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Newark Life

Nestled in northern Newark, the Whitely Farms Trail forms just a small part of the White Clay Creek State Park, but what it offers to those who walk its steps is a journey of portraits, whose impact can not be measured in size

Dec 29, 2020 04:58PM ● By Tricia Hoadley

Photos by Jim Coarse

Text by Richard L. Gaw

From the time you enter the Whitely Farms Trail at its southern entrance, you are enveloped by the panorama of golden fields dotted with wildflowers, and from there, the full embrace of your journey will be measured by how softly you tread and how much you listen.

Tucked into the confluence of nature between Pleasant Hill, Thompson Station and Nine Foot roads, the Whitely Farms Trail is a 7.4-mile-long loop of changing variances, from wheelchair accessible paved walkways to gravel paths that are perfect for hiking, running and mountain bike riding.

The Whitely Farms Trail’s truest definition, however, is written in its ever-changing portrait of sight and sound, that reveals itself as a museum of nature, filled with thickened and hanging vines, the bend and gentle twist of mature trees that overlap hundreds of feet above, and the sweet aroma of hayfields that are skimmed by birds on seemingly endless flights of bliss, all in chorus.

John Ruskin, a leading English art critic and patron of the Victorian era, once said, “Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.” We, on the receiving end of these pictures, are ourselves redeemed and nourished, and within the continuous loop that makes us the Whitely Farms Trail, all we need to do is walk quietly and pay attention to the art going on all around us.

The Whitely Farms Trail is part of the 37-mile trail network that makes up the White Clay Creek State Park, which represents 25 percent of the entire trail system in Delaware. For additional information about the Whitely Farms Trail and all parks within the White Clay Creek State Park, call the Park office at 302-368-6900, the Nature Center at 302-368-6560, or visit

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