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Pathways to expand access to John Dickinson Plantation in Dover in 2023

John Dickinson Plantation Pathway.jpg
Karen Katz
Government Information Center
This image shows a view as of late 2022 of the old farm lane that will be converted into a pathway for the public, looking south toward the St. Jones River.

New pathways will soon grace the grounds of the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover.

By May 2023, visitors to the Dickinson Plantation will walk through the property on newly installed pathways.

“And the pathways will really expand the amount of the site that the public can really safely access," said Dan Citron, a historic site team manager with the Delaware Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs. "Currently we really focus on the 13 acres that make up the historic corridor of the property; but we own just under 450 acres at the site - that’s a lot of land out there. But we want to let people get out and explore more of that land, so we’re going to be adding about a mile and a half of trails that will actually connect us over to our neighbors at the St. Jones Reserve.”

Citron notes that the main pathway will follow an existing farm lane that’s been on the property for hundreds of years and will run from the existing John Dickinson Mansion - south towards the St. Jones River.

From there, the pathway will turn east and cut across the south side of the property - hugging the marsh; it will then cross over into the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.

“We really did want to connect the properties between what we have at the John Dickinson Plantation and what the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve," Citron said, " (DNERR) has over at the St. Jones Reserve All of it is in the St. Jones Estuary, which is a nationally-recognized estuary. But it was also once owned by the Dickinson family.” 

Visitors will be able to park at either end and explore both properties at their leisure, all while learning about the Plantation’s history from interpretive panels installed along the pathway.

Citron says a grant from the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act is helping pay for the project - that should be completed by May 2023.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.