- Camping and Cottages
- Sports and Leisure Activities
- Nature/History Programs
- School Group Programs
- Summer Camps
- Indian River Marina
- Museums, Attractions, Brandywine Zoo
- Weddings, Meetings
- General Information
- Resident Curatorships
- Volunteering, Friends'
- Passes and Fees
Please Choose a Park:
Cape Henlopen State Park
(302) 645-8983 / N38° 46'0" W75° 5'43"
NOTICE: The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier is closed to the public until further notice. The all-wooden pier built during World War II has been closed due to its deteriorating pilings. Delaware State Parks is actively working towards repairs to allow for public access.
Beaches and Open Spaces
Cape Henlopen's beaches attract thousands of visitors who enjoy ocean swimming and sunbathing. A designated swimming beach, accessible from the Lewes entrance to the park, provides lifeguard patrols between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day (schedule mayvary due to staff availability).Umbrellas can be rented during the summer. The swimming area also features a modern bath house with showers, changing rooms, and a food concession. Mobi-Mat equipment, consisting of three 30-foot mats allowing those in wheelchairs and power chairs to access the beach from the boardwalk, is also available at this location. View our wheelchair policy here.
The park's open spaces feature many other activities. A picnic pavilion and the "Officer's Club" building can both be reserved for group events. An 18-hole disc golf course encourages friendly competition, and basketball courts promote more active exercise. Winter hunting is permitted in some areas of the park; a hunting permit is required, and information can be obtained from the Park Office. Annual events such as the Kite Festival and the Halloween Fantasy Trail are family favorites. The park also conducts a variety of entertaining recreational programs, including natural history lectures, seaside seining, and birdwatching, to name but a few.
Cape Henlopen has many year-round hiking and biking opportunities. Experience the park's scenic and ever-changing landscape - and get a lesson in history - along the three-mile-long paved trail that loops the park. Take a trail break and climb to the top of the World War II Observation Tower, where the 360-degree views are spectacular. Or take a short climb to the top of a former military bunker to view the dynamic action along the Atlantic coastline. Explore the coastal environment along the Seaside or the Pinelands Nature Trails, or hike the six miles of beach along the Atlantic Ocean.
Surf Fishing Restrictions
Vehicles bearing surf-fishing permits (meaning their occupants must be actively engaged in recreational surf fishing) are required to park in single file, with a ban on vehicle stacking. This enables better enforcement of the actively-engaged rule and also addresses safety concerns for beachgoers and park staff. Read More
About Beach Driving
Vehicles may be driven onto the beach for the sole purpose of actively engaging in fishing, in designated areas only. A surf fishing vehicle tag is required to use these areas.