Nanticoke Heritage Byway

  • Chapel Branch Nature Trail
  • In downtown Seaford
  • The Ross Mansion, along the Western Sussex Byway
  • The historic Seaford train station
Nanticoke River

Nanticoke Heritage Byway (previously the Western Sussex Byway) is a 35-mile route across western Sussex County, seemingly a quiet and subdued rural area with three small towns scattered among the wooded areas and farmlands. The three towns (Seaford, Laurel and Bethel) are all located on what was once major inland shipping routes and were all important centers for trade and for shipbuilding into the mid-19th century. That lasted through the Colonial Period and up until the advent of the railroad in 1856. Seaford and Laurel were both on that railroad line and their business mix shifted more in an agricultural and seafood direction with the increased ease of access to northern markets. The prosperity generated back then is reflected now in the many examples of vernacular architecture in the homes built by wealthy residents. The area is still a pristine example of the evolution of industry and culture across rural Delaware.

This route could be driven easily in maybe 45 minutes but think of all the visual enjoyment and historical adventure you'd miss...

Town Park in Laurel
Town Park in Laurel
Photos courtesy of the Delaware Department of Transportation

Western Sussex Byway area map

Related Pages

Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!