Middle Run Valley Natural Area


Middle Run Valley Natural Area
Middle Run Valley Natural Area
Middle Run Valley Nature Area, Middle Run Natural Area, Middle Run Valley Park
Main road-entrance to Middle Run Valley Natural Area, off of Possum Hollow Rd.
Named for: Middle Run
Country United States
State Delaware
County New Castle
Location
 - coordinates 39°43′2″N 75°43′22″W / 39.71722°N 75.72278°W / 39.71722; -75.72278Coordinates: 39°43′2″N 75°43′22″W / 39.71722°N 75.72278°W / 39.71722; -75.72278
Area 850 acres (344 ha)
Founded 1975
Managed by New Castle County, Delaware
Nearest city Newark, Delaware
Locator Red.svg
Location of Middle Run Valley Natural Area in Delaware
Location of Middle Run Valley Natural Area in Delaware
Website : New Castle County Parks

Middle Run Valley Natural Area is a nature park owned and maintained by New Castle County, Delaware in the United States. The park, known also by its initials MRVNA, is located east of downtown Newark amidst residential neighborhoods and other park land. Establishment of MRVNA was begun in 1975; eventually the park reached its current 850 acres (3.4 km2) of forests, fields, creeks, and a pond. The most important of the creeks is Middle Run, which is a tributary of White Clay Creek, and flows mainly north to south through the park.

A field along the Lenape Trail

There is no admission fee for MRVNA. The main entrance is a gravel road that turns north off of Possum Hollow Rd. (Past this entrance, a little further down along Possum Hollow Rd., can be found the headquarters of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.) A long connector trail extends north from the Lenape Trail to Papermill Park (A public park with ball fields, a jogging track and playground, located at intersection of Paper Mill Rd. and Poly Drummond Hill Rd.). The primary roads which surround the park are Possum Park Rd. along the southwest, Smithmill Rd. on the north, Polly Drummond Hill Rd. on the east, and Paper Mill Rd. on the west. Fox Den Rd. cuts across the northern portion of the park.

MRVNA borders and connects with two portions of White Clay Creek State Park: the Possum Hill area on the northwest and the Judge Morris Estate on the southeast. In addition, William Redd Park (of the city of Newark) can be accessed from the east side of Possum Park Rd., thus making possible a nearly continuous nature-park hiking route from the Judge Morris Estate on the east to the Newark Reservoir on the west. Most recently it has become possible to proceed from the northeastern corner of the park, at Smithmill Rd., to the northwest along Middle Run via a recently established trail northwestward amidst residential areas, ending at Curtis Mill, from which one may reach the northeasternmost sector of White Clay Creek State Park by crossing Paper Mill Rd.

MRVNA accommodates automobiles in its parking lot off of Possum Hollow Rd.. The park area proper is meant for recreation on foot or on bicycle, with hunting allowed on occasion. There are 10 trails in the park with a total distance of 15.76 miles (25.36 km). As with White Clay Creek State Park, trail markers help to guide visitors; and several footbridges and boardwalks ease crossing of creeks and other wet spots, with stone or concrete steps in a few places. While the trails consist primarily of packed dirt, certain spots along the trails include also structures made of logs for mountain-bikers to test their skill.

The most important trails in MRVNA are Lenape Trail on the north, Double Horseshoe Trail on the southwest, Possum Hollow Trail on the south, and Snow Goose Trail on the southeast. This last trail is shared with White Clay Creek State Park, thus allowing connection across Polly Drummond Hill Rd. with Judge Morris Estate. In addition, there are several shorter trails and connectors (with and without names); a few spurs off of surrounding roads lead to MRVNA trails.

Middle Run, from between Possum Hollow and Snow Goose Trails

Bibliography

  • Gelbert, Doug. Doggin' Delaware: The 40 Best Places to Hike with Your Dog in the First State (Montchanin, DE: Cruden Bay Books, 2007), p. 24-25.

External links


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