The numerous parks throughout Delaware offer both visitors and residents alike with opportunities to play outside, expand their mind, or try something new. Just like these park spaces, the possibilities are quite wide open. Every park offers its own experience, a different adventure, and different views.
1.Alapocas Run State Park
The Alapocas Run State Park was established in 2002 and includes several amenities and facilities, such as the Blue Ball Barn, the Can-Do Playground, rock climbing, a folk art collection, and much more. The Can-Do Playground is the state of Delaware’s first Boundless Playground™ and measures twenty-seven thousand square feet. This playground is designed for any child to be able to access it, regardless of sensory, mental, and physical abilities. The Alapocas Run State Park also provides opportunities for rappelling and top-rope climbing. Climbing camps and programs are offered as well. The Delaware Folk Art Collection is housed in the Blue Ball Barn.
1914 W Park Dr, Wilmington, DE 19803, Phone: 302-577-1164
2.Auburn Valley State Park
© Auburn Valley State Park
The Auburn Valley State Park is situated within the Red Clay Valley of the Piedmont offers visitors with a chance to learn about the Marshall Family’s history, the rich industrial history of the town of Yorklyn, and the site’s revitalization. The state park features paved biking trails, hiking trails, the historic Marshall Mansion built back in 1897, the ?-scale Auburn Valley railroad, the Marshall Steam Museum, and more. Visitors can explore the Marshall Steam Museum to see the world’s largest collection of operating steam cars, while the Historic Marshall Mansion offers a glimpse at life during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
630 Benge Rd, Yorklyn, DE 19736, Phone: 302-729-4278
3.Bellevue State Park
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The Bellevue State Park provides a majestic view of the historic estate and the state of it today is reflective of changes made by William du Pont, Jr., who surrounded his house with some of the finest facilities, such as a picturesque pond, gardens, equestrian stables, and tennis courts set amidst fields and woodlands that overlook the Delaware River. The slightly more than a mile track at the park circles a pond for catch-and-release fishing, the Bellevue Tennis Center offers a variety of tennis programs and contains eight clay courts, and hiking trails offer a chance to explore the grounds.
800 Carr Rd, Wilmington, DE 19809, Phone: 302-761-6963
4.Brandywine Creek State Park
The Brandywine Creek State Park features stone wall constructed during the latter part of the 1800’s out of local stone, back when the grounds were owned by the dairy farm du Pont family. The now state park includes three different nature preserves. These include the state of Delaware’s first nature preserve, Freshwater Marsh, and the Tulip Tree Woods. Anglers can try their luck fishing for crappie, bluegill, and smallmouth bass in the Brandywine Creek. Other popular activities in Brandywine Creek State Park include tubing, kayaking, canoeing, photography, hiking, and wildlife viewing, as well as cross-country skiing and sledding in winter.
41 Adams Dam Rd, Wilmington, DE, Phone: 302-577-3534
Brandywine Park in the city of Wilmington, Delaware is a great spot to have a picnic, jog or take a walk along the Brandywine River, go for a hike or bike ride, and much more. The picturesque park is home natural areas, formal gardens, monuments, the Josephine Fountain, the Baynard Stadium, and the Brandywine Zoo. Amenities within Brandywine Park include athletic fields, restrooms, a playground, picnic areas, pavilions, an off-leash area, hiking trails, grills, and concessions at the zoo and the stadium. The Baynard Stadium hosts track and field events, soccer matches, football games, and more.
1080 N. Park Dr., Wilmington, DE 19802, Phone: 302-577-7020
Cape Henlopen was declared to be for public use by William Penn, who received that land after 1682. This established one of the country’s first “public lands.” It has been in public domain since and has played a large role in the military history of the United States and in local shipping. Visitors to the beaches of Cape Henlopen, which have lifeguards during the summer season, can enjoy a variety of water activities, such as windsurfing, paddle boarding, clamming, kayaking, fishing, boating, and swimming. The trail at Cape Henlopen offers opportunities to explore the area on foot or by bike.
15099 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE, Phone: 302-645-8983
7.Delaware Seashore State Park
© George Sheldon/stock.adobe.com
The Delaware Seashore State Park provides two areas for ocean swimming, both with lifeguards throughout the summer months from 9:00am until 5:00pm. These swimming areas also include concession stands and modern bathhouses with changing rooms and showers. Mobi-Mat equipment is available at the South Inlet and Towers Ocean locations to allow wheelchair access to the beaches from the park’s boardwalk. There are also two different campgrounds at the Delaware Seashore State Park located on both sides of the Indian River Inlet. The campgrounds are able to accommodate an array of camping units, including tents and large recreational vehicles.
39415 Inlet Rd, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971, Phone: 302-227-2800
8.Fenwick Island State Park
The Fenwick Island State Park welcomes visitors to peaceful bay and ocean shorelines with popular activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, and surf fishing. Lifeguards patrol the ocean beaches during the summer season. Fenwick Island State Park includes a modern bathhouse that provides changing rooms and showers, as well as snack food concessions. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent throughout the summer, and Mobi-Mat equipment for wheelchair-accessible beach access is offered as well. There is also an observation tower still standing from Delaware’s World War II coastal defense system at the park’s northern end.
Route 1, Fenwick Island, DE, Phone: 302-227-2800
9.First State National Park
© NPS Photo
The First State National Historical Park consists of seven different historic sites and encompasses a wide area of land. The historic sites of Old Swedes Church, Fort Christina, and Beaver Valley can be found in Wilmington, the John Dickinson Plantation and The Green are in Dover, the Ryves Holt House is located in Lewes, and the New Castle Court House is in New Castle. Each of the sites has its own welcome center at which visitors can learn about programs and tour offers, as well as get their passport book for the First State National Park stamped.
211 Delaware St, New Castle, DE 19720, Phone: 302-544-6363
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10.Fort Delaware State Park
The Fort Delaware was originally constructed to serve as protection for the ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington and was used as a Union prison camp throughout the Civil War before becoming Fort Delaware State Park in the year 1951. Costumed interpreters now take visitors back in time to 1864 to tour the Fort Delaware’s barracks, parade ground, ordinance room, blacksmith shop, kitchen, and more. Guests can also hear tales of some great escapes of prisoners and watch cannon fires. Fort Delaware also has a bit of paranormal fame and ghost tours are offered during the fall season.
45 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE
11.Fort DuPont State Park
© Fort DuPont State Park
The Fort DuPont State Park is named in honor of Rear Admiral Samuel du Pont and served as a military base of the state of Delaware from the time of the Civil War up through World War II. The fort was then handed over to Delaware and was used for a variety of different purposes before being established as a state park in the year 1992. Visitors can take the River View Trail for a walk along the banks of the Delaware River and explore the rich historic history of the site. The park’s boat launch can be used for fishing on the river.
Route 9, Delaware City, DE, Phone: 302-834-7941
12.Fox Point State Park
The Fox Point State Park is a family-friendly state park located in the city of Wilmington and is a good place to have a picnic lunch of simply take a relaxing walk throughout the grounds. Within the park are picnic areas, a play area for children, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits, paved walking trails, and two pavilions that can be rented out for family gathering or events. Fox Point State Park also offers great views of the Delaware River. Visitors can stand at the overlooks in the park and possibly even see Philadelphia in the distance to the north.
Lighthouse Rd,Wilmington, DE, Phone: 302-761-6963
13.H. Fletcher Brown Park
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The H. Fletcher Brown Park, named after the philanthropist Harry Brown is situated downstream from the Brandywine Park and is the smallest of the Wilmington State Parks. This park boasts an overlook offering scenic vistas of the Brandywine River, along with the historic millrace providing a large amount of the water supply to the city of Wilmington, Delaware. H. Fletcher Brown Park offers a quiet space for a lunch or just to escape from the busy city. There are also works of art on display in the park created by Charles Parks, a renowned sculpture artist in Wilmington.
S. Park Dr and N. King St, Wilmington, DE 19801, Phone: 302-656-3665
14.Holts Landing State Park
The Holts Landing State Park is home to a rather surprising array of stunning landscapes, from hard hardwood forests and grassy fields with trails for jogging and walking to the beach on the bay shore. The waters of the bay are ideal for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Windsurfing is another popular water-based activity at the Holts Landing State Park. There is a pavilion and a fire pit nearby that can be used for company picnics, family reunions, and other gatherings. Holts Landing also hosts special events during the summer months, such as bayside concerts and Family Fun Nights.
27046 Holts Landing Rd, Dagsboro, DE 19939, Phone: 302-227-2800
15.Killens Pond State Park
The main highlight of the Killens Pond State Park is its millpond that encompasses approximately sixty-six acres. Situated in the central part of Delaware, the park contains trails for biking and hiking, as well as a course for cross-country running that winds its way through a variety of different habitats home to an array of native animals and plants. There is also an eighteen-hole disc golf course, ball fields, game courts, picnic areas, four pavilions that can be reserved for group events, and a playground. The Killens Pond Nature Center houses an exhibit of native amphibians and reptiles.
5025 Killens Pond Rd, Felton, DE 19943, Phone: 302-284-4526
16.Lums Pond Woods Nature Preserve
The Lums Pond Woods Nature Preserve was established as a state park in Delaware in 1963 and was originally land used by Native Americans as hunting camps. The grounds now offer visitors with a wide array of outdoor activities to take part in. The Go Ape zipline course lets guests view the Lums Pond Woods Nature Preserve from an entirely new perspective, featuring treetop crossings, rope ladders, four zip lines, and Tarzan swings. The campground at the state park provides campsites with sewer, electric, and water hookups, along with four sites without hookups for campers with horses.
1068 Howell School Rd, Bear, DE 19701, Phone: 302-368-6989
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17.Middle Run Valley Natural Area
The Middle Run Valley Natural Area is an 860-acre beautiful park owned by Delaware’s New Castle County and managed by the Delaware Nature Society to preserve its biodiversity. The park is home to a trail made specifically for accommodating birding, leading the Middle Run Valley Natural Area to become a very popular destination for the birding community. More than one hundred and ninety different bird species have been spotted in the park. Visitors can also explore ten miles of hiking and mountain biking trails through rolling hills, fields, and forest. These trails adjoin with the White Clay Creek State Park.
Possum Hollow Rd, Newark, DE 19711, Phone: 302-239-2334
Rockford Park is home to the Rockford Tower, a centerpiece of the Wilmington park that is more than one hundred years old. Pleasant wooded areas surround wide open spaces, providing an ideal spot for grilling, hiking, and picnics. The historic Rockford Tower is a stone water tower situated amidst vistas and rolling hills, providing some excellent views of the surrounding city of Wilmington, Delaware. Visitors can tour the tower on Sundays and Monday evenings during the summer concert season. The large green space provides a great place for gathering for people with pets and includes an off-leash dog park.
1021 W. 18th St, Wilmington, DE 19802, Phone: 302-577-7020
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19.Trap Pond State Park
The Trap Pond State Park was formerly an expansive freshwater wetland and is still home to the northernmost natural strand of bald cypress trees in the country. The pond that now exists in the park was constructed during the 1700’s to provide power to a sawmill. Trap Pond was established as one of the first state parks of Delaware in 1951. Recreational activities in the park include a playground for kids, athletic fields, a disc golf course, horseshoe pits, and volleyball courts. There are also trails for horseback riding, biking, and hiking. Birdwatching is also a popular activity at Trap Pond.
33587 Baldcypress Ln, Laurel, DE 19956, Phone: 302-875-5153
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20.White Clay Creek State Park
The White Clay Creek State Park boasts more than thirty-seven miles of mountain biking and hiking trails that lead visitors to scenic vistas that overlook fascinating rock outcrops and lush valleys, as well as various historic sites. The trails provide an easy way to explore the grounds of the White Clay Creek State Park, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. Some of the most interesting trails at White Clay Creek are the Pomeroy Rail-Trail and the trails at the Judge Morris Estate and Possum Hill. Year-round fishing for crappie and bluegill can be found at Cattail Pond and Millstone Pond.
Newark, DE, Phone: 302-368-6900
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20 Best Delaware State & National Parks
- Alapocas Run State Park, Photo: Rinitka/stock.adobe.com
- Auburn Valley State Park, Photo: Auburn Valley State Park
- Bellevue State Park, Photo: Alexander Borisenko/stock.adobe.com
- Brandywine Creek State Park, Photo: Rosemarie/stock.adobe.com
- Brandywine Park, Photo: Zhi/stock.adobe.com
- Cape Henlopen, Photo: Navalaney/stock.adobe.com
- Delaware Seashore State Park, Photo: George Sheldon/stock.adobe.com
- Fenwick Island State Park, Photo: terryd210/stock.adobe.com
- First State National Park, Photo: NPS Photo
- Fort Delaware State Park, Photo: cratervalley/stock.adobe.com
- Fort DuPont State Park, Photo: Fort DuPont State Park
- Fox Point State Park, Photo: alex/stock.adobe.com
- H. Fletcher Brown Park, Photo: tenboh siyaraku/stock.adobe.com
- Holts Landing State Park, Photo: Scott/stock.adobe.com
- Killens Pond State Park, Photo: mikeosphoto/stock.adobe.com
- Lums Pond Woods Nature Preserve, Photo: frederikloewer/stock.adobe.com
- Middle Run Valley Natural Area, Photo: aga7ta/stock.adobe.com
- Rockford Park, Photo: David/stock.adobe.com
- Trap Pond State Park, Photo: Abby/stock.adobe.com
- White Clay Creek State Park, Photo: Venera/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Erin Cadigan/stock.adobe.com