Great Places

Cape Henlopen State Park & Seaside Nature Center

38°47'2.82"N  75° 5'54.01"W

42 Cape Henlopen Drive
Lewes, DE 19958

Phone: (302) 645-8983
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Cape Henlopen State Park is one of Delaware's premiere outdoor attractions. Its beaches alone attract thousands on warm summer days, not to mention its campgrounds, trails, and mothballed military base. Where else can you camp amongst ammunition depots or stand atop an observation tower once used to spot Nazi submarines?

One of the park's strong points is its Seaside Nature Center, which provides a laundry list of family-friendly programs. Visitors can even rent a bicycle there for use on the park's two-mile, paved loop. And the ferry terminal right outside the front gate puts Cape May, New Jersey, within easy reach for a one-day side trip.

If you only have time for one trail during your visit, seek out the Pinelands Nature Trail. This two-mile loop is recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of Interior. It's also a just short walk from Fort Miles and Battery 519, the latter of which is a World War II museum. Visit for details.

Those seeking to escape the crowds may prefer the three-mile Gordons Pond Trail. This offers a half-mile boardwalk through fragile dunes and wetlands, as well as two wildlife-viewing platforms.

Before leaving, please be kind enough to put your trash in one of the many barrels provided. Doing so prevents water pollution known as "marine debris." Also, please be careful to avoid shorebird nesting areas marked by signs and ropes between March 1 and September 1. These include sites near Gordon's Pond, The Point and others, as needed.

Visit the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park online at

(Note: The lighthouse pictured is the same one used to model the state license plate that benefits the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, the creators of this website.)

Photo by Chris Walsh

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