Delaware State Parks Covid-19 Preparations and Response
Delaware State Parks staff understand that our natural resources are a vital means for the public to exercise and a source for food; however, in order to keep our parks open for all members of the public to enjoy, we ask that our visitors be mindful of the length and frequency of their visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The safest way to enjoy Delaware State Parks is sparingly, as needed, and during off-peak times: before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. daily. Those aged 13 or older must bring face coverings with them to enter a park and wear them when they cannot maintain social distancing from other visitors, such as in bathhouses, park offices, concession buildings, boat docks, and on trails and paths where others are present. Rangers or park staff may require those who do not bring face masks to leave.
Home is the safest place to be! Whenever possible, Delaware residents should look for safe ways to get moving and have fun around their home and neighborhood. Our entire Delaware State Parks team wants you and your loved ones to remain as safe as possible now so you can enjoy our parks to their fullest once the threat of COVID-19 has passed.
Visiting the Parks
- State park offices are open. Credit cards are required for all purchases. You must observe social distancing requirements and wear a face covering when entering a park office.
- Beach-area bathrooms and bathhouses are open. Most bathrooms in other state parks around the state are also open, but some remain closed due to social distancing/cleaning considerations. Cleaning services have been increased to multiple times per day at all open bathrooms and bathhouses.
- Daily entry fees or passes are required for entrance to Delaware State Parks. Entrance booths at parks are not staffed, so visitors without a state park annual pass must pay the daily fee via automated credit card machines or the self-registration envelopes at park entrances. Visitors are encouraged to purchase an annual pass to avoid anticipated delays for daily entrance payments. See the Pass and Permit Sales section below for information about annual passes.
- Sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, surfing, kayaking, walk-on surf fishing and other activities have resumed. Masks or face coverings are encouraged to be worn on beaches.
- At least 6-foot distance is required on beaches among those from different households, and groups of visitors from the same household may not exceed 10 persons.
- Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island State Parks have capacity limits – between 50% and 70% of parking spaces – that will be enforced at entrances and with closure of parking spaces.
- A distance of 20 feet is required between surf-fishing vehicles.
- Officers may close drive-on surf-fishing beaches to additional surf-fishing vehicles when the carrying capacity to implement social distancing is not possible.
Visit our COVID-19 Surf-Fishing FAQ page for answers to your questions about temporary surf-fishing restrictions currently in effect.
Camping, Picnic and Pavilion Reservations
- Campsites, cabins, cottages, and yurts are open. All cabins and cottages are sanitized by a professional cleaning service between rentals.
- Picnic areas and pavilions are open and available for reservations. Groups may not exceed 250 people.
- A liberal cancelation policy is in effect through June 15, allowing those with reservations to cancel and receive a full refund.
- Refunds and reservation cancellations are processed by the Delaware State Parks reservation vendor. Additional questions can be handled at the call center at 877-98 PARKS (877-987-2757).
Pass and Permit Sales
- Annual park pass and surf-fishing permit sales are currently available online and at most state park offices. Off-site retail sales will resume once circumstances permit. Those who purchased an annual pass online before June 1 may place their receipt of purchase in the window of their vehicle to use state parks while waiting for the pass to arrive by mail.
- The purchase of an annual pass, lifetime pass or surf fishing permit does not guarantee access to Delaware State Parks property, programs or functions when the number of visitors is restricted due to a high volume of visitors at peak times or other instances of restrictions, including, but not limited to, government restrictions, state of emergency, strike, flood, fire, or unforeseen catastrophe.
- Purchases of passes and/or permits are non-refundable.
Education, Events, and Programs
- Summer camps scheduled for the month of June have been cancelled.
- All museums, nature centers and playgrounds are closed.
- Park programs, tours, concerts, and special events are cancelled until further notice.
- Most Department-related events and programs, including tours, trainings and special events have been postponed. Specific information about the status of any Delaware State Parks event is available on the parks program calendarand the social media pages below.
- Videos and interactive blog posts are shared with the public every day on Delaware State Parks’ Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts, and the Delaware State Parks Adventure Blog. Visit our #DailyParks page for links, videos and downloadable coloring book pages.
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.
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Check here for the latest updates from individual parks.