Delaware is one lucky state, to be surrounded by so much water! With rivers and ponds throughout our three counties, and miles of bay and ocean coast, you’re never far from a gorgeous waterfront trail in Delaware. Check any of these out when you’re looking to get out and about this summer, and enjoy a stunning view as well as a place to cool off!
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Gordon's Pond, Cape Henlopen State Park
The Gordons Pond Trail is a 2.65 mile one way trail that wraps around the pond and brings you to a scenic overlook. This is one of the best spots in the state for bird watching, and you'll get a great view of Delaware's salt marshes. There are two additional overlooks as you continue around the pond, each showing off a part of Cape Henlopen State Park, from the beach to the marsh. You'll end up at Herring Point, which is a great place to catch a sunrise or a sunset.
2. Riverview Trail, Fox Point State Park
Fox Point's Riverview Trail is an easy two mile trail that follows along the Delaware River. You'll see freighters and boats on the river and the Delaware Memorial Bridge in the background. This is a quiet spot to observe the busy river and catch a nice breeze on a hot day. Along the trail, you'll find exhibits that teach you about the river and coastal ecosystem.
3. Beach Area, Fenwick Island State Park
The beach at Fenwick Island offers over 2.5 miles of hiking and exploring. Shore birds are common on this quieter beach, especially during the week when the crowds are smaller.
4. Sea Hawk Trail, Holt's Landing State Park
The Sea Hawk Trail is an easy 1.5 mile loop that shows off forest, grassy meadows, and the Indian River shoreline. The various environments you'll walk through are great for nature enthusiasts, as you'll encounter all sorts of wildlife here.
5. Beach Area, Delaware Seashore State Park
Over 4.5 miles of beach are ready for you to hike in Delaware Seashore State Park! Count how many Ospreys you can see, collect beautiful conch shells or sea glass, and enjoy the sound of the ocean lapping at the shore.
6. Loblolly Trail, Trap Pond State Park
The 4.6 mile loop around Trap Pond is one of the nicest waterfront trails in Delaware. The Baldcypress trees are always fascinating, and the rare birds like Great Blue Herons are so fun to spot. Warblers, kingfishers, and many more bird species call this pond their home - how many can you spot? Stop by the Nature Center to learn more about this incredibly diverse pond, about halfway through the loop.
7. Burton Island Trail, Delaware Seashore State Park
Burton Island Trail is a 1.5 mile one way trail that starts on the north end of the Marina and provides jaw dropping views of the Indian River Bay and Rehoboth Bay. You'll spot lots of wildlife in the open salt marsh, including rare reptiles and the Diamondback Terrapin. Be sure to stay on the trail - the ecosystem here is delicate, and you don't want to disturb the wildlife.
8. Cypress Point Trail, Trap Pond State Park
An easy one mile trail at Trap Pond will take you along the pond's edge and show off plenty of the park's famous bald cypress trees. This is a great trail to hike if you're looking for peace and quiet, or a place to lay down a picnic blanket and watch nature while you enjoy your lunch.
9. Pondside Trail, Killens Pond
The Pondside Trail at Killens Pond is a 2.6 mile loop that will show you the entirety of Killens Pond. There are plenty of side connector trails that you can follow off of the main trail for even better water views. My favorite part of this trail is crossing all of the streams that head into the pond. You can fish from here as well, and it's easy access to the Nature Center, where family-friendly events occur all summer long.
10. River View Trail, Fort DuPont
The River View Trail is just about a mile long and it will show you tidal marsh and the Delaware River, along with taking you back in time to the Civil War, where Fort DuPont and Fort Delaware helped defend our entire region. You'll even spot Fort DuPont's gun batteries along the trail.
11. Port Penn Trail, Fort DuPont State Park
Port Penn's trail at Fort Dupont State Park is a favorite of local photogaphers. It's less than a mile (one way) and will take you to incredible vistas overlooking marsh and water. There are plenty of opportunities to see rare birds, and you'll learn a lot along the way with the interpretative exhibits.
12. Beach Trail, Cape Henlopen State Park
Cape Henlopen offers 4.6 miles of beach between the Cape and Gordon's Pond. You'll walk past military bunkers hiding in the dunes and spot large ships entering the Delaware Bay. If you keep an eye out, you might even see dolphins swimming not too far off of the coast.
13. Walking Dune & Salt Marsh Spur, Cape Henlopen State Park
The Walking Dune and Salt Marsh Spur Trail will take you just about 2 miles through wooded uplands, beautiful tidal marsh that's home to many shorebirds, and finally to the Great Dune of Cape Henlopen State Park. There are stunning flowers along the way, and the Salt Marsh Spur about halfway through the trail will bring you views of marsh and wildlife that you'll never forget.
14. Swamp Forest Trail, Lums Pond State Park
The 6.4 mile Swamp Forest Trail will show you all that Lums Pond has to offer, from the wetland forests of maple, Black Cherry and Sweet Gum trees to the boat launch, campground, and beautiful pond. Stop by the Nature Center or have a picnic right on the water! This is an easy trail that brings you to many boardwalks over the pond and marsh ecosystems.