September 30, 2020
By: Teresa Pierce, Interpretive Program Coordinator at Auburn Valley State Park
Nestled in the Piedmont’s Red Clay Valley, visitors to Auburn Valley State Park will discover the history of the Marshall Family, Yorklyn’s rich industrial history, and revitalization of this site. Auburn Valley consists of 478.9 acres with over 3 miles of trails that will take you along scenic hillsides, old industrial complexes, and open meadows full of wildlife. Check out these trails on your next hiking adventure at Auburn Valley State Park!
The Oversee Farm Trail is a 1.1-mile trail with scenic vistas that overlook the rolling hills of northern Delaware. This beautiful paved trail makes a figure-eight loop over an old agricultural site with some of the best views at the park. At the far end of the loop, hikers can walk around the grounds of the beautiful Oversee Farm agricultural complex, a stone farmhouse, and barn from circa 1800. This trail skirts open meadowlands which host a wide array of finches and other meadowlands nesting birds in the spring and summer. The trail is also paved, and has some elevation, making it an easy walk for any hiker of beginner to moderate ability.
This easy half-mile trail may be short in distance but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in views and history! The paved trail is right through the heart of Auburn Valley State Park and Yorklyn, Delaware, and showcases the historical past of the area. It crosses through the old industrial complexes of the Marshall Papermill, National Vulcanized Fibre mills, and Garrett Snuff mill complex, and showcases their adaptative reuse. This path takes you across the scenic Marshall Family Bridge, a 120 feet long Iron bridge built in 1883 and typical of the bowstring truss style. It was rescued from Iowa where it was fated for destruction and brought here as part of a project to bring rare late 19th century bridges to be preserved and reused as part of a historic bridge park at Auburn Valley.
This 1.2-mile trail is a paved uphill slope perfect for biking or scenic walks. The trailhead on Farm Lane begins at the site of a future historic bridge installation, a 68 feet long, 1889 pony truss bridge from Pennsylvania. The gentle slope of the trail winds up a scenic hill where it hugs the Pennsylvania, Delaware border. These trails are also paved in the hopes of one day providing safe and scenic rides for the steam car collection of the Friends of Auburn Heights during special events. The trail is a moderate climb with a decent slope elevation, but is perfect for any hikers of moderate abilities.
This half-mile trail is currently the only unpaved trail at Auburn Valley State Park, but it is still an easy hike over soft smooth gravel for any beginning hiker. The trail follows the old tracks of an electric trolley line that ran from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania through Yorklyn, Delaware. The trail runs between two bodies of water, the Red Clay Creek and the narrower man-made channel of the mill race which is dammed off at the end of the trail to provide power for the Marshall Brothers Paper Mill. This trail is perfect for any amateur and experienced birders due to its wide variety of habitat for nesting along the trail.