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Official State Park Map & Guide



F FIRSTS IN THE FIRST STATE: A First State Heritage Park – Delaware’s C T first “park without boundaries”

MUST DO IN THE PARK: can’t miss ideas for your VISIT

5 Fun Things to do in Your Park Chat it up


Park staff are the park experts. take the time to talk with them to get the inside scoop. Before you start your adventure, ask a staff member what their favorite spot is, how long it takes to get there, and why it’s special to them. their favorite part of the park may become yours, too. For more ideas see the staff Recommendations article.

Hunt for treasure


do your kids love to hunt for treasure, how about planning a scavenger hunt? While hiking, they can learn to identify different plants and trees. Put natural items like acorns and pinecones on your list of things to find. the first one to correctly identify a species checks it off their list. Use this time to talk about keeping the park clean and healthy for the next visitors. For list ideas go to

Get smart


Learn more about your park by stopping by the Visitor or nature center, checking to see if tours are offered, or taking the time to read the placards, signs, and displays located throughout the park. What new fact will you take home with you?

Let technology meet nature


Use your GPs-enabled cell phone or wrist top computer to trace your steps while hiking or exploring your state park. take pictures at landmarks, during your road trip, or at interesting areas and then mark the way point on your device. When you get home, add the GPs tag to your photos when you post them to, Google maps or other web sites to show your photos tagged along the trail you walked or hiked. now, you have a trail map complete with photos for next time.

Go the distance


How far do you plan on walking, running or biking today? Why not consider doing this at home? You can save money by not using your car, get some healthy exercise and see your neighborhood in a new way. Will you change your habits? We hope so.


meet the Locals Reptiles/Mammals

From the Piedmont Region in the north, to the white sand beaches and cypress swamps in Sussex County, there is a wealth of diverse habitats here.


Migrating Birds Great Blue Heron

Piping Plover

the diamondback terrapin prefers salt marshes for their nesting sites. each summer dozens of terrapins are killed trying to cross the highway to reach the marshes on the other side. When traveling to the beaches, please watch for turtles crossing the road.

Pea Patch island is home to one of the largest wading-bird nesting sites on the east coast. take the Prison camp trail to the observation tower to catch a glimpse of this graceful bird with blueblack plumage. at 66-79 inches in wingspan, it’s one of north america’s largest wading birds and the largest of the herons.

this beautiful sparrowsized bird often nests along the shores of delaware. Look for its yellow-orange legs, black ring around its neck and band of black across its forehead.



salamanders provide a clue to the health of an ecosystem because they absorb pollutants and pathogens through their skin. Our salamanders are being monitored to assess the effect of natural and human processes on their population and the ecosystem.

a variety of hawk species can be seen throughout the state. Brandywine Creek, White Clay Creek and Cape Henlopen are particularly good spots to see the spring and fall hawk migrations. Keep your eyes open for Red-tailed and sharpshinned Hawks, and maybe even the elusive cooper’s Hawk. For a list of Birding events, visit

REPTILES Diamondback Terrapin

MAMMALS White-tailed Deer Our largest park animal can be seen in abundance in most of our parks. careful visitors might see these majestic creatures along the trails that run through the parks.

Red-knot this migrating north american shorebird also makes stops here along the coast during migration. they have short, dark legs and a dark bill. The Delaware coastline is a popular stop for two threatened species of shorebirds during their annual migrations. Please note that some areas of our parks where these birds make their nests may be closed to visitors. Help us protect these fragile species by observing posted restrictions.

F Firsts in the First state: A Can-Do Playground – Delaware’s first boundC T less playground in alapocas run state



State Parks promotes environmental responsibility simple tips for Delaware and encourages visitors and staff to “Go Green” by reducing on our natural resources in order to create a healthier Going Green impact environment and lower the cost of operating the parks.

How You can Help Your Park

Carry In – Carry Out

in 1994, the delaware state Parks established the carry in - carry Out (cicO) trash-Free Parks Program. trash cans were removed and visitors are asked take their trash with them when they leave. the cicO program has fostered a partnership with visitors by encouraging everyone to help maintain clean parks.

Leave No Trace

delaware state Parks is a partner in the Leave No Trace® Outdoor ethics Program which is dedicated to promoting responsible outdoor recreation. Leave no trace builds awareness and seeks to minimize human impact on our parks, conservation areas, wildlands, and historic and cultural places. to learn more, visit:

Tree Recycling

each year, delaware state Parks collects christmas trees to be chipped for mulch. this offers families an opportunity to dispose of their trees in an eco-friendly way and put the principles of recycling into effect.

LEED Buildings

Leadership in energy and design (Leed) sets the standard for eco-friendly building design. Our Parks have adopted these standards, incorporating features such as rainwater collection, use of recycled materials, composting toilets and energy efficient fixtures.

Did you KNOW?

Delaware LEEDs the way

the renovated Blue Ball Barn in Alapocas Run State Park, originally built in 1914, is the first Leed-certified state-owned building in delaware. it is a great example of the preservation and adaptive reuse of an historic structure.

Here are some simple ways that you can support your state parks. By helping your park today, you will save it for future generations.


delaware state Parks is responsible for protecting and managing our precious natural, cultural and historical resources. This enormous task cannot be achieved without your help. the delaware state Parks trust Fund is a charitable endowment established with the delaware community Foundation to provide protection for delaware’s precious resources, now and in the future. to learn how you can join us in preserving our treasures, call (302) 739-9200.

Friends Groups

Friends groups are independent non-profit organizations of community members dedicated to assisting a particular park. Friends groups help with special events and programs, park maintenance, planning, fundraising, staffing and advocating for the park. call (302) 739-9193 or visit www.destateparks. com/volunteers to learn more.

Lend a Helping Hand

Become a volunteer! any group or individual can help by working on trails, leading environmental programs, maintaining buildings and grounds, or in other ways help improve the parks. Or consider making money and having a blast with the AmeriCorps Program. You’ll receive a stipend, student loan forbearance, day care and other benefits. members 17 and older serve in a 13-week summer program or 11-month full-time program providing quality recreation, environmental education, cultural and historic programming, and more. Get started today! call (302) 739-9193 or visit

Petiquette in the Park We want our pets to enjoy the park as much as we do, while still preserving others’ experiences: • Keep your pet on a 6’ leash or shorter • Always clean up after your pet • Call ahead to confirm pets are allowed and if there are any restrictions • Keep your pet quiet and calm • All vaccinations must be current




Indian River Life-Saving Station and Museum E9 Built in 1876 for use by the United States Life-Saving Service, the station has been restored to its 1905 appearance, complete with diamond-shaped trim. Be sure to visit the gift shop for souvenirs.


Park Staff Recommendations HIKING, BIKING, RIDING



Chestnut Hill Trail This single-track 3.4-mile trail in White Clay Creek State Park A1 features a packed-earth surface perfect for hiking or mountain biking through the forest and across meandering creeks.

Cape Henlopen State Park E8 A long pier provides access to Delaware Bay, where you can grab bait and tackle, equipment and snack foods for your trip. Dune crossovers allow access to designated surf fishing areas.

Fort Miles Historical Area Built in 1941 and home to the 261st Coast Artillery—which helped to protect the coast during World War II—this fort, located in Cape Henlopen State Park E8 was last used by the military in 1991.

Loblolly Trail A 4.6-mile loop around Trap Pond State Park B10, the Loblolly Trail has a variety of trail surfaces for hiking and biking. Borrow one of the park’s bikes for the trail.

Summer Concert Series

Several state parks, including White Clay Creek, Rockford Tower, Bellevue and Killens Pond offer exciting concerts in the summertime under the stars. View the schedule online.

Northern Delaware Greenway Trail The 1.6-mile portion of the trail within Bellevue State Park B1 features a wide, paved surface. Loaner bikes and a special adaptive tricycle are available. Ask at the park office.

Delaware Seashore State Park E9 In addition to surf fishing, anglers may try their luck along the banks of the Indian River Inlet. A special access pier allows people of all abilities to get close to the action.

Auburn Heights Preserve A1 See what life was like at the dawn of the automotive age. Auburn Heights Preserve features the largest collection of operating steam cars in the world.

Life Course Trail The trail follows an easy contour along a forested path of grass and soft pine needles in Killens Pond State Park B7. Stop at one of twenty exercise stations along the trail.

White Clay Creek State Park A1 Fish for trout in the spring, and bluegill and crappie year-round. Ponds offer a catch-and-release program for bass, and the stocked creek has rainbow and brown trout.

Fort Delaware State Park B2 This Civil War-era prison is easily accessible by ferry, and features living history, live cannon firing, ghost tours and was highlighted on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters program.

Bellevue State Park B1 Enjoy free lunchtime and nighttime concerts each summer and a holiday concert in the winter. The Arts Center features crafts for all ages and an annual children’s Earth Day poster contest. Summer Concert Series Each year, we host free concerts under the stars at White Clay Creek A1, Killens Pond B7, Bellevue B1 and Rockford Tower B1. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a wide variety of music. Delaware Folk Art Collection The stunning Blue Ball Barn B1 is the backdrop for this unique

collection of works that represents the many influences that shape Delaware’s cultural heritage. COTTAGES, CAMPING, CABINS Lums Pond State Park A2 Year-round camping sites, yurts and four horse sites with modern shower facilities, picnic tables, grills and more. Trap Pond State Park B10 Waterside camping cabins have heat and air for three-season comfort. Yurts and secluded walk-in tent sites are perfect for a relaxing getaway stay. Killens Pond State Park B7 Year-round family cabins sleep four and feature a kitchenette, eating area, bedroom, bath with shower, A/C and heat. Cabin rentals include a coupon for free canoe rental (subject to availability). The Cottages at Indian River Marina Year-round, furnished cabins along the Indian River Inlet, inside


Delaware Seashore State Park E9, sleep six and feature screened porch, kitchen, gas fireplace and more with fishing, swimming and tax-free shopping nearby.

BIRDING Pea Patch Island Heronry B2 This is the summer home to nine different species of herons, egrets and ibis. The island’s remote marshes provide a habitat for one of the East Coast’s largest wading bird nesting areas. CAPTION Hawk Watch Hill The aptly named Hawk Watch Hill in Brandywine Creek State Park B1 is the perfect place to view migratory hawks, flycatchers, warblers and other neo-tropical migrants.

Seaside Nature Center See nesting Osprey on the Osprey cam at the Cape Henlopen State Park E8 Nature Center. The camera provides a live feed on a nearby nest. Watch eggs hatch and adults start their winter migration.


3 days of wonder from Delaware’s Tip to Tip

Choose the campground at Lums Pond State Park to stage your first day of exploring. Situated around the largest freshwater pond in Delaware, this park is a short trip from Delaware City, where you can board a ferry bound for Fort Delaware State Park. This Civil War-era fortress, featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, offers award-winning living history programs and more. Return to shore and travel to nearby Old New Castle for shopping and dining.

Day Two

After a cup of coffee in camp, head south 40 miles to Dover and stop at the nearby First State Heritage Park to learn how Delaware became the “First State.” Then continue for 13 miles through the heart of Delaware—perhaps with a stop to try your luck at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino—to one of the camping cabins in centrally-located Killens Pond State Park. In the afternoon, rent a canoe and paddle the pond or play in the Water Park before returning to your cabins to freshen up for a free concert under the stars.

Day Three

After a restful night’s sleep in your cabin, finish your trip with a scenic drive to some of Delaware’s beach parks, featuring some of the best fishing on the East Coast at the Indian River Marina. Consider visiting Fort Miles Historic Area at Cape Henlopen State Park, and stop in at the Indian River LifeSaving Station Museum and Gift Shop. Bonus: Extend your stay a few nights by staying in a Cottage at the Indian River Marina at Delaware Seashore State Park, with the nearby tax-free shopping at Tanger Outlets and wonderful seafood.

Telephone: (302) 368-6989 Website: lums-pond 62 Campsites 4 Horse Sites (no hookups) 6 Family Sites & 2 Yurts Travel Times: Rehoboth Beach — 2 Hours Dover — 45 Minutes Wilmington — 30 Minutes Annapolis, MD — 1.5 Hours Baltimore, MD — 1.25 Hours Philadelphia, PA — 1 Hour


FIRSTS IN THE FIRST STATE: Indian River Marina – First “Clean Marina” in the state


Day One

Lums Pond State Park


Discover the wonders of Delaware State Parks from north to south, enjoying history and nature along the way. Explore the state from top to bottom in just a couple of days, but be sure to leave time to take in all that our parks have to offer: a lot. From Civil War tours to paddling in a canoe, there’s something for all.


Official State Park Map & Guide FIRSTS IN THE FIRST STATE: First State Heritage Park – Delaware’s first “park without boundaries” F A C...