Delaware State Outdoors

Delaware State collage of images.

Select an outdoor activity
State Parks
Camping and Hiking
Hunting and Fishing
Other Outdoor activities

Delaware State Parks

Bellevue State Park
Bellevue Hall mansion commands a grand view of this historic estate, and its present form reflects alterations made by William H. du Pont, Jr. Mr. du Pont surrounded his home with the finest facilities: tennis courts, equestrian stables, gardens, and a picturesque pond, amid woodlands and fields overlooking the Delaware River. Originally acquired by the State of Delaware in 1976, the park now covers 328 acres. The Delaware Division of Parks acres. The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation has retained the historic charm of Bellevue while providing many opportunities for recreation. Walking and jogging are popular activities at any time of the year. A 1-1/8 mile fitness track circles a catch and release fishing pond stocked with bass, catfish, and sunfish, while the nearby exercise trail offers a refreshing workout. Hiking trails allow you to explore other parts of the estate. If you prefer cycling, paved paths lead you on a leisurely tour. For information call: (302)577-3390


Fenwick Island State Park
Situated between the popular resort towns of Bethany Beach to the north and Fenwick Island and Ocean City to the south, Fenwick Island State Park is a relaxing escape from the summer crowds. This three-mile stretch of barrier island is a playground of sand, surf, and sun along Delaware's Atlantic coast. Before the area became a park, the dynamic forces of nature constantly changed the narrow strip of barrier dues between the Atlantic Ocean and Little Assawoman Bay, keeping the area wild and undeveloped. The area that is Fenwick Island State Park remained largely undisturbed, even as the towns of Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island were established. In 1926, a statewide survey classified the park area as public lands, which were soon assigned to the state Highway Department. Later, during World War II, the park lands were used as part of Delaware's coastal defense system. A concrete observation tower from the war era still stands near the northern boundary of the park. In 1966, the property was assigned to the State Park Commission as a southern section of Delaware Seashore State Park. The area was renamed Fenwick Island State Park in 1981, and is now managed in conjunction with Holts Landing State Park, on the nearby Indian River Bay. For information call: (302)539-9060


Fort Delaware State Park
Fort Delaware is one of Delaware's first state parks, created in 1951. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Union fortress dates back to 1859, and once served as a prison for Confederate prisoners of war. It was originally built to protect the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia. The State of Delaware acquired the Fort from the Federal Government in 1947. From the parking area in Delaware City, visitors take a 1/2 mile ferry ride to Pea Patch Island aboard the 88-passenger Delafort. A jitney provides transport from the island dock to the granite and brick fortress. Here, park interpreters begin your journey back in time. Tours of the Fort include visits to museums containing artifacts from the island's past. Civil War living history presentations are performed daily, providing a realistic glimpse of life in the mid-1800's. Consult the park office for a complete list of programs and special events. For information call: (302)834-7941


Fox Point State Park
For more than 20 years, the dream of a park on this ribbon of land along the Delaware River has been a source of inspiration as well as frustration for the neighboring communities, now collectively known as Fox Point. One man's vision of a "window on the river" became a rallying point for many northern Delawareans. It is an extraordinary event when dreams turn into reality. And what a window it is! You can stand at any of the park's new overlooks and see all the way to Philadelphia looking north and well beyond the Delaware Memorial Bridge look south. There just aren't that many easily accessible places in Delaware where such a spectacular view is readily available. But great vistas aren't the only attraction of Fox Point State Park. There are a number of wonderful educational opportunities as well. For information call: (302)577-3390


Camping and Hiking in Delaware

Bellevue State Park
Bellevue Hall mansion commands a grand view of this historic estate, and its present form reflects alterations made by William H. du Pont, Jr. Mr. du Pont surrounded his home with the finest facilities: tennis courts, equestrian stables, gardens, and a picturesque pond, amid woodlands and fields overlooking the Delaware River. Originally acquired by the State of Delaware in 1976, the park now covers 328 acres. The Delaware Division of Parks acres. The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation has retained the historic charm of Bellevue while providing many opportunities for recreation. Walking and jogging are popular activities at any time of the year. A 1-1/8 mile fitness track circles a catch and release fishing pond stocked with bass, catfish, and sunfish, while the nearby exercise trail offers a refreshing workout. Hiking trails allow you to explore other parts of the estate. If you prefer cycling, paved paths lead you on a leisurely tour. For information call: (302)577-3390


Delaware Seashore State Park
Water, water everywhere describes Delaware Seashore State Park. Bounded on the east by the mighty Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay, the 2018-acre park is a beach-goer's delight. Throughout history, the forces of wind and water have kept this barrier island largely inaccessible, due to the frequent natural changes of the inlet channel between the bays and the sea. Transportation along this narrow stretch of land was difficult until the Federal government completed construction of two large steel and stone jetties in 1939, stabilizing the Indian River Inlet. The State Park Commission (now the Division of Parks and Recreation) began operating Delaware Seashore State Park in 1965. Today, the park is a major attraction for millions of visitors who enjoy the large variety of water-related activities available along Delaware's coast. The campground at Delaware Seashore State Park is a vacation destination for thousands of visitors each year. Open mid-march to mid-November, the campground can accommodate a variety of camping units, from tents to large recreational vehicles. Three-point hookups for electricity, water, and sewer service are available on some sites. Showers, laundry, and snack vending machines add to the conveniences of outdoor living at the Indian River Inlet. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited sites are available for fully self contained camping units year round. For information call: (302)227-2800


Holts Landing State Park
Holts Landing is an undiscovered facet of the Diamond State's park system. The 203-acres area contains a variety of beautiful landscapes, from bay shore beach to grassy fields and hardwood forests. Historically, the shores of the inland bays were home to native Americans, who harvested seafood and hunted in the surrounding marshes and forests. After the European settlers arrived, agriculture developed slowly around the "little bays." The property that is now Holts Landing State Park has a long recorded history as a small family farm. The Holt family maintained as a farm with a bayshore boat landing on this site until 1957, when the property was sold to the state highway department. Then, in 1965, the first parcel of land was transferred to the State Park Commission, forming Holts Landing State Park. For information call: (302)539-9060


Killens Pond State Park
Natural and recreational opportunities abound at Killens Pond State Park, centrally located in the heart of Kent County. The park's centerpiece is the 66-acre millpond which features boating and fishing. The all new Killens Pond Water Park offers resort entertainment in a serene, natural setting. Only about an 1? hour drive from either the northern or southern boundary, Killens Pond makes a perfect home base for exploring the First State. Open year-round, the park's campground and cozy cabins are popular retreats no matter what the season. The millpond was established in the late 1700's. Prior to the pond's creation, the Murderkill River and surrounding hardwood forest were sites of several Native American homes and hunting camps. According to legend, the river's unusual name refers to a local tribe's massacre of a Dutch trading party at the mouth of the river in 1648. Now a peaceful oasis, Killens Pond became a state park in 1965. The wooded campground is another popular attraction at Killens Pond. This year-round facility boasts 59 sites which feature electric and water hookups, accommodating both tents and recreational vehicles. In addition, there is a primitive camping loop for tents only which features 17 beautiful, secluded sites. Camping cabins offer yet another year-round retreat for park visitors. The cabins sleep four and feature an efficiency kitchen with an eating area, bedroom, bath with shower, A/C, and heat. A picnic table, grill, and porch are located outside. Subject to availability, cabin rentals include the use of a canoe and rowboats. For information call:(302)284-4526


Trap Pond State Park
Freshwater wetlands once covered a large portion of southwestern Sussex County. Trap Pond State Park retains a part of the swamp's original beauty and mystery, and features the northernmost natural stand of baldcypress trees in the United States. The pond was created in the late 1700's to power a sawmill during the harvest of large baldcypress from the area. The Federal Government later purchased the pond and surrounding farmland during the 1930's and the Civilian Conservation Corps began to develop the area for recreation. Trap Pond became one of Delaware's first state parks in 1951. Visitors have many opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the wetland forest. Hiking trails surround the pond, providing opportunities to glimpse native animal species and many flowering plants. Birdwatching is a popular activity and the observant hiker may spot a great blue heron, owl, hummingbird, warbler, bald eagle or the elusive pileated woodpecker. Visitors who wish to stay overnight at the park may camp at one of the 143 campsites on the pond's northern shore. 131 of the sites are equipped with water and electric hookups. Tents and recreational vehicles can both be accommodated beneath the tall loblolly pines. Two primitive camping areas are also available for youth groups by reservation only. For information call: (302)875-5153


Hunting and Fishing in Delaware

Brandywine Creek State Park
Delaware's first two nature preserves are located within Brandywine Creek State Park: Tulip Tree Woods, a majestic stand of 190-year-old tulip poplar, and Freshwater Marsh. An extensive meadow management program, active bluebird population program, and variety of habitats make Brandywine Creek State Park an outstanding place to see wildflowers, songbirds, deer, and other flora and fauna. Many species of hawks can be seen migrating over the valley from mid-September to mid-November. Anglers can fish for small mouth bass, bluegill, and crappie in Brandywine Creek and for trout in Wilsons Run. (A fishing license and trout stamp are required, and can be purchased at the park office.) Canoeing and tubing are popular ways to experience the Brandywine, too. For information call: (302)577-3534


Cape Henlopen State Park
For those interested in fishing, a quarter-mile long pier provides convenient access to the Delaware Bay. The bait and tackle concession at the pier offers fishing supplies and snack foods, and transportation along the pier is available for people with disabilities, between April 1st and Oct 31st. For information call: (302)645-8983


Killens Pond State Park
Natural and recreational opportunities abound at Killens Pond State Park, centrally located in the heart of Kent County. The park's centerpiece is the 66-acre millpond which features boating and fishing. The all new Killens Pond Water Park offers resort entertainment in a serene, natural setting. Only about an 1? hour drive from either the northern or southern boundary, Killens Pond makes a perfect home base for exploring the First State. Open year-round, the park's campground and cozy cabins are popular retreats no matter what the season. The millpond was established in the late 1700's. Prior to the pond's creation, the Murderkill River and surrounding hardwood forest were sites of several Native American homes and hunting camps. According to legend, the river's unusual name refers to a local tribe's massacre of a Dutch trading party at the mouth of the river in 1648. Now a peaceful oasis, Killens Pond became a state park in 1965. The pond is home to largemouth bass, catfish, carp, perch, crappie, bluegills, and pickerel, all of which await the patient angler. Exploring by boat is easy, thanks to a convenient boat launching ramp. For information call (302)284-4526


Lums Pond State Park
Lums Pond State Park is built around the largest freshwater pond in Delaware. The park features excellent fishing, sports facilities, hiking trails and more on its 1,757 acres on the north side of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Covering 200 acres, Lums Pond itself offers a sandy swimming beach, and boat rentals provide water-bound recreation in the summer months. A boat launching ramp and two piers allow easy access to the water. Before the pond existed, St. Georges Creek flowed through the hardwood forest and was the site of several Native American hunting camps. The creek was dammed in the early 1800's when the C & D canal was built. Water from the pond was used to fill the locks of the canal and power a small mill. This area was first used as a state park in 1963. Lums offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the state. Anglers can chase largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, or pickerel. Striped bass is stocked periodically, offering fisherman yet another challenge. Several youth fishing tournaments are held yearly. For information call: (302)368-6989


White Clay Creek State Park
The lush greenery and sparkling streams of White Clay Creek State Park offer a refreshing change of pace from the encroaching urban development of New Castle County. Whether it's an activity at the Carpenter Recreation Area, a retreat into the pristine White Clay Creek Preserve, a hike along the peaceful trails of Possum Hill, or just a few hours of fishing in the creek, visitors of all ages will enjoy the natural beauty of the White Clay Valley. White Clay Creek State Park was created in 1968 when the state purchased 24 acres of land. The park has since grown to almost 2,500 scenic acres in the continuing effort to preserve and protect the natural resources of the valley. Located in the park are small ponds that contain largemouth bass and bluegills. Springtime brings trout fishing to rocky White Clay Creek, while Millstone and Cattail Ponds offer year-round fishing for bluegill and crappie and a catch-and-release program for bass. In addition the White Clay Creek offers anglers the opportunity to fish for stocked rainbow and brown trout. The creek is closed, however, to all fishing two weeks prior to the opening day of the trout season. The trout fishing season runs from the first Saturday in April thru June 30th, and from the first Saturday in October thru November 30th. Shotgun and Archery hunting for white-tail deer is open in certain sections of the park during specific times of the year. Hunting is from permanent stands. A valid Delaware hunting license and a State Park hunting permit are required in order to hunt. Contact the Park Office for additional information. For information call: (302)368-6900


Other Delaware Outdoor activities

Delaware also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Beachcombing
  • Boating
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Golf
  • Horseback Riding
  • Sailing
  • Skiing