As you travel throughout northern New Castle County, east by Kennett Pike (Route 52), and south by Barley Mill Road, have you noticed a number of blue signs indicating these roads to be part of the Red Clay Valley Delaware Byway?
And if so, what on earth does that mean?
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway Alliance (RCVSB) hosted an information session at the Delaware Nature Society, along with Mt. Cuba, the Historic Red Clay Valley Inc., Red Clay Valley Association, and Red Clay Reservation.
The Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway, which is part of the Delaware Scenic and Historic Highways program, recognizes roadways for their scenic beauty, environmental value and historical significance.
Ginger North, the Alliance Chair, said that the Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway includes twenty-eight secondary roads in northern New Castle County that form an interconnected and interdependent network closely linked to the Red Clay Creek and its watershed area.
The 28 roads were actually nominated into the Scenic and Historic Highways program by the Delaware Nature Society and approved in 2005, making the Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway the state's second designated byway.
"It was a group of local citizens that decided it was an area worth protecting," North said.
The signs were installed throughout the byway in July, and each includes the Delaware state flower, the peach blossom.
The network of roads is approximately 27 miles and is bounded on the north by the Pennsylvania state line, on the east by the Kennett Pike (Route 52), on the south by Barley Mill Road and on the south and west by the Lancaster Pike (Route 48/41).
While the byway is not meant to be a tourist destination, there are numerous historic and cultural sites scattered along the byway. The byway travels through Yorklyn, where Auburn Heights resides. The mature forest and steep slopes of the Red Clay Ravine Natural Area are partially visible from Route 82 and accessible to Delaware Nature Society program participants.