Where the day job commands, I follow. And I was commanded to Wilmington, Delaware, last week. While in the big city of the First State I looked for a nearby park I could walk or hike, and I found one in Bellevue State Park.
Bellevue is located just north of the city, at an exit from Interstate 95. Northern New Castle County is a weave of highways, city, and suburbs, with Bellevue a splash of green amid the concrete. The park is a wedge surrounded by major roads. My hike, a mile and a half, was at the point of that wedge, the southern tip of the park just off the I-95 exit.
I don’t spend much time in Delaware because most of the state’s hiking is flat and the State Parks charge a day use fee. (Among states I’ve visited, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland all charge fees, Pennsylvania and Ohio do not.) I couldn’t do anything about the five dollars for walking, but I was pleased to discover Belevue has a bit of variation to its profile. I parked at Cauffie House, a mansion on a hill overlooking the Delaware River.
My lunchtime walk took me around the house, down the driveway to a short paved path, and from there onto a gravel and dirt segment of the East Coast Greenway. The trail ended at a busy road, and a sign directed the ECG user to turn left onto the shoulder. Aside from the blunt end at the road, the trail was quiet, with little auto noise. The trees still had a lot of color to them, and I was alone in the woods. Alone, aside from a snake that had just shed. I didn’t see the snake, just the skin.
I’d had walked further, but my time was limited, and I returned to my car and to my job.