Trails

Cape Henlopen State Park

Beach

  • Mode: Hiking and Equestrian
  • Distance: 4.6 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Accessible: No
  • Hiking Trailhead: Point Comfort Station parking lot, Bathhouse parking lot, Herring Point parking lot, Gordons Pond parking lot
  • Equestrian Trailhead: Point Comfort Station parking lot or Gordons Pond Area parking lot

Stroll or ride horseback along the ocean beach or hike the Atlantic Ocean between Cape Henlopen and Gordons Pond. Beach users can experience the constant change of the marine environment and nature enthusiasts can see shore birds foraging along the water's edge or Osprey circling overhead. See the military bunkers, which housed heavy artillery during World War II, tucked under high sand dunes or watch large cargo ships entering the mouth of the Delaware Bay.

Please Note: The beach north of the Point parking lot is subject to closure from March 1 to September 1. Please consult the Park Office at (302) 645-8983 for details before entering this area.

Equestrian Note: Seasonal horseback riding is permitted on the ocean beach. Please observe the riding guidelines, beach access schedule, parking and crossover connections in the Horseback Riding Guidelines.

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Pinelands Trail

  • Mode: Hiking
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailheads: Across from Seaside Nature Center, or from the Fort Miles Historic Area
  • Trail Challenge: Yes
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This two-mile loop meanders on a gentle grade through coastal upland pine forest over packed and loose sand. Nature enthusiasts will discover four species of pine, including loblolly, Virginia, pitch, and black, as well as cranberry bogs. Hikers will see old artillery bunkers built during World War II in an area once traversed by rails used to supply Fort Miles. The Pinelands Trail was designated as Delaware's first National Recreation Trail in 1981.

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Seaside Nature Trail

  • Mode: Hiking only
  • Distance: 0.6 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailhead: Seaside Nature Center

This flat, loose sandy surface trail offers a glimpse of a coastal pine forest and views of the Delaware Bay, Inner Breakwater, fishing pier, and the Henlopen Lighthouse. The trail traverses the bayside location of many of the Park's nature programs.

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Walking Dunes Trail

  • Mode: Hiking and Biking
  • Distance: 1.6 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailhead: Herring Point parking lot
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The trail travels through wooded uplands, traverses tidal marsh, and terminates at The Great Dune. It follows a gentle grade, suitable for all levels of hiking fitness, over sand, crushed shells, or pavement for 1.6 miles. In late spring, look along the trail for blooming Pink Lady's Slipper and Beach Heather, with its abundant, tiny yellow flowers. Nature enthusiasts will also enjoy views of the tidal marsh and of the many birding opportunities available.

Please note: In summer, be aware of poison ivy growing along the trail.

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Salt Marsh Spur

  • Mode: Hiking and Biking
  • Distance: 0.6 miles (one way)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailhead:

The trail intersects the Walking Dunes Trail approximately at its midpoint. This 0.6-mile spur offers opportunities to see plant and wildlife and views of tidal marsh along its gentle path of packed and loose sand.

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Gordons Pond Trail

  • Mode: Hiking and Biking
  • Distance: 2.75 miles (one way)
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Accessible: No
  • Trailheads: Gordons Pond and Herring Point parking lots

From the Gordons Pond parking lot, the trail follows the edge of Gordons Pond for approximately 0.75 miles over a level, packed crushed stone surface to a scenic overlook. The overlook provides a scenic vista and is a popular spot for bird watching. From the overlook, the trail narrows and takes users for another 1.9 miles around the pond over packed and loose sand. North of Gordons Pond, the trail traverses high sand dunes between the salt marsh and the beach, and continues through an upland pine forest to the Herring Point parking lot. Please stay on the designated trail to minimize impact on the area.

Please Note: The trail segment north of the overlook is subject to closure from March 1 through September 1. Please consult the Park Office at (302) 645-8983 for details before entering this area.

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Bike Loop Trail

  • Mode: Shared Use
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Accessible: Yes
  • Bike Rentals: Available at the Nature Center
  • Trailheads: Seaside Nature Center, Fort Miles Historic Area, Bathhouse parking lot, Fishing Pier parking lot

This paved trail is suitable for hikers, bikers, strollers, and rollers. The bike loop trail links the Park Office, Nature Center, campground, beach bathhouse, outdoor fitness area, observation tower, and the Fort Miles Historic Area. The observation tower is a popular stop along the trail. Climb the circular staircase for a panoramic view of the Cape Region. The Bike Loop provides side trails which connect to the fishing pier and kayak rental, the campground, and an ocean and dune overlook, resting atop a former military bunker. The trail contour is easy to moderate in difficulty. The Bike Loop Trail allows for a full experience and appreciation of the park. The American Discovery Trail follows the northern segment of the Bike Loop Trail from the Beach to Cape Henlopen Drive.

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Junction and Breakwater Trail

  • Mode: Shared Use
  • Distance: 5 miles (one way)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accessible: Yes
  • Trailhead: Wolfe Glade parking lot on Wolfe Glade Road, Holland Glade parking lot behind Tanger Outlet Seaside
  • Trail Challenge: Yes
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This trail follows a section of the former Penn Central railroad between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach for approximately five miles, along an easy contour on a crushed stone surface. The trail is suitable for hikers, bikers, and strollers. It is accessible from the designated trailheads. Trail users will pass through mature hardwood and conifer forests and open fields, and will experience scenic vistas of coastal marshes at the Wolfe Glade and Holland Glade crossings. Interpretive signs provide opportunities to learn about plant and animal life along the trail.

Please Note: Trail access in Lewes is from Kings Highway opposite the Cape Henlopen High School or from Gills Neck Road west of the entrance to the Hawks Eye Community. Rehoboth Beach access is from Hebron Road just off Route 1. No parking is available at these access points.

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