Picture of Delaware Seashore State Park

DELAWARE SEASHORE STATE PARK


Park History

Transportation along this barrier island, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay, was difficult until the Federal government completed construction of two large steel and stone jetties in 1939, stabilizing the Indian River Inlet. The State Park Commission (now the Division of Parks and Recreation) began managing the land as Indian River State Park in 1965, but it didn't become Delaware Seashore State Park until 1967.

Swimming, Surfing Sunbathing

Two ocean swimming areas, patrolled by lifeguards from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during the summer season, feature modern bathhouses with showers, changing rooms and concession stands. The beach just north of the Inlet is one of the few surfing areas within the park. 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 the Towers Ocean and South Inlet locations.

Camping at the Beach

Two campgrounds, one on each side of the Indian River Inlet, accommodate a variety of camping units, from tents to large recreational vehicles. North Inlet campsites feature three-point hookups (electricity, water, and sewer service), with three-point hookups (electric, water and sewer) and Standard (no hookups) sites, and tent sites available at the South Inlet campground.

Two campgrounds, one on each side of the Indian River Inlet, accommodate a variety of camping units, from tents to large recreational vehicles. North Inlet campsites feature three-point hookups (electricity, water, and sewer service), with three-point hookups (electric, water and sewer) and Standard (no hookups) sites, and tent sites available at the South Inlet campground. Get info about camping at Delaware Seashore.

Indian River Marina

Anglers may try their luck along the banks of the Indian River Inlet or on the ocean beaches, and head boats and charter boats launch out of the full-service Indian River Marina, offering wet slips, fuel docks, boat storage, supplies and more. Visit our Indian River Marina page for hours and information.

Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum

Built in 1876 for use by the United States Lifesaving Service, the full-restored station today features maritime exhibits and historic reenactors who periodically demonstrate turn-of-the-century techniques to rescue sailing ships in distress. Includes a gift shop offering unique coastal and maritime merchandise. Visit our Indian River Life-Saving Station page for hours and information.

Fishing, Clamming and Crabbing

A special access pier at the Indian Inlet allows the elderly and people with disabilities to get close to the fishing action. Clamming and crabbing are permitted in some sections of the bays; please check with the Park Office for open areas. Marked dune crossings allow surf-fishing access for four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach (permits required). Permits are also required for fishing, clamming and crabbing. Click for information about surf fishing permits and fishing licenses. WARNING: The State online automated fishing license system is NOT compatible with mobile devices or iPads and may encounter printing issues with touch screen computers and apple products.

Dining

Located at the South Inlet Day Use Area at Delaware Seashore State Park, Big Chill Beach Club is an oceanfront restaurant and event tent featuring an umbrella deck with breath-taking 360° views of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River Inlet, and Indian River Bay. The Big Chill Beach Club features casual beach fare from breakfast to dinner, full-service cocktails, wine and beer, an oyster bar and Umbrella Bar, fire pit and hang-out game area, beach amenities for the beach-goers, and catered events for up to 200 people. Open daily April to October, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. A park entry fee is charged March through November.

Bury your toes in the sand tableside at Hammerheads Dockside at the Indian River Marina! This full-service outdoor restaurant offers a fresh, vibrant menu with terrific views of the marina. Features include live music, a full-service bar, free parking, and complementary dockage for boaters (subject to availability). Open daily at 7 a.m. during the summer.

Outdoor Recreation

Hikers and bikers beat the heat on a cool stretch of the Fred Hudson Trail

The shallow bays are perfect for windsurfing and sailing. A non- motorized boat launch provides access for sail boards, kayaks, and boats in the New Road area.

Six different family-friendly trails showcase a variety of habitats for hikers, bikers, or horseback riders, and entertaining and informative programs, such as bay seining and marsh hikes, are held throughout the summer. The park hosts a popular Sandcastle Contest each July, where amateur participants create unique sculptures and castles to compete for prizes.

Nature Preserve

Rehoboth Bay Marshes Nature Preserve – Enjoy the views of saltmarsh cordgrass. This Nature Preserve is utilized by migrating songbirds and water birds such as black crowned night herons.

Amenities: Loop Trail (pedestrian only) Access to Burtons Island is by causeway at north end of Indian River Marina. Parking lot. Bathroom access at Park Office.

Acreage: 205 acres

Thompson Island Nature Preserve – thousands of years of human occupation and mature coastal forest make up this Nature Preserve. Trail access is limited in the Preserve. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful marsh and Island views from the overlook at trail’s end.

Amenities: Linear Trail (pedestrian only). Parking on site.

Acreage: 191 acres

Upcoming Events

Kayak Eco-Tour: Exploring "Station Cove"

Thursday, August 16, 2018

9:30 a.m.

Paddle a sit-on-top kayak through the marshes of Rehoboth Bay and catch a unique glimpse of the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station. Along this 2.5 mile journey, park naturalists will identify the wildlife that makes up this dynamic ecosystem, including the only nesting colony of Laughing Gulls in Delaware. Pre-registration required. Ages 13 and up; under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Add to Calendar 08/16/2018 09:30 AM 08/16/2018 12:30 PM America/New_York Kayak Eco-Tour: Exploring "Station Cove" Paddle a sit-on-top kayak through the marshes of Rehoboth Bay and catch a unique glimpse of the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station. Along this 2.5 mile journey, park naturalists will identify the wildlife that makes up this dynamic ecosystem, including the only nesting colony of Laughing Gulls in Delaware. Pre-registration required. Ages 13 and up; under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Delaware Seashore State Park

NEW! Lunch with the Life-Savers

Thursday, August 16, 2018

1 p.m.

The coast of Delaware is sometimes referred to as the “Culinary Coast” and with good reason! The wide range of restaurants in our area is a foodie’s dream and buzzwords like “locally-sourced” and “farm-to-table” are becoming more and more important to those that are dining. However this is nothing new. The surfmen that served at the Indian River Life-Saving Station over 100 years ago most likely ate food that was all locally-sourced. Join park historians to learn about the daily lifestyle of the surfmen, how they may have sourced (or caught!) their food, and enjoy a 19th-century, surfman-style lunch. Pre-registration required by 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Ages 12 and up. Market price. Call (302)-227-6991 to register.

Add to Calendar 08/16/2018 01:00 PM 08/16/2018 03:00 PM America/New_York NEW! Lunch with the Life-Savers The coast of Delaware is sometimes referred to as the “Culinary Coast” and with good reason! The wide range of restaurants in our area is a foodie’s dream and buzzwords like “locally-sourced” and “farm-to-table” are becoming more and more important to those that are dining. However this is nothing new. The surfmen that served at the Indian River Life-Saving Station over 100 years ago most likely ate food that was all locally-sourced. Join park historians to learn about the daily lifestyle of the surfmen, how they may have sourced (or caught!) their food, and enjoy a 19th-century, surfman-style lunch. Pre-registration required by 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Ages 12 and up. Market price. Call (302)-227-6991 to register. Delaware Seashore State Park

Sea Glass Jewerly

Thursday, August 16, 2018

2 p.m.

Make a simple sea glass pendant using a few basic wire-wrap techniques. Bring your own piece of sea glass or choose from our collection. Pre-registration required. Ages 12 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register.

Add to Calendar 08/16/2018 02:00 PM 08/16/2018 03:30 PM America/New_York Sea Glass Jewerly Make a simple sea glass pendant using a few basic wire-wrap techniques. Bring your own piece of sea glass or choose from our collection. Pre-registration required. Ages 12 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register. Delaware Seashore State Park

Seining the Bay: Holts Landing State Park

Thursday, August 16, 2018

2 p.m.

Use a 20-ft seine to catch fish, crabs and other critters. Learn to identify each species and learn about their adaptations for survival. Closed-toe shoes and pre-registration required. Ages 2 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register.

Add to Calendar 08/16/2018 02:00 PM 08/16/2018 03:30 PM America/New_York Seining the Bay: Holts Landing State Park Use a 20-ft seine to catch fish, crabs and other critters. Learn to identify each species and learn about their adaptations for survival. Closed-toe shoes and pre-registration required. Ages 2 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register. Delaware Seashore State Park

Shark Discovery

Thursday, August 16, 2018

11 a.m.

Research like a marine biologist and understand why sharks are a vital piece of our ocean ecosystem. Discover monitoring techniques, biology, and how sharks create balance in the food web. Do a science experiment and craft to take home too! Pre-registration required. Ages 8 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register.

Add to Calendar 08/16/2018 11:00 AM 08/16/2018 12:30 PM America/New_York Shark Discovery Research like a marine biologist and understand why sharks are a vital piece of our ocean ecosystem. Discover monitoring techniques, biology, and how sharks create balance in the food web. Do a science experiment and craft to take home too! Pre-registration required. Ages 8 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register. Delaware Seashore State Park

Wild CRAB Chase!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

08:30 p.m.

We’re sending you on a wild CRAB chase! Join a park naturalist on the beach at night to seek out the elusive, nocturnal ghost crab. All you need is a flashlight to assist you in spotting them as they scurry from side to side in search of their evening meal.

Add to Calendar 08/16/2018 08:30 PM 08/16/2018 09:30 PM America/New_York Wild CRAB Chase! We’re sending you on a wild CRAB chase! Join a park naturalist on the beach at night to seek out the elusive, nocturnal ghost crab. All you need is a flashlight to assist you in spotting them as they scurry from side to side in search of their evening meal. Delaware Seashore State Park

Bird Beak Eats

Friday, August 17, 2018

9:30 a.m.

Figure out how what a bird may eat based on what its beak looks like. Join a Park Naturalist and discover different beaks of birds in our area and their corresponding feeding methods and prey. Use everyday tools to find the best fit for the job! Pre-registration required. Ages 6 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register.

Add to Calendar 08/17/2018 09:30 AM 08/17/2018 10:30 AM America/New_York Bird Beak Eats Figure out how what a bird may eat based on what its beak looks like. Join a Park Naturalist and discover different beaks of birds in our area and their corresponding feeding methods and prey. Use everyday tools to find the best fit for the job! Pre-registration required. Ages 6 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register. Delaware Seashore State Park

Citizen Archeology: Finding Historic Artifacts on Delaware's Beaches

Friday, August 17, 2018

10 a.m.

There’s more than shells washing up on our Delaware beaches. Come and experience some of the historic artifacts that have been found on our beaches and what still washes up today. Learn what you can do to help our Cultural Resources Team preserve our maritime heritage, should you ever come across a relic from the past during your beachcombing explorations. With Delaware’s rich maritime history, you never know what could wash up next. Pre-registration required. Ages 8 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register.

Add to Calendar 08/17/2018 10:00 AM 08/17/2018 11:30 AM America/New_York Citizen Archeology: Finding Historic Artifacts on Delaware's Beaches There’s more than shells washing up on our Delaware beaches. Come and experience some of the historic artifacts that have been found on our beaches and what still washes up today. Learn what you can do to help our Cultural Resources Team preserve our maritime heritage, should you ever come across a relic from the past during your beachcombing explorations. With Delaware’s rich maritime history, you never know what could wash up next. Pre-registration required. Ages 8 and up. Call (302)-227-6991 to register. Delaware Seashore State Park

Day Camp for Big Kids

Friday, August 17, 2018

9 a.m.

Feel like a kid at camp again, but without the counselors! Experience the park by exploring everything from the wild coastal landscapes to its newest amenities. Kick the day off with a kayak eco-tour through the marsh islands of Rehoboth Bay and see the only colony of nesting Laughing Gulls in the state! Then head over to Hammerheads Dockside for lunch, followed by a stop by the Center for Inland Bays and the U.S. Coast Guard Station Indian River. Finish the day with a guided hike over the Indian River Inlet bridge, ending at the Big Chill Beach Club. Pre-registration required by calling (302)-227-6991. Ages 21 and up. Price includes all activities, lunch, and a voucher to be spent at Big Chill.

Add to Calendar 08/17/2018 09:00 AM 08/17/2018 03:00 PM America/New_York Day Camp for Big Kids Feel like a kid at camp again, but without the counselors! Experience the park by exploring everything from the wild coastal landscapes to its newest amenities. Kick the day off with a kayak eco-tour through the marsh islands of Rehoboth Bay and see the only colony of nesting Laughing Gulls in the state! Then head over to Hammerheads Dockside for lunch, followed by a stop by the Center for Inland Bays and the U.S. Coast Guard Station Indian River. Finish the day with a guided hike over the Indian River Inlet bridge, ending at the Big Chill Beach Club. Pre-registration required by calling (302)-227-6991. Ages 21 and up. Price includes all activities, lunch, and a voucher to be spent at Big Chill. Delaware Seashore State Park

Kayak Eco-Tour: Exploring "Station Cove"

Friday, August 17, 2018

9:30 a.m.

Paddle a sit-on-top kayak through the marshes of Rehoboth Bay and catch a unique glimpse of the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station. Along this 2.5 mile journey, park naturalists will identify the wildlife that makes up this dynamic ecosystem, including the only nesting colony of Laughing Gulls in Delaware. Pre-registration required. Ages 13 and up; under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Add to Calendar 08/17/2018 09:30 AM 08/17/2018 12:30 PM America/New_York Kayak Eco-Tour: Exploring "Station Cove" Paddle a sit-on-top kayak through the marshes of Rehoboth Bay and catch a unique glimpse of the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station. Along this 2.5 mile journey, park naturalists will identify the wildlife that makes up this dynamic ecosystem, including the only nesting colony of Laughing Gulls in Delaware. Pre-registration required. Ages 13 and up; under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Delaware Seashore State Park

Kayak Eco-Tour: Exploring "Station Cove"

Saturday, August 18, 2018

9:30 a.m.

Paddle a sit-on-top kayak through the marshes of Rehoboth Bay and catch a unique glimpse of the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station. Along this 2.5 mile journey, park naturalists will identify the wildlife that makes up this dynamic ecosystem, including the only nesting colony of Laughing Gulls in Delaware. Pre-registration required. Ages 13 and up; under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Add to Calendar 08/18/2018 09:30 AM 08/18/2018 12:30 PM America/New_York Kayak Eco-Tour: Exploring "Station Cove" Paddle a sit-on-top kayak through the marshes of Rehoboth Bay and catch a unique glimpse of the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station. Along this 2.5 mile journey, park naturalists will identify the wildlife that makes up this dynamic ecosystem, including the only nesting colony of Laughing Gulls in Delaware. Pre-registration required. Ages 13 and up; under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Delaware Seashore State Park

Evening at the Amphitheater

Monday, August 20, 2018

7 p.m.

Join a park naturalist at the south campground amphitheater for a fun and informative program about the natural and cultural resources of Delaware Seashore State Park. Topics may range from critters of the campground to the history of the Indian River Inlet. Park at the South Inlet Day Area.

Add to Calendar 08/20/2018 07:00 PM 08/20/2018 08:00 PM America/New_York Evening at the Amphitheater Join a park naturalist at the south campground amphitheater for a fun and informative program about the natural and cultural resources of Delaware Seashore State Park. Topics may range from critters of the campground to the history of the Indian River Inlet. Park at the South Inlet Day Area. Delaware Seashore State Park

Paint Night: Nautical Flag Art

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

6:30 p.m.

Join park interpretive staff at the Big Chill Beach Club to try your hand at an “upcycling” paint night. Learn about the history of the International Code of Signals and how it ties in with the history of the park. Paint your own message in nautical flags on a piece of rustic, reclaimed wood from park picnic tables and beach boardwalks. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 227-6991. Ages 21 and up.

Add to Calendar 08/22/2018 06:30 PM 08/22/2018 08:00 PM America/New_York Paint Night: Nautical Flag Art Join park interpretive staff at the Big Chill Beach Club to try your hand at an “upcycling” paint night. Learn about the history of the International Code of Signals and how it ties in with the history of the park. Paint your own message in nautical flags on a piece of rustic, reclaimed wood from park picnic tables and beach boardwalks. Pre-registration required by calling (302) 227-6991. Ages 21 and up. Delaware Seashore State Park

Cruise the Canal

Friday, August 24, 2018

2 p.m.

Ride the Cape Water Tours Taxi and explore Delaware State Parks like never before. Guides from both Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore State Parks will lead you on a 2-hour tour along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, covering Fort Miles, Thompson Island Nature Preserve, and everything in between. Make your reservation online at capewatertours.com and be sure to sign up for the “Delaware State Parks” cruise.

Add to Calendar 08/24/2018 02:00 PM 08/24/2018 04:00 PM America/New_York Cruise the Canal Ride the Cape Water Tours Taxi and explore Delaware State Parks like never before. Guides from both Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore State Parks will lead you on a 2-hour tour along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, covering Fort Miles, Thompson Island Nature Preserve, and everything in between. Make your reservation online at capewatertours.com and be sure to sign up for the “Delaware State Parks” cruise. Delaware Seashore State Park

2nd Annual Delaware Seashore State Park Paddlefest

Saturday, August 25, 2018

9 a.m.

Sometimes the forgotten part of Delaware Seashore State Park, the bayside marshes are teeming with wildlife and full of local history. Launch at Savages Ditch and explore 4 miles of marsh islands via kayak. Along the way, park interpreters will be stationed throughout the course to talk about points of interest and hand out goodies. At the end, paddlers will be greeted at Tower Rd Bayside with a certificate of completion, photo-ops, and food for purchase from the food truck! Bring your own kayak or rent from Coastal Kayak (reservations required for rentals). This kayaking adventure is for experienced paddlers ONLY! It is a one-way course and transportation is available to bring you back to Savages Ditch. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call (302) 227-6991 for details, fees, and reservations.

Add to Calendar 08/25/2018 09:00 AM 08/25/2018 02:00 PM America/New_York 2nd Annual Delaware Seashore State Park Paddlefest Sometimes the forgotten part of Delaware Seashore State Park, the bayside marshes are teeming with wildlife and full of local history. Launch at Savages Ditch and explore 4 miles of marsh islands via kayak. Along the way, park interpreters will be stationed throughout the course to talk about points of interest and hand out goodies. At the end, paddlers will be greeted at Tower Rd Bayside with a certificate of completion, photo-ops, and food for purchase from the food truck! Bring your own kayak or rent from Coastal Kayak (reservations required for rentals). This kayaking adventure is for experienced paddlers ONLY! It is a one-way course and transportation is available to bring you back to Savages Ditch. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call (302) 227-6991 for details, fees, and reservations. Delaware Seashore State Park

Evening at the Amphitheater

Monday, August 27, 2018

7 p.m.

Join a park naturalist at the south campground amphitheater for a fun and informative program about the natural and cultural resources of Delaware Seashore State Park. Topics may range from critters of the campground to the history of the Indian River Inlet. Park at the South Inlet Day Area.

Add to Calendar 08/27/2018 07:00 PM 08/27/2018 08:00 PM America/New_York Evening at the Amphitheater Join a park naturalist at the south campground amphitheater for a fun and informative program about the natural and cultural resources of Delaware Seashore State Park. Topics may range from critters of the campground to the history of the Indian River Inlet. Park at the South Inlet Day Area. Delaware Seashore State Park

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