Trails

Trap Pond State Park

American Holly Trail

  • Mode: Hiking and Biking
  • Distance: 0.7 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: Yes
  • Trailhead: Across from the Baldcypress Nature Center

The American Holly Trail follows a gentle grade on a crushed stone surface making it suitable for all levels of hiking and biking fitness. It joins with the Loblolly Trail to form a loop. Trail users will experience a mixed hardwood forest landscape.

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Boundary Trail

  • Mode: Hiking, Biking, and Equestrian
  • Distance: 3.6-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: Yes (Partially)
  • Trailhead: Parking lots near the Nature Center and screened pavilion, campground
  • Trail Challenge: Yes

The Boundary Trail loop travels around Trap Pond and offers a variety of trail surfaces for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Trail users will find a diverse landscape of mixed hardwood forests, wooded riparian corridors, baldcypress trees, abundant birds and wildflowers, and the historic Bethesda Church. For horseback riding, a portion of the Boundary Trail follows Wootten and Little Hill Roads passing the Bethesda Church to complete the loop; this segment is located in the southeast portion of the park.

Equestrian Notes: 1) Use caution while traveling along roadways; and 2) Please refer to the Horseback Riding Guidelines.

Please note: Bikers please yield to equestrians. For more trail etiquette guidance, visit the Leave No Trace website.

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Loblolly Trail

  • Mode: Hiking, Biking, and Equestrian (Partially)
  • Distance: 4.6-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: Yes
  • Trailhead: Across from the Baldcypress Nature Center
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This trail winds around Trap Pond and links the Park Office, campground, and Baldcypress Nature Center. Nature enthusiasts will find abundant warblers, kingfishers, Great Blue Heron and baldcypress trees in their wetland habitats. The trail follows a crushed stone surface and traverses a fresh water wetland over an elevated bridge. This area is popular among birding enthusiasts. The Loblolly Trail allows for a full experience and appreciation of the park. ? Please Note: Horseback riding is permitted on the trail section which coincides with the Boundary Trail in the southwest area of the park. Please consult the park map and check trail use markers.

Equestrian Note: Please refer to the Horseback Riding Guidelines.

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Cypress Point Trail

  • Mode: Hiking
  • Distance: 1.0 mile
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: Yes (Partially)
  • Trailhead: Cypress Point parking lot

This loop trail meanders through mixed forest and along the pond's edge where abundant baldcypress trees flourish in the park's wetlands. This trail is ideal for all levels of hiking fitness.

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Island Trail

  • Mode: Hiking
  • Distance: 0.6-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: Yes (Partially)
  • Trailhead: Screened pavilion in picnic area

Explore the park's diversity on this short loop trail that meanders along the pond's edge over a packed earth surface. The trail connects with the American Holly and Loblolly Trails and is suitable for all levels of hiking fitness.

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Terrapin Branch Water Trail

  • Mode: Canoe, Kayak
  • Distance: 1.4 miles (one-way)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailhead: Trap Pond boat ramp

This non-tidal water trail offers access into the majesty of the Baldcypress Swamp and the treasures that rest within. The trail begins at the boat ramp and stretches eastward into the dense canopy of this unique wetland world. Paddlers can see otter, water snakes, and Prothonotary Warblers. As the water trail forks, continue to the left and the passage begins to narrow. The brown foot bridge signals the intersection of Loblolly Pine Trail.

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Racoon Pond Water Trail

  • Mode: Canoe, Kayak
  • Distance: 1.0 mile (one-way)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailhead: Trap Pond boat ramp

Beginning at the boat ramp, paddle to the east and travel right at the fork. Raccoon Branch narrows along stands of baldcypress and other water-tolerant flora. Portage is required to pass the vehicular bridge on Wooten Road where Raccoon Pond offers placid open-water paddling.

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James Branch Water Trail

  • Mode: Canoe, Kayak
  • Distance: 6.5 miles (one-way)
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailhead: Trap Pond boat ramp

*Special Notice: The James Branch Nature Preserve, from the Trap Pond spillway downstream to the bridge at Hitch Pond Road, is closed until further notice.
Visitors wanting to paddle the James Branch Water Trail may put in at the Records Pond Boat Ramp and paddle upstream approximately 5 miles to Hitch Pond road. See map.

The James Branch may be the closest to wilderness you can find in Delaware and winds through the dedicated James Branch Nature Preserve. View champion-sized baldcypress and stands of old-growth that are remnants of the vast swamp that covered this portion of Delmarva.

Please Note: A free permit is needed to paddle the James Branch Water Trail. Permits can be obtained at the Baldcypress Nature Center or by emailing william.koth@state.de.us. Trap Pond State Park rental boats may not be used on the James Branch Water Trail.

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