The grand opening of recreational trails along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was recently celebrated by Delaware and Maryland officials.

A 14.3-mile continuous paved trail includes the Michael N. Castle and Branch Canal Trails in Delaware and the Ben Cardin Trail in Maryland. The Castle and Cardin trails run along the north bank of the C&D Canal and meet at the state line, while the Branch Canal Trail connects the Castle Trail to Delaware City’s Canalfront Promenade. The trail connects travelers to Delaware City and Chesapeake City, Maryland.

The trails in Delaware are part of the Markell’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative that expands a statewide network of new trails and pathways for walking, biking, hiking and active living. Delaware’s trails promote the growth of the recreation and tourism industries, enable people to connect with the outdoors and improve the quality of life for all Delawareans.

Officials included Gov. Jack Markell, U.S. Democratic Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Col. Michael Bliss, USDA Rural Development State Director Bill McGowan, DNREC Secretary David Small, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Delaware Democratic Sen. Nicole Poore, Delaware City Mayor Stanley Green and Chesapeake City Mayor Dean Geracimos. They were joined by other officials, scores of trails partners and enthusiasts and special guest, former Delaware Governor and Congressman Michael N. Castle.