Bordering the Atlantic ocean, Delaware has many coastal State Parks with sublime views, which are dramatic and inspiring across the different seasons. Go surf fishing at Delaware Seashore State Park, hike the 90-mi. Coastal Heritage Greenwat at Cape Henlopen, or pootle about in a fishing boat on Lums Pond. Whether you are exploring Port Penn's historic attractions or poring over museum artifacts at Indian River, Delaware's diverse attractions and white sand beaches offer the setting for unforgettable vacation memories.
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Best Delaware State Parks for Families
Swing through the canopy, fly down a zip-line, paddle on serene creeks, and get up close to feeding hummingbirds. Delaware's State Parks offer an array of exciting experiences for families, including Delaware's Outdoor Family Programs and Children in Nature programs. Here are some of the best in the state:
1. Lums Pond State Park
Centering around the largest freshwater pond in the state, Lum's Pond Park is home to a thrilling Go Ape! Treetop Adventure Course. Swing like Tarzan through the trees, fly down five zip-lines, and embark on treetop crossings. Boat on the lake, play sport, or hike the park's trail system. Soccer, tennis, basketball, and volleyball join disc golf and horseshoeing as fun sports options in this all-rounded park.
2. Ashland Nature Center
Plenty of family-focused activities are on hand so you can experience nature as never before. Visit the Butterfly House to learn about these brightly colored beauties, spot birdlife at Bird Blind, and watch the wings of the hummingbirds as they feast on nectar at Hummingbird Haven. Hawks swoop overhead as you follow scenic trails into some of Delaware's most impressive and impactful landscapes. One hundred and thirty acres of woodland join meadows, marshes, and Red Clay Creek to capture children's imaginations.
3. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
Your family will be awed by the magical vistas of migrating birds resting at this park on the Atlantic coast. With nearly 16,000 acres, there's plenty of space for little ones to run about. For added interest, Allee House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Best Delaware State Parks for Hiking
Over 15 miles of hiking trails wind through the state of Delaware, supplying scenic vistas and ocean views along the way. Here are some of the very best:
1. Brandywines Creek State Park
Hike trails beneath 150-year-old tulip poplars, past freshwater marshland, and historic buildings. Deer and wild flowers, songbirds, and hawks can be spotted between the trees in this thousand acre park.
2. Bellvue State Park
With hiking and horse-riding trails throughout this State Park, plus an array of nature trails to choose from, Bellvue is one of the most appealing parks for hikers. Explore the Northern Delaware Greenway, which unfolds through meadows and dense woodland that is threaded with creeks.
3. Alapocas Run State Park
The hiking trails at this wonderful park in Wilmington vary from easy to moderate difficulty, making this the perfect spot for beginners and families. There's no shortage of beautiful scenery and wildlife, however. Nature lovers will especially enjoy the PawPaw Trail in spring, when the bright green Paw Paw trees burst into flower.
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Best Delaware State Parks for Adventure Sports
Opening onto the Atlantic, Delaware's State Parks boast some of the most rugged and adventure-focused attractions in the United States.
1. Cape Henlopen State Park
Hike, bike or fish at this spectacular State Park, which boasts some of the best views in the state. Follow the 3-mi. paved trail or ascend to the top of the World War II Observation Tower. Discover the seashore's diverse wildlife on the Pinelands Nature Trails, and the 6-mi.-long trail that runs along the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Go surf fishing, play on the park's 18 hole golf course, or hit the basketball courts.
2. Trap Pond State Park
Kayak amid serene cypress trees, hike past hummingbirds and wild flowers, and look out for bald eagles soaring overhead. Follow the 5-mi. Boundary Trail that skims the sides of the 90-acre pond. Learn more about the natural heritage of the park, or play volleyball with your fellow vacationers.
3. Delaware Seashore State Park
Sunbathers and swimmers line the pristine beaches of this State Park, which looks out onto the Atlantic ocean. Surf fishing is popular with beach-goers, while others embark on boating adventures, surf, or sailboard out on the glittering water. At 2,825 acres, there's plenty of space for sports of all kinds in the park. Families may enjoy crabbing and clamming before barbecues on the beaches too.
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