A ribbon cutting Wednesday in Ocean View, Del. marked the official opening of the new Assawoman Canal Trail.

The ceremony  included Delaware Gov.  Jack Markell with Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small, federal highway officials, and local community leaders.

Part of a regional network of trails, sidewalks and pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists, it has taken seven years to complete the one mile stretch that connects Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany.

"This trail is only possible because of the hard work and commitment of engaged community members who recognize that this is an opportunity to enhance the quality of life in Sussex County," said Governor Jack Markell. "It was residents in Ocean View, Bethany, and South Bethany neighborhoods who saw the value of creating a trail along the Assawoman Canal and worked together with the state to turn their vision into a reality."

Since 1990 DNREC's Division of Parks and Recreation has managed the 98 acres along the Assawoman Canal, which is part of the Delaware Seashore State Park.

The Assawoman Canal Trail itself is an eight-foot wide crushed stone pathway with 20-foot vegetation buffers on either side, creating a privacy screen for residents living in communities along the trail.

Pedestrians and bicyclists can access the trail at Town Road, Osprey Lang and Central Avenue. The Town Road access point in Ocean View has a small parking lot and restroom.