Picture of Cape Henlopen State Park

CAPE HENLOPEN STATE PARK


About the Park

When the current lands of the state of Delaware were granted to William Penn sometime after 1682, Penn proclaimed that Cape Henlopen and its natural resources were to be for the common usage of the citizens of Lewes and Sussex County, thus establishing some of the nation's first "public lands." It has remained in the public domain ever since, playing a major role in local shipping and in the nation's military history. The historic Henlopen Lighthouse no longer helps to guide vessels through the treacherous bay waters, but the two stone "breakwaters" barriers off the point of the Cape, completed in 1869 and 1901, still form a safe harbor for boats during rough seas. As a Delaware state park, Cape Henlopen remains in the public domain.

Featured Program: Holiday Hike

Featured Program: Holiday Hike

Home for the holidays? Well bring the family and explore the parkfor animal homes and other signs of how our local wildlife “celebrate” winterin the park. Dress to go outside. For ages 5 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration recommended bycalling (302) 645-6852.Free Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Add to Calendar 12/26/2018 11:00:00 AM 12/26/2018 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Holiday Hike Home for the holidays? Well bring the family and explore the parkfor animal homes and other signs of how our local wildlife “celebrate” winterin the park. Dress to go outside. For ages 5 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration recommended bycalling (302) 645-6852.Free Cape Henlopen State Park


Water, Beaches, and Trails

Cape Henlopen's beaches attract thousands of visitors who enjoy everything from ocean swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking to clamming, paddle-boarding and wind-surfing. But Cape Henlopen offers more than just the ocean and bays. The park's premiere trails offer hiking and biking exploration.

A designated swimming beach, accessible from the Lewes entrance to the park, provides lifeguard patrols between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day (schedule may vary depending on staff availability).

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.

Camping and Cabins

Cape Henlopen's campground, set among pine-covered dunes, now includes 2-point hookups, 100-amp service on several sites, and sites to accommodate larger rigs. Twenty walk-in tent sites lie adjacent to the Waking Dunes Trail. Twelve camping cabins -- two-room individual cabins that offer an outdoor spigot and fire ring for cooking and share a communal bath house -- offer an economical alternative for vacationing at the beach. Visit our Reservations section for camping information and pricing.

Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area

During World War II, the Delaware River was a chief priority for defense planners because of the access it afforded to the giant trade centers of Wilmington, Philadelphia, and beyond. Fort Miles, located in what is now Cape Henlopen State Park, was a key piece of the nation's coastal defense at that time. Visit the Fort Miles page in our Attractions section for information about programs and tours.

Seaside Nature Center

The centerpiece of the newly-renovated Seaside Nature Center is a 495-gallon two-level touch tank, complete with viewing windows that allow visitors to see stingrays, horseshoe crabs and other species in the tank while they’re underwater. The nature center also features five 1,000-gallon tanks with local fish, exhibits that explain the different habitats within the park, a live Osprey cam (April through August), and a gift shop. A wide selection of activities and programs for children and adults are led by Seaside Nature Center staff each week.

Nature Center Hours

  • Mid-June through Labor Day
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
  • Fall and Spring
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • November through March
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday
  • Closed Monday and Tuesday

Borrow-A-Bike Program

Free bikes are available at the Seaside Nature Center on a first-come, first-served basis, weather permitting, for 2 hours at a time, Bikes must remain within the park and stay on the paved bike trail. For more information, call the nature center. The Borrow-A-Bike Program is a project of the Friends of Cape Henlopen.

Available 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily on days when the nature center is open

Nature Preserve

Beach Plum Island Nature Preserve – Washover Barrier Spit provides the only publicly owned wild beach in Delaware incorporating dune and marsh habitat as it lies between the Delaware Bay and the Broadkill River. A portion of beachfront allows surf fishing and pedestrian use however, a majority of the Preserve is off limits to human activity for the purpose of wildlife conservation. It provides important habitat for horseshow crab spawning and shorebird feeding in the spring.

Amenities: Linear Trail on river side (pedestrian only). Parking lot, limited access to beach and Broadkill River.

Acreage: 127 acres

Upcoming Events

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, December 15, 2018

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 12/15/2018 1:00:00 PM 12/15/2018 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, December 22, 2018

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 12/22/2018 1:00:00 PM 12/22/2018 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Featured Program: Holiday Hike

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

11:00 AM

Home for the holidays? Well bring the family and explore the parkfor animal homes and other signs of how our local wildlife “celebrate” winterin the park. Dress to go outside. For ages 5 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration recommended bycalling (302) 645-6852.Free

Add to Calendar 12/26/2018 11:00:00 AM 12/26/2018 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Holiday Hike Home for the holidays? Well bring the family and explore the parkfor animal homes and other signs of how our local wildlife “celebrate” winterin the park. Dress to go outside. For ages 5 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration recommended bycalling (302) 645-6852.Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Holiday Feeding Frenzy

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

01:00 PM

You think your relatives eat like a bunch of animals? See how and what we feed our stings rays, horseshoe crabs and fish. Free

Add to Calendar 12/26/2018 1:00:00 PM 12/26/2018 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Holiday Feeding Frenzy You think your relatives eat like a bunch of animals? See how and what we feed our stings rays, horseshoe crabs and fish. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Featured Program: Holiday for the Birds

Thursday, December 27, 2018

11:00 AM

Create some favorite treats to help our feathered friends throughthe winter and learn how to re-use your holiday tree. Materials will beprovided, just bring your family and friends. For ages 5 and up with a payingadult. Limit 20. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852.$2 per person 

Add to Calendar 12/27/2018 11:00:00 AM 12/27/2018 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Holiday for the Birds Create some favorite treats to help our feathered friends throughthe winter and learn how to re-use your holiday tree. Materials will beprovided, just bring your family and friends. For ages 5 and up with a payingadult. Limit 20. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852.$2 per person  Cape Henlopen State Park

Holiday Feeding Frenzy

Thursday, December 27, 2018

01:00 PM

You think your relatives eat like a bunch of animals? See how and what we feed our stings rays, horseshoe crabs and fish. Free

Add to Calendar 12/27/2018 1:00:00 PM 12/27/2018 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Holiday Feeding Frenzy You think your relatives eat like a bunch of animals? See how and what we feed our stings rays, horseshoe crabs and fish. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Featured Program: Squid Dissection

Friday, December 28, 2018

11:00 AM

Explore the ins and outs of these mysterious sea creatures throughhands-on dissection. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Limit 20. Pre-registrationrequired by calling (302) 645-6852. $5 per person

Add to Calendar 12/28/2018 11:00:00 AM 12/28/2018 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Squid Dissection Explore the ins and outs of these mysterious sea creatures throughhands-on dissection. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Limit 20. Pre-registrationrequired by calling (302) 645-6852. $5 per person Cape Henlopen State Park

Holiday Feeding Frenzy

Friday, December 28, 2018

01:00 PM

You think your relatives eat like a bunch of animals? See how and what we feed our stings rays, horseshoe crabs and fish. Free

Add to Calendar 12/28/2018 1:00:00 PM 12/28/2018 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Holiday Feeding Frenzy You think your relatives eat like a bunch of animals? See how and what we feed our stings rays, horseshoe crabs and fish. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, December 29, 2018

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 12/29/2018 1:00:00 PM 12/29/2018 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Featured Program: First Day Hike the Point

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

11:00 AM

What’s the Point? Find out on this annual hike to explore thesandy northeast tip of the Park. Meet at the nature center parking lot for agreat way to start the New Year! For ages 7 and up with an adult. Pre-registrationrecommended by calling (302) 645-6852.Free

Add to Calendar 1/1/2019 11:00:00 AM 1/1/2019 12:30:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: First Day Hike the Point What’s the Point? Find out on this annual hike to explore thesandy northeast tip of the Park. Meet at the nature center parking lot for agreat way to start the New Year! For ages 7 and up with an adult. Pre-registrationrecommended by calling (302) 645-6852.Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, January 5, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 1/5/2019 1:00:00 PM 1/5/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Guppy Club (Ages 3-5): Dressing for Winter

Thursday, January 10, 2019

10:30 AM

Bring your 3- to5-year-old and discover secrets of nature through stories, games, crafts, andoutdoor adventures. Children must be accompanied by an adult and dressed to gooutdoors.You wear a coat, but what doplants and animals “wear” to survive the winter weather?  Dress to go outside. Limit 12 children. Pre-registrationrequired by calling (302) 645-6852. $3 per child

Add to Calendar 1/10/2019 10:30:00 AM 1/10/2019 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Guppy Club (Ages 3-5): Dressing for Winter Bring your 3- to5-year-old and discover secrets of nature through stories, games, crafts, andoutdoor adventures. Children must be accompanied by an adult and dressed to gooutdoors.You wear a coat, but what doplants and animals “wear” to survive the winter weather?  Dress to go outside. Limit 12 children. Pre-registrationrequired by calling (302) 645-6852. $3 per child Cape Henlopen State Park

Starry Night – Star Gazing

Friday, January 11, 2019

06:30 PM

Explore the night skies in search of planets and constellationsand hear the ancient stories about them. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Dress to go outside. Limit 20.  NoRain/Cloud Date.Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person

Add to Calendar 1/11/2019 6:30:00 PM 1/11/2019 7:30:00 PM America/New_York Starry Night – Star Gazing Explore the night skies in search of planets and constellationsand hear the ancient stories about them. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Dress to go outside. Limit 20.  NoRain/Cloud Date.Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, January 12, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 1/12/2019 1:00:00 PM 1/12/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Chillin’ with Reptiles

Saturday, January 19, 2019

11:00 AM

Reptiles don’t like it cold, so where do they go and how do theysurvive the winter? We’ll answer these questions and give you a chance to seeand touch our captive snakes and turtles during this indoor presentation. Limit40. Pre-registrationrequired by calling (302) 645-6852.$3 per person

Add to Calendar 1/19/2019 11:00:00 AM 1/19/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Chillin’ with Reptiles Reptiles don’t like it cold, so where do they go and how do theysurvive the winter? We’ll answer these questions and give you a chance to seeand touch our captive snakes and turtles during this indoor presentation. Limit40. Pre-registrationrequired by calling (302) 645-6852.$3 per person Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, January 19, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 1/19/2019 1:00:00 PM 1/19/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Seals at the Beach

Saturday, January 26, 2019

11:00 AM

Stranded or just hanging out? Find out which species you may seeand what these marine mammals are doing on our beaches in the winter. Dress togo outside. For ages 7 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person

Add to Calendar 1/26/2019 11:00:00 AM 1/26/2019 12:30:00 PM America/New_York Seals at the Beach Stranded or just hanging out? Find out which species you may seeand what these marine mammals are doing on our beaches in the winter. Dress togo outside. For ages 7 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, January 26, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 1/26/2019 1:00:00 PM 1/26/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Groundhog Day Hike

Saturday, February 2, 2019

11:00 AM

Who needs a large rodent to forecast the coming of spring? Be yourown prognosticator and hike the park with a naturalist looking for signs to predictwhen spring will begin. For ages 5 and up with an adult. Pre-registration recommended by calling (302) 645-6852.Free

Add to Calendar 2/2/2019 11:00:00 AM 2/2/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Groundhog Day Hike Who needs a large rodent to forecast the coming of spring? Be yourown prognosticator and hike the park with a naturalist looking for signs to predictwhen spring will begin. For ages 5 and up with an adult. Pre-registration recommended by calling (302) 645-6852.Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, February 2, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 2/2/2019 1:00:00 PM 2/2/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Starry Night – Star Gazing

Friday, February 8, 2019

06:30 PM

Explore the night skies in search of planets and constellationsand hear the ancient stories about them. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Dress to go outside. Limit 20. No Rain/Cloud Date.Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person

Add to Calendar 2/8/2019 6:30:00 PM 2/8/2019 7:30:00 PM America/New_York Starry Night – Star Gazing Explore the night skies in search of planets and constellationsand hear the ancient stories about them. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. Dress to go outside. Limit 20. No Rain/Cloud Date.Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person Cape Henlopen State Park

Storming the Beach Hike 2

Saturday, February 9, 2019

11:00 AM

Back for round two after storming conditions last year. Explorethe ocean and examine how storms shape the sand and how plants and animalsadapt. For ages 7 and up with an adult. Pre-registrationrecommended by calling (302) 645-6852.Free

Add to Calendar 2/9/2019 11:00:00 AM 2/9/2019 12:30:00 PM America/New_York Storming the Beach Hike 2 Back for round two after storming conditions last year. Explorethe ocean and examine how storms shape the sand and how plants and animalsadapt. For ages 7 and up with an adult. Pre-registrationrecommended by calling (302) 645-6852.Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, February 9, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 2/9/2019 1:00:00 PM 2/9/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Guppy Club (3-5 year olds): Loving Nature

Thursday, February 14, 2019

10:30 AM

Bring your 3- to 5-year-old and discover secrets of nature throughstories, games, crafts, and outdoor adventures. Children must be accompanied byan adult and dressed to go outdoors.What better day to share your loveof nature then Valentine’s Day? We will explore outside for things to loveabout nature. Dress to go outside. Limit 12 children. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $3 per child

Add to Calendar 2/14/2019 10:30:00 AM 2/14/2019 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Guppy Club (3-5 year olds): Loving Nature Bring your 3- to 5-year-old and discover secrets of nature throughstories, games, crafts, and outdoor adventures. Children must be accompanied byan adult and dressed to go outdoors.What better day to share your loveof nature then Valentine’s Day? We will explore outside for things to loveabout nature. Dress to go outside. Limit 12 children. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $3 per child Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, February 16, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 2/16/2019 1:00:00 PM 2/16/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Seals at the Beach

Saturday, February 23, 2019

11:00 AM

Stranded or just hanging out? Find out which species you may seeand what these marine mammals are doing on our beaches in the winter. Dress togo outside. For ages 7 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person

Add to Calendar 2/23/2019 11:00:00 AM 2/23/2019 12:30:00 PM America/New_York Seals at the Beach Stranded or just hanging out? Find out which species you may seeand what these marine mammals are doing on our beaches in the winter. Dress togo outside. For ages 7 and up with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 645-6852. $2 per person Cape Henlopen State Park

Feeding Frenzy

Saturday, February 23, 2019

01:00 PM

Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free

Add to Calendar 2/23/2019 1:00:00 PM 2/23/2019 1:30:00 PM America/New_York Feeding Frenzy Witness the different ways our local fish eat as we feed the stingrays in the touch tank and the other fish in the nature center aquariums. Free Cape Henlopen State Park

Map and Directions