New trail dedication at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center

MILFORD — Students, families and adults living in the Milford area now have a new outdoor recreational opportunity with the official opening of a new trail at Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center.

The new Wilson/Donovan Trail joins a network of more than five miles of free, pet friendly trails open every day from dawn to dusk, that explore the area around the historic grist mill. Surrounding both Abbott’s and Blair’s Pond, these trails wind through upland forests, restored native meadows and Atlantic white cedar swamps, protecting the headwaters of the Mispillion River.

The Wilson Family recently granted access through property they own adjacent to Abbott’s Mill to facilitate the new trail, and State Rep. Dave Wilson participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in celebration on March 3, 2018.

“I had four sisters, and three of them were educators,” Rep. Wilson said at the event. “Gladys, Mrs. Donovan, who owned this tract, was always appreciative of anything anyone did with kids in the outdoors…The family discussed what to do with the farm when Gladys and her husband passed. We decided to put it into the Farmland Preservation Program because we didn’t want to see it developed.”

Rep. Wilson added that he plans to work with the other members of his family to provide a permanent conservation easement on the property to ensure public access to the trail in perpetuity.

Delaware Nature Society has managed and operated Abbott’s Mill Nature Center in partnership with Delaware’s Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs and Delaware’s Division of Fish & Wildlife since 1981. Delaware Nature Society connects people with the natural world to improve the environment through education, conservation and advocacy. Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, located just four miles southwest of Milford, encompasses more than 500 acres of preserved lands throughout Sussex County, and serves more than 14,000 students, families and adults through its environmental education programs, eco-tours and community events.

Public tours of the historic Abbott’s Mill, Delaware’s only preserved, working grist mill, are offered every third Saturday, March through November, from 2–3:30 p.m. For more information about Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, contact Matt Babbitt, Abbott’s Mill site manager, at matt@delnature.org or 422-0847, or visit www.delnature.org/abbotts, Facebook and Instagram.

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