The Tri-Valley Trail, in White Clay Creek State Park north of Newark, will open to the public July 4, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Parks & Recreation announced June 30.

The 1.9-mile phase one section connects Paper Mill and Thompson Station roads to a new trailhead at the intersection of Smith Mill and Paper Mill roads. In addition, a 1.3- mile accessible stone surface trail was constructed in tandem with the paved trail, for a total of 3.2 miles of newly-accessible trail added to the system of trails in the area.

The new trail provides White Clay Creek State Park users and commuters with a safe, accessible recreational experience through the northeastern portion of the park. More than three miles of existing trail provide users multiple trail connections within the park.

Planning for the new trail began under former Gov. Jack Markell’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative. Eighty percent of the funding for the project came from the Recreation Trails Program, a grant program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. Work began in January.

This fall, a restroom facility will be constructed at the trailhead at Paper Mill and Smith Mill roads, adjacent to a new parking lot. Phase two will link the existing trail system to the popular Paper Mill Park and adjacent residential area. Construction dates for phase two are yet to be determined. Once the trail system is completed, the trail will link the Pike Creek area and the city of Newark.