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

Junior Naturalist - Individual Week

Saturday, May 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM

Join us for this series for in-depth investigations of different nature topics. This program is geared to ages 6 - 12, drop-off program. Must pre-register. Cost is $25 per student for the full series or $8 per class.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 5/28/2022 10:00:00 AM 5/28/2022 11:00:00 AM America/New_York Junior Naturalist - Individual Week Join us for this series for in-depth investigations of different nature topics. This program is geared to ages 6 - 12, drop-off program. Must pre-register. Cost is $25 per student for the full series or $8 per class. White Clay Creek State Park

Sunday Stroll

Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Master Naturalist, Shelli Smith, for a relaxing stroll through White Clay Creek. Awaken your senses and deepen your relationship with the natural world through sensory explorations that combine curiosity, wandering and rest. Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, nature therapy walks have proven health benefits including stress reduction, lower cortisol levels, reduced blood pressure, and improved immunity. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Call 302-368-6900 by the Friday prior to program date. Free Program.

Add to Calendar 6/5/2022 1:00:00 PM 6/5/2022 3:30:00 PM America/New_York Sunday Stroll Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Master Naturalist, Shelli Smith, for a relaxing stroll through White Clay Creek. Awaken your senses and deepen your relationship with the natural world through sensory explorations that combine curiosity, wandering and rest. Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, nature therapy walks have proven health benefits including stress reduction, lower cortisol levels, reduced blood pressure, and improved immunity. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Call 302-368-6900 by the Friday prior to program date. Free Program. White Clay Creek State Park

Full Moon Friday

Friday, June 10, 2022 at 8:00 PM

Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 6/10/2022 8:00:00 PM 6/10/2022 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Full Moon Friday Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 10:30 AM

Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 6/18/2022 10:30:00 AM 6/18/2022 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Panning for Creek Gems Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Ethnobotany: People and Plants

Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 10:00 AM

Enjoy a guided 1.5 mile hike through the Judge Morris Estate. Discover some of the many ways people utilize plants and discuss how our use of plants has shaped the modern landscape. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water for this 2 hour walk through the woods. This program is provided by Master Naturalist Mary Osman. Pre-registration is required, call 302-368-6900. Free

Add to Calendar 6/25/2022 10:00:00 AM 6/25/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Ethnobotany: People and Plants Enjoy a guided 1.5 mile hike through the Judge Morris Estate. Discover some of the many ways people utilize plants and discuss how our use of plants has shaped the modern landscape. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water for this 2 hour walk through the woods. This program is provided by Master Naturalist Mary Osman. Pre-registration is required, call 302-368-6900. Free White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 6/26/2022 1:00:00 PM 6/26/2022 2:00:00 PM America/New_York Panning for Creek Gems Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Stroll with the Superintendent

Friday, July 1, 2022 at 3:00 PM

Join our park superintendent for this 1 hour hike. Meet at the Wedgewood Lot. Degree of Difficulty: Easy. Bring plenty of water and be prepared to hike! Pre-registration required, call 302-368-6900 the day before the program. Free

Add to Calendar 7/1/2022 3:00:00 PM 7/1/2022 4:00:00 PM America/New_York Stroll with the Superintendent Join our park superintendent for this 1 hour hike. Meet at the Wedgewood Lot. Degree of Difficulty: Easy. Bring plenty of water and be prepared to hike! Pre-registration required, call 302-368-6900 the day before the program. Free White Clay Creek State Park

Full Moon Friday

Friday, July 8, 2022 at 8:00 PM

Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 7/8/2022 8:00:00 PM 7/8/2022 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Full Moon Friday Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Sunday Stroll

Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Master Naturalist, Shelli Smith, for a relaxing stroll through White Clay Creek. Awaken your senses and deepen your relationship with the natural world through sensory explorations that combine curiosity, wandering and rest. Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, nature therapy walks have proven health benefits including stress reduction, lower cortisol levels, reduced blood pressure, and improved immunity. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Call 302-368-6900 by the Friday prior to program date. Free Program.

Add to Calendar 7/10/2022 1:00:00 PM 7/10/2022 3:30:00 PM America/New_York Sunday Stroll Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Master Naturalist, Shelli Smith, for a relaxing stroll through White Clay Creek. Awaken your senses and deepen your relationship with the natural world through sensory explorations that combine curiosity, wandering and rest. Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, nature therapy walks have proven health benefits including stress reduction, lower cortisol levels, reduced blood pressure, and improved immunity. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Call 302-368-6900 by the Friday prior to program date. Free Program. White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 10:30 AM

Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 7/16/2022 10:30:00 AM 7/16/2022 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Panning for Creek Gems Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Sunday, July 24, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 7/24/2022 1:00:00 PM 7/24/2022 2:00:00 PM America/New_York Panning for Creek Gems Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Sunday Stroll

Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Master Naturalist, Shelli Smith, for a relaxing stroll through White Clay Creek. Awaken your senses and deepen your relationship with the natural world through sensory explorations that combine curiosity, wandering and rest. Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, nature therapy walks have proven health benefits including stress reduction, lower cortisol levels, reduced blood pressure, and improved immunity. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Call 302-368-6900 by the Friday prior to program date. Free Program.

Add to Calendar 8/7/2022 1:00:00 PM 8/7/2022 3:30:00 PM America/New_York Sunday Stroll Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Master Naturalist, Shelli Smith, for a relaxing stroll through White Clay Creek. Awaken your senses and deepen your relationship with the natural world through sensory explorations that combine curiosity, wandering and rest. Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, nature therapy walks have proven health benefits including stress reduction, lower cortisol levels, reduced blood pressure, and improved immunity. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Call 302-368-6900 by the Friday prior to program date. Free Program. White Clay Creek State Park

Full Moon Friday

Friday, August 12, 2022 at 8:00 PM

Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 8/12/2022 8:00:00 PM 8/12/2022 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Full Moon Friday Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 10:30 AM

Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 8/13/2022 10:30:00 AM 8/13/2022 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Panning for Creek Gems Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

How Healthy is the Creek?

Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 10:00 AM

Come discover some living indicators of water quality in the White Clay Creek. Be prepared to get your feet wet. Pre-registration required, call 302-368-6900. Free Program.

Add to Calendar 8/20/2022 10:00:00 AM 8/20/2022 11:00:00 AM America/New_York How Healthy is the Creek? Come discover some living indicators of water quality in the White Clay Creek. Be prepared to get your feet wet. Pre-registration required, call 302-368-6900. Free Program. White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 8/21/2022 1:00:00 PM 8/21/2022 2:00:00 PM America/New_York Panning for Creek Gems Pan the creek for garnets, magnetite, and other shiny treasures! We will provide materials for participants. Water shoes and towel recommended. Online program registration ends 24 hours prior to program. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Full Moon Friday

Friday, September 9, 2022 at 7:30 PM

Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 9/9/2022 7:30:00 PM 9/9/2022 8:30:00 PM America/New_York Full Moon Friday Join our park naturalist for an evening hike near the full moon. We’ll start the hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $6 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Map and Directions