creek Preserve and the White Clay Creek Delaware State Park. The Preserve, 2,072 acres, is managed by the Pennsylvania DCNR. The Delaware State Park hosts more than 37 miles of biking and hiking trails, a disc golf course and a 200 year old Chamber House Nature Center. Learn more about the Preserve and State Park by clicking the above highlighted links and from the PA DCNR map.
The trail coincides with the PennDel trail on the west side of the creek. Signage marks the pathwayto the Arc Corner Monument near Hopkins Bridge Road. After crossing Hopkins Road, the trail name changes to the Tri State Marker Trail, passing by a cement marker at the Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware state line intersection.
The Tri State Marker Trail weaves through a parking area off of Chambers Rock Road. Portable toilets are located in this area. The trail reconnects with the PennDel Trail and follows the White Clay Creek to the London Tract Road, the end point of map 9.
Parking options west to east
Note: mileage below is based upon the paper maps provided by the Mason Dixon Trail Club and not by my gps mapping on AllTrails. Parking is noted on the AllTrails map as a second source of information.
Mile 3.5 – Parking area in the Iron Hill Park
Mile 4.4 – Parking lot in the Folk Memorial Park
Mile 5.1 – Parking area in Rittenhouse Park
Mile 11.4 – Many parking options in commercial lots off Route 896 near Country Club/Freemont Roads: Rite Aid and Food Lion and more
Mile 11.9 – Parking area at White Clay Creek Preserve, accessed by Wedgewood or Creek Road
Mile 17.9 – Parking at the White Clay Creek Preserve Nature Center, accessed by Tweeds Mill Road off of Hopkins Road.
Mile 18.7 – Parking lot near the White Clay Creek State Park office, accessed by Chambers Road Road
Mile 21 – Parking in White Clay Creek Preserve on Sharpless Road, near the London Tract House.
Mile 22.7 – Parking Lot #1 of the White Clay Creek Preserve provides access via covered bridge to the trail.