Picture of White Clay Creek

White Clay Creek State Park


Trail Safety Notice

A portion of the Twin Valley/Mason Dixon Trail is closed until further notice. A bridge spanning a ravine was destroyed by a fallen tree, and the bridge is not safe. Please access the Arc Corner Monument from the Carpenter Trailhead. Posted 10/21/19

Find Your Adventure at White Clay Creek

White Clay Creek is stocked with trout

Go Fish

White Clay Creek is the most heavily stocked water in the state of Delaware! Try fly-fishing, or casting your line from the creek’s edge. The park offers catch-and-release fishing for largemouth bass, and Smith Mill Pond offers accessible docks for anglers of all abilities.

Trail at White Clay Creek State Park

Explore A Diverse Trail System

With 37+ miles of trails, this is a popular destination for hikers, bikers, runners, and mountain bikers! Hikers of all abilities can enjoy paved trails, and historical monuments throughout the park tell the history of White Clay and the state of Delaware.

Chambers House Nature Center at White Clay Creek State Park

Visit the Chambers House Nature Center

Visit the 200-year-old Chambers House Nature Center to learn the history of the park and the natural and cultural resources of this piedmont stream valley. Hike along the creek trail to enjoy views of the creek, wildlife and geologic outcroppings.

Sanguinaria canadensis bloodroot at White Clay Creek State Park

Discover a Wild and Scenic River

White Clay Creek is a nationally-designated Wild and Scenic River. Check out the spring wildflowers that bloom along the creek, including trout lily, spring beauty, bloodroot, nodding trillium, and mayapple.

 

Disc golf is popular at White Clay Creek State Park

Play Disc Golf

The disc golf course at the Carpenter Recreation Area is an 18-round course that meanders through wooded areas. Even better: the course is located near picnic areas and pavilions!

 

Bryans Field trail at White Clay Creek State Park

Superintendent’s Pick: Bryan’s Field Trail

Hike or mountain bike this trail for great wildlife viewing opportunities and access to hunting and fishing areas. For advanced bikers, there is a challenging mountain biking skills course. Don’t forget to check out the Post Mark’d West!

About the Park

Named for the clay that was once mined in the area, White Clay Creek State Park’s natural vistas, woodlands and creek with its many small tributaries span piedmont ridges and stream valleys along Delaware’s northern edge. White Clay Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River, is stocked with fish for anglers. The forest provides critical habitat for migrating and nesting birds, including the rare cerulean warbler. More than 37 miles of trails welcome hikers, bikers and runners on the most diverse trail system in Delaware. The rich history of the park, woven through natural and cultural resources, is still evident in the ruins and buildings found here, like the 1790s Judge Morris Estate and Chamber’s House Nature Center.

As overdevelopment in the northern part of the state became a matter of increasing concern in the late 1960s, the state began to purchase lands adjoining a small recreational park, which in 1975 became known as Walter S. Carpenter State Park. State land acquisitions and donations, from the Du Pont family and others, eventually expanded the park to over 3,600 acres. The park was renamed White Clay Creek State Park in 1995. The White Clay Creek was named a National Wild and Scenic River by the National Park Service in 2000, which added an additional layer of protection to the area. Today, the park continues to serve as a vital protected area of scenic and recreational open space in northern Delaware. White Clay Creek State Park also features a pavilion, a bandshell and stage, a playground, accessible fishing docks, disc golf course, and more.

Master Plan

After significant input from the public, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has adopted the White Clay Creek Master Plan. The plan will provide the park with a vision and framework for the next 10 years. Top strategies include infrastructure improvements to the White Clay Creek Nature Center area to meet the demand of programs and relocation of the park office to the Maxwell House.

Freshwater Fishing

The Smith Mill Pond offers accessible docks for bluegill fishing, and a catch-and-release program for largemouth bass can be found at Judge Morris Estate. The White Clay Creek offers anglers the opportunity to fish for stocked rainbow and brown trout. Trout fishing opens the first Saturday in April. A fishing license is required at all times when fishing. A trout stamp is required April through June 30th and again in October through November. Fly-fishing is only allowed north of the Chambers Rock Bridge up to the Pennsylvania border. The creek closes to all fishing two weeks prior to the opening day of trout season. Get information on fishing permits..

Hiking and Biking

White Clay Creek Bridge

Over 37 miles of trails lead explorers to historic sites and scenic vistas overlooking lush valleys and impressive rock outcrops. Hikers and mountain bikers enjoy the large number of easy-to-moderate trails throughout the park. Of special interest are those at Possum Hill and the Judge Morris Estate, along with the Pomeroy Rail-Trail, which runs alongside White Clay Creek.

Upcoming Events

Naturalist Led Hike

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Ready to find a new favorite trail? Join the park naturalist on this series to explore trails and discover nature in White Clay Creek State Park. Dress for the weather, bring bottled water and come ready for adventure! Call 302-368-6900 for registration and hike location information. Free

Add to Calendar 2/14/2023 10:00:00 AM 2/14/2023 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Naturalist Led Hike Ready to find a new favorite trail? Join the park naturalist on this series to explore trails and discover nature in White Clay Creek State Park. Dress for the weather, bring bottled water and come ready for adventure! Call 302-368-6900 for registration and hike location information. Free White Clay Creek

Backyard Birding

Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 9:00 AM

Join the park naturalist to learn about winter birds. Learn about local birds, observe the feeders at the Nature Center and go on a short hike. Pre-registration required by 3 p.m. on Friday 302-368-6900. Free

Add to Calendar 2/25/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/25/2023 10:30:00 AM America/New_York Backyard Birding Join the park naturalist to learn about winter birds. Learn about local birds, observe the feeders at the Nature Center and go on a short hike. Pre-registration required by 3 p.m. on Friday 302-368-6900. Free White Clay Creek

Intro to Fly Fishing

Monday, February 27, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Bring any equipment you have and join Ed O’Donnell and Sam Palermo of the Friends of White Clay Creek State Park to learn the basics of fly fishing on February 27 and fly tying on March 6. Must pre-register by the Friday before the program by calling the park office (302)368-6900. Space is limited. Free

Add to Calendar 2/27/2023 7:00:00 PM 2/27/2023 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Intro to Fly Fishing Bring any equipment you have and join Ed O’Donnell and Sam Palermo of the Friends of White Clay Creek State Park to learn the basics of fly fishing on February 27 and fly tying on March 6. Must pre-register by the Friday before the program by calling the park office (302)368-6900. Space is limited. Free White Clay Creek

Murder at the Mansion

Friday, March 3, 2023 at 7:00 PM

It’s the 1930s, the Great Depression is over, and it is a time of great prosperity for the social elite. The Balderdash’s are hosting a party but this one lacks one thing, the butler. It's up to you to solve the mystery. Light refreshments provided. $25 per person. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900 before noon.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 3/3/2023 7:00:00 PM 3/3/2023 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Murder at the Mansion It’s the 1930s, the Great Depression is over, and it is a time of great prosperity for the social elite. The Balderdash’s are hosting a party but this one lacks one thing, the butler. It's up to you to solve the mystery. Light refreshments provided. $25 per person. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900 before noon. White Clay Creek

Full Moon Friday

Friday, March 3, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900 prior to 3 p.m. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 3/3/2023 7:00:00 PM 3/3/2023 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Full Moon Friday Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900 prior to 3 p.m. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person. White Clay Creek

Murder at the Mansion

Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 7:00 PM

It’s the 1930s, the Great Depression is over, and it is a time of great prosperity for the social elite. The Balderdash’s are hosting a party but this one lacks one thing, the butler. It's up to you to solve the mystery. Light refreshments provided. $25 per person. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900 before noon.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 3/4/2023 7:00:00 PM 3/4/2023 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Murder at the Mansion It’s the 1930s, the Great Depression is over, and it is a time of great prosperity for the social elite. The Balderdash’s are hosting a party but this one lacks one thing, the butler. It's up to you to solve the mystery. Light refreshments provided. $25 per person. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900 before noon. White Clay Creek

Intro to Fly Tying

Monday, March 6, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Bring any equipment you have and join Ed O’Donnell and Sam Palermo of the Friends of White Clay Creek State Park to learn the basics of fly fishing on February 27 and fly tying on March 6. Must pre-register by the Friday before the program by calling the park office (302)368-6900. Space is limited. Free

Add to Calendar 3/6/2023 7:00:00 PM 3/6/2023 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Intro to Fly Tying Bring any equipment you have and join Ed O’Donnell and Sam Palermo of the Friends of White Clay Creek State Park to learn the basics of fly fishing on February 27 and fly tying on March 6. Must pre-register by the Friday before the program by calling the park office (302)368-6900. Space is limited. Free White Clay Creek

Intro to Biomimicry: Inspiration from Nature

Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Join Master Naturalist Mary Osman on a hike to learn about ways nature inspires innovative solutions to everyday problems. Please call 302-368-6900 to register. Free

Add to Calendar 3/18/2023 10:00:00 AM 3/18/2023 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Intro to Biomimicry: Inspiration from Nature Join Master Naturalist Mary Osman on a hike to learn about ways nature inspires innovative solutions to everyday problems. Please call 302-368-6900 to register. Free White Clay Creek

Stroll with the Superintendent

Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 1:00 PM

Join the park superintendent at the Judge Morris Estate for a house and grounds tour. We'll be sharing history, current improvements and more. Pre-registration required by calling 302-368-6900. Free

Add to Calendar 3/18/2023 1:00:00 PM 3/18/2023 2:00:00 PM America/New_York Stroll with the Superintendent Join the park superintendent at the Judge Morris Estate for a house and grounds tour. We'll be sharing history, current improvements and more. Pre-registration required by calling 302-368-6900. Free White Clay Creek

The Wedge, the Arc and the Horn

Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 1:00 PM

The Arc Corner Monument signifies a land swap between Pennsylvania and Delaware. Join local historian Mike Ott for a hike to the Arc Corner Monument and to another marker on the DE Arc for some interesting history of these boundaries. Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Space is limited, pre-registration is required by noon, Thursday, March 26, Call 302-368-6900 for registration. Meet at the Chambers House Nature Center. Free

Add to Calendar 3/19/2023 1:00:00 PM 3/19/2023 2:30:00 PM America/New_York The Wedge, the Arc and the Horn The Arc Corner Monument signifies a land swap between Pennsylvania and Delaware. Join local historian Mike Ott for a hike to the Arc Corner Monument and to another marker on the DE Arc for some interesting history of these boundaries. Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Space is limited, pre-registration is required by noon, Thursday, March 26, Call 302-368-6900 for registration. Meet at the Chambers House Nature Center. Free White Clay Creek

Map and Directions