Over the Labor Day weekend my hubby went to a caving event in West Virginia and I was left home alone ( not really the 2 dogs Bandit and Duke were with me) so I decided to take a scenic drive on Friday afternoon down Route 9 in Delaware (DE)
According to the Maryland/Delaware Atlas & Gazetteer
Route 9 in New Castle County is labeled as a scenic drive, called Route 9 coastal Heritage Byway, starting at Port Penn heading south to Route 1.
But I say the scenic drive starts in Delaware City.
Start in Delaware City by walking around this quaint little town or take a short boat ride to Pea Patch Island, home of Fort Delaware State Park. You can also visit Fort DuPont State Park which is located just before crossing over the Route 9 bridge heading out of Delaware City. Fees do apply for both parks.
From Delaware City travel south over the Route 9 bridge which takes you over the end of the C & D Canal giving you awesome views of the Augustine Wildlife Area and the Delaware River.
After crossing the bridge the first town you come to is Port Penn where there is a corner store to stop at if you want to do any fishing and need bait or pick up snacks and drinks for the ride.
From Port Penn travel south passing Augustine Beach. Feel free to stop and linger for a bit. There’s a
outside pot o potty to use and if it isn’t high tide you can sit on the sandy beach area.Augustine Beach DE[/caption]But be warned you are looking straight across at a nuclear power plant in New Jersey.
Locals do swim here and it is dog friendly so dogs and people swim here. It’s also a poplar fishing area where you can put your boat in or fish from shore but do have a fishing licence because they do stop to check. This area is managed by DE Fish and Wildlife.
Get back into the car and continue south following the signs. Route 9 does take a few turns so don’t be like me and breeze right by the sign. I traveled west and wound up back at Route 13 before I realized I was going the wrong way, Duh!
You will start to drive away from the water views and over a few inlet bridges which do flood during high tide. I experienced this and was scared to drive through until I saw someone else coming in the opposite direction going through without difficulty.
I don’t recommend this if it looks to high but it will subside once high tide is over.
Your next stop should be at Coleman’s ice cream shop where they sell real home made hand dipped ice cream. The first time we drove this way we were with the grand-kids. It was such a nice treat for all of us to have really good ice cream on a really hot day. They also have a unique playground with a wooden little house, pirate boat, tee pee, a train and a few other cool objects, just for kids.
Really pretty drive and no one on the road for a Friday holiday weekend, which really surprised me.I turned off to take a picture of this thing, not sure what it is, an old tower of some kind? This is at the intersection of Route 9 and Cedar Swamp Road.
Continuing down Route 9 a short distance, turn left for a side trip to Cedar Swamp Wildlife area on Thorouughfare Neck road. You would think Cedar Swamp Wildlife area would be off Cedar Swamp Road but it is not so don’t turn onto Cedar Swamp Road.
Follow Thoroughfare Neck road back, turn left at the stop sign then right to eventually end at Collins Beach parking lot. This area is big (possible 30 cars could park here) but when I was there only myself and one other truck was there.
Take a short walk over the boardwalk and arrive at the Collins Beach Boat launch area where you’ll find another smaller parking lot. I guess it gets full here on the weekends but not today. Don’t know where everyone was but they sure weren’t here.
Very quiet here, all I could hear were the sounds of birds and crickets. I took pictures off the boat ramp area and walked around, enjoying the peace and quietness of this pretty area of Delaware I had never seen before. I was very glad I took the time to come here.
Just to clarify Collins Beach is not a beach, there is no sand, no place to put beach chairs but an interesting place to walk/hike or bike. I did see some trails on the drive in and if you bear right at the stop sign it loops around back onto Route 9.
I do plan to come back here, I bet it really pops with color in the fall.
Continue reading as I travel down the road to Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge.
P.S. I think everyone traveling by car should know how to read a map, don’t rely only on your GPS. Check out your state Gazetteer and keep it handy, it can be a life saver when you’re lost and the GPS isn’t helping.