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 in Progress

The Division of Parks and Recreation is beginning the process of creating a master plan for White Clay Creek State Park. The purpose of this master plan is to provide a vision and a framework for the stewardship and use of the park.

Freshwater Fishing

Millstone and Cattail Ponds offer year-round fishing for bluegill and crappie, and a catch-and-release program for largemouth bass. 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 October through November. The creek closes to all fishing two weeks prior to the opening day of trout season. Get information on fishing permits..

Hiking and Biking

trail at white clay creek with a wooden fence next to it

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

Sunset Hike

Friday, June 25, 2021 at 8:00 PM

Join the park naturalist for an evening Hike near the full moon and enjoy the sunset as wel talk about the month's full moon. Must pre-register by calling the park office 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $4 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 6/25/2021 8:00:00 PM 6/25/2021 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Sunset Hike Join the park naturalist for an evening Hike near the full moon and enjoy the sunset as wel talk about the month's full moon. Must pre-register by calling the park office 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $4 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Sunday, June 27, 2021 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 6/27/2021 1:00:00 PM 6/27/2021 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

Panning for Creek Gems

Saturday, July 10, 2021 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 7/10/2021 10:30:00 AM 7/10/2021 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

Stroll with the Superintendent

Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 3:00 PM

Join our park superintendent for a hike on portions of the Millstone Pond and Twin Valley trails. We'll learn some history of the area including discussing the free African-American families that lived here in the 1800s. We may also make our way to the Wells Barn and discuss its history and preservation efforts. Degree of Difficulty: Moderate. Bring plenty of water and be prepared to hike!! Pre-registration required by the day before. Free

Add to Calendar 7/11/2021 3:00:00 PM 7/11/2021 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Stroll with the Superintendent Join our park superintendent for a hike on portions of the Millstone Pond and Twin Valley trails. We'll learn some history of the area including discussing the free African-American families that lived here in the 1800s. We may also make our way to the Wells Barn and discuss its history and preservation efforts. Degree of Difficulty: Moderate. Bring plenty of water and be prepared to hike!! Pre-registration required by the day before. Free White Clay Creek State Park

Hiking Series

Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 9:00 AM

New to the park? Ready to find a new favorite trail? Then join our naturalist on this series to explore our trails. Dress for the weather, bring bottled water and come ready for adventure! Registration required. Call by noon on Friday to Register, 302-368-6900. Hike will beChestnut Hill Trail Length: 3.3mi / approx. 1.5 hours. Terrain: some hilly, uneven ground. Meet at Judge Morris parking area kiosk. Free

Add to Calendar 7/17/2021 9:00:00 AM 7/17/2021 10:45:00 AM America/New_York Hiking Series New to the park? Ready to find a new favorite trail? Then join our naturalist on this series to explore our trails. Dress for the weather, bring bottled water and come ready for adventure! Registration required. Call by noon on Friday to Register, 302-368-6900. Hike will beChestnut Hill Trail Length: 3.3mi / approx. 1.5 hours. Terrain: some hilly, uneven ground. Meet at Judge Morris parking area kiosk. Free White Clay Creek State Park

Sunset/Moonrise Hike

Friday, July 23, 2021 at 8:00 PM

Join the park naturalist for an evening Hike near the full moon. WeΓÇÖll start the Hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Must pre-register by calling the park office 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $4 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 7/23/2021 8:00:00 PM 7/23/2021 9:00:00 PM America/New_York Sunset/Moonrise Hike Join the park naturalist for an evening Hike near the full moon. WeΓÇÖll start the Hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Must pre-register by calling the park office 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $4 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Sunday, July 25, 2021 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 7/25/2021 1:00:00 PM 7/25/2021 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

Panning for Creek Gems

Saturday, August 7, 2021 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 8/7/2021 10:30:00 AM 8/7/2021 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

Harmony Hike

Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 7:00 PM

Join us for silent hike just before sunset, as we listen to the sounds of nature with our heightened senses. This is designated as a meditation hike to enjoy the forest and fields in quiet contemplation. Pre-registration is required, call 302-368-6900 for meeting location. Free

Add to Calendar 8/7/2021 7:00:00 PM 8/7/2021 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Harmony Hike Join us for silent hike just before sunset, as we listen to the sounds of nature with our heightened senses. This is designated as a meditation hike to enjoy the forest and fields in quiet contemplation. Pre-registration is required, call 302-368-6900 for meeting location. Free White Clay Creek State Park

Panning for Creek Gems

Sunday, August 15, 2021 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 8/15/2021 1:00:00 PM 8/15/2021 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

Sunset/Moonrise Hike

Friday, August 20, 2021 at 7:30 PM

Join the park naturalist for an evening Hike near the full moon. WeΓÇÖll start the Hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Must pre-register by calling the park office 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $4 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 8/20/2021 7:30:00 PM 8/20/2021 8:30:00 PM America/New_York Sunset/Moonrise Hike Join the park naturalist for an evening Hike near the full moon. WeΓÇÖll start the Hike as the sun sets and then enjoy the moonrise as we return. Must pre-register by calling the park office 302-368-6900. Meeting location provided upon registration. $4 per person White Clay Creek State Park

Map and Directions