With so many fantastic state parks here in southern Delaware, we thought we’d take an opportunity here today and cast the spotlight on each one. Trust us when we say that a trip to any and all is always a great, fun, family-friendly idea.
If you're looking to get outside and do a little exploring in the great outdoors, here’s a short writeup on each of southern Delaware’s state parks:
Cape Henlopen State Park. At more than 5,000 acres, this is Delaware’s largest state park, which dates all the way back to 1682 when William Penn himself set aside the land to be held in trust for the common good of area citizens. Today, the park is the setting for the Great Delaware Kite Festival, coming up on Good Friday, March 25, and features one of the best surfing areas in the state. The park also boasts the Fort Miles historic area, including barracks, a refurbished bunker and a World War II observation tower, as well as the Biden Center and plenty of beachfront. You can also watch the Cape May-Lewes ferries coming in and out of port and view both of the Delaware Breakwater’s lighthouses from high atop the park’s Great Dune. Biking, hiking and bird watching are also popular activities at Cape Henlopen State Park.
Delaware Seashore State Park. Opened to the public in 1965, Delaware Seashore State Park features 2,825 acres of mostly oceanfront property, located between the resort towns of Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach. While water related activities like swimming, fishing, boating and more dominate during the warm weather season, the park also houses the Indian River Lifesaving Station historic site. On the bayside of the park, across from the Indian River Inlet Bridge, the park includes overnight cottages, the Indian River Marina and several food options. In some areas of the park, you can also drive your vehicles onto the beach and engage in surf fishing, with the proper permits of course.
Fenwick Island State Park. Once the southern portion of Delaware Seashore State Park, Fenwick Island State Park became a separate entity in 1981. Butting up to the bustling resort of Ocean City, Md., this Delaware state park is a three-mile stretch of barrier island that provides the perfect backdrop for many warm weather activities in coastal Delaware. You’ll also find a modern bathhouse at the park, along with showers, changing rooms and snack foods. Fenwick Island State Park also has one of the few designated surfing areas in Delaware. Vehicles may also be driven onto the beach here for the purpose of surf fishing, again with proper permits.
Holts Landing State Park. The Holt family owned the 203 acres that comprise this Delaware state park in the Millville area until 1957, when the land was sold to the state highway department and, a few years later, to the state park commission. Some of the highlights at this bayside park including a pier that was built specifically with crabbing in mind, a fantastic picnic pavilion with barbecue grills and incredible bay views. The park office also has recreation equipment bags that users can rent, which include horseshoes, soccer balls, Frisbees and more. Holts Landing is also a popular spot for taking a stroll and investigating nature, as well as the area wildlife. A large selection of birds, as well as deer, raccoons, possum, foxes and more can be viewed on a regular basis.
Trap Pond State Park. A few miles inland, located between Millsboro and Laurel, is Trap Pond State Park. Delaware’s very first start park dates back to 1951 and offers something for everyone. Whether it’s a game of disc golf, or beautiful nature walks or simply sitting at a picnic table and enjoying the wildlife, this scenic wonder in the southwest corner of Sussex County is as serene a setting as you will find in the area. The park is also home to the northernmost collection of bald cypress tress in North America and boasts wooden walkways throughout that provide the perfect atmosphere for exploring or bird watching. There are also bike and horse trails, in addition to wetlands and forests to explore. The park is home to great blue herons, owls, hummingbirds, pleated woodpeckers and even the occasional bald eagle. Trap Pond State Park is also home to the Baldcypress Nature Center, which features a variety of displays and programs. There are also picnic areas, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a playground, a camping area, a boat launching ramp and much more.
So, there you have it! It's always a perfect time to get out and enjoy some of southern Delaware’s wonderful state parks, whether before, during or after the hustle and bustle of the summer season.
So put on your walking shoes, or your flip-flops, and enjoy all the natural beauty of this beautiful area of the country.