Gay hiking

The Landenberg hiking trails were once the railroad traffic link between Wilmington and Chester County

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Wilmington & Western Railroad.

While the hiking trails at White Clay Creek State Park provide an ideal walking destination for many area residents and visitors, most of these trails were once platforms for the steam locomotives that hauled to both people and goods between Chester County and Wilmington, writes Roger Morris for The hunt magazine.

Landenberg was once the hub for most of this traffic. The first train reached the city a century and a half ago, in 1872, as part of the Wilmington & Western Railroad.

Soon other railroads followed, with the Pomeroy and Newark Railroad and the once mighty B&O (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad) also sending their trains along White Clay Creek.

The railroad was especially popular among farmers, who found it more profitable to send their produce to Delaware markets by rail rather than using horse-drawn wagons.

In addition, the railroads served mills that produced woolen goods and flour, as well as spokes for wooden wheels.

Rail traffic in the region declined in the first half of the 20th century. Most of the iron rails were removed during World War II and many wooden trestles also gradually disappeared, leaving behind paths now used by hikers.

Learn more about the history of the region in The hunt magazine.