Cape Henlopen, just 43 miles southeast of Dover, has the distinction of being one of the United States’ first public lands. Recognized for its beauty and natural features, Pennsylvania founder William Penn decreed that the area should be preserved for the enjoyment of the local citizenry. That was nearly 3.5 centuries ago. Over the course of that time, Cape Henlopen has served several purposes but has always remained accessible to the public. In 1964, it was designated a Delaware State Park. Today, the park serves as an idyllic destination where campers, hikers, anglers and nature lovers can explore and appreciate the sand dunes, pine woods and tidal marshes in the same way the Founders did so long ago.
The campground in Henlopen State Park is the perfect base to explore the area and enjoy many of the park’s attractions and activities. The campground offers a variety of tent and RV sites (many with 2-point hookups), walk-in tent sites, ADA accessible sites, and camping cabins that can accommodate up to six people. Amenities include bathhouses with showers, dump and recycling stations, a playground and an amphitheater. Camping is available from Mar. 1 through Nov. 30; seasonal campsite rates range from $20–$59/night; camping cabins range from $70–$130/night.
When it’s time to play, the sky’s the limit. Four hiking trails are available for exploring the area’s pine forests and coastal dunes, visiting bunkers and watchtowers in the Fort Miles Historic Area, or taking in views of Delaware Bay and the Henlopen Lighthouse. Stop by the Nature Center and learn about some of the local bird and sea life (bird watching guides available), or take advantage of the park’s Borrow-a-Bike program and take a pleasant ride around Cape Henlopen’s bike path. For fun on the water, take a dip in the Atlantic at one of the swimming areas, try crabbing or surf fishing, or rent kayaks and go for an ocean paddle. There’s also disc golf and sports courts available for getting your game on. With so much to see and do at Cape Henlopen, you might just need to plan a longer visit!
Cape Henlopen campground always seems to be booked, so I will start by saying if you’re interested, book a site quickly because they do fill up fast! And there’s a good reason for it, this state park is so impressive - it manages to combine a beach atmosphere with an incredible nature preserve area. You feel like you’re in the woods but also at the beach. Not much shade in some sites so come prepared. The park is beautiful, many trails to bike or hike. There’s a rental shop to rent bikes, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc as well as a snack shop open during the summer.
We camped here for the first time last September. I found the staff unfriendly but the park has a lot to offer. Bath houses were clean and you can have a camp fire here. They have a lot of trails. The beach is pretty far away. You can bike or walk there if you have no handicap problems. All said a done the park was ok and we are going to try it again this July.
We love this state park and campground. For this trip, we arrived with friends and staying in their cabins. The cabins were clean and spacious with AC, heat and electricity. In addition they had a mini fridge and microwave indoors. Each cabin included a screenshot in porch with picnic table, an outdoor picnic table and fire pot with grill.
The park has wooded trails, trails in the beach, historic sites and an amazing nature center with a touch tank that included sting rays and horseshoe crabs.
Highly recommend this site and can't wait to return with our tent.
We stopped at Cape Henlopen State Park on a road trip from Virginia to Vermont. We didn't make reservations, but because there was a storm threatening, there were tent sites available. The campground is divided into three sections - one for tenters, one for RVers, and a row of awesome cabins. We stayed in the tenting area, which offered little in the way of privacy. The campsites were flat and sandy, with a nice mix of sunny and shady sites. From the campground you can easily access bike and walking trails, but the beach is more than a mile away.
While the campground was kind of busy and crazy (summer at the beach), I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. There was so much to do. The beach is huge, and there are sections for swimming (with lifeguards), surfing, fishing, and dog-walking. You can climb a lookout tower, rent a free bike, take a guided kayak tour, visit a nature center or museum, or head to the bay to check out the lighthouse. There are tons of trails to explore too, which makes this the perfect place for campers who don't want to lie on the beach all day.
In conclusion, the campground isn't anything special, but it's got all the amenities and clean bathrooms, but the awesomeness of the park makes it worth visiting for sure. Campground - three stars. Park - five stars.
Visited this campground on my way from Maine to Florida. There is a lot to do as far history and the old WW2 stuff. Really cool to explore. The beach and sand dunes are right here. There's a biking loop and plenty of coast line to fish.
Cape Henlopen is overpriced in my opinion. 31$ for a site with no electricity. The facilities are incredibly clean and new it looked like. The sites are really nice and spacious. The have nice new picnic benches and fire rings. You'll enjoy your time here if your not worries about spending a few extra bucks. Especially the WW2 stuff for the kids.
We came back for another visit this September and the campground has undergone lots of renovations since I was here last so I wanted to provide an updated review.
As always, the biking and walking trails in the park are top notch! The Gordon's Pond trail offers beautiful salt march views with lots of birds especially first thing in the morning. Beach access is quick and easy from the campground, too!
We stayed in tent site 114 which was among a cluster of tent sites. Here you have to park in a parking lot and cart your stuff into your actual site. It's not a long haul but could be a pain in the neck if you tend to bring a lot of stuff with you when you camp. From our site there was a small path through the back of the site that provides quick and immediate access to the bike trails in the area.
The sites have newly built picnic tables (very heavy and sturdy) as well as new concrete pad fire rings with grates. They sit a little high off the ground than a traditional fire pit but are nice and well maintained thus far. As I mentioned, the tent site we were in was among a cluster of sites spaced out relatively evenly. However, if all of the sites had been full it would have been a bit close together for my liking. One thing that is nice about these sites is the amount of shade, super helpful in the late summer heat.
The bathroom facilities are also nice and well maintained. Be advised that many Delaware state parks require that you pack out all of your trash at most of their day use areas, the campground however DOES have a dumpster available for trash.
If you can get a reservation here it's totally worth the stay!
My wife's family has been coming here for YEARS and I've been fortunate to join them the last 2 years and this place is fun!
There are great camping options and a lot to do in the park aside from camping. There's a fun little store with some natural interpretive exhibits and staff to answer questions you might have. Also within the park is a cool old observation tower from WWII and a military bunker. There are cool historical exhibits to explore while you're there if you get bored of the beach or biking.
Speaking of biking, this area of Delaware has amazing biking. There is a connector that you can take from the park all the way to the beach in Rehoboth. We really enjoy the Gordon's Pond bike trail as well as the Junction and Breakwater trail. The biking options are truly endless! Catch awesome views of coastal maritime forests and salt marshes teeming with birds.
There are also several hiking trails within the park to explore if you want to give your bum a break from the bike saddle.
You're close enough to the city of Rehoboth if you want to spend a day or night away from the more secluded campground. This is a LARGE campground in a popular destination so reservations go quickly.
My family comes to Cape Henlopen EVERY year. The park has a 3-mile paved bike loop great for kids that travels through the expansive dunes, marshes, wooded areas and by the beach. The beach is pristine and protected so it feels cleaner and calmer than the more commercial beaches. Because it used to be a fort, there are still watch towers and one is done so that you can climb to the top and have a view of the whole park.
A huge attraction-- there is now a bike trail that connects from Cape Henlopen into downtown Rehobeth. This is a super fun day activity and very scenic! Campgrounds are very well kept, wooded, and not far from the beach. There are basic campsites and cabins available. Bathrooms and showers also easily accessible. Book in advance! The park can be very busy on summer weekends!