Just an hour’s drive south of Dover, Trap Pond State Park is a 3600-acre recreation area that features a freshwater wetland that supports one of the last natural stands of baldcypress trees. The pond was created in the 1700s when it was dammed to provide power for the local sawmills that were harvesting the area’s old-growth timber. Once the trees were gone, the area was used as a drainage for the surrounding farmlands. Finally, in the 1930s, the state acquired the land and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) rehabilitated Trap Pond and surrounding woodland as a nature preserve and recreation space. This created Delaware’s first state park. It has since become a haven for herons, owls, woodpeckers and eagles, and a place where campers and recreationists can enjoy some outdoor time.
The campground at Trap Pond features 142 sites for tent and RV campers. Sites are set in five wooded loops: A, B, and C Loops have back-in sites with full hookups; D Loop has pull-through sites with full hookups; E Loop has primitive, walk-in tent sites. Each site is equipped with picnic tables and fire rings with grills. All camp loops have access to bathhouses with showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, and trash and recycling receptacles; a dump station is available near the campground entrance. The campground also has a picnic pavilion and kids’ playground between A and B Loops. The park also offers several rustic cabins and a couple yurts. Dogs are permitted, but must remain leashed. Campsite rates are $15–$25; cabin and yurt rates are $40–$52; reservations accepted.
The nature center at Trap Pond is a good place to start a visit to the park. Interpretive exhibits and nature programs provide information about the history of the wetlands, as well as its flora and fauna. Once acquainted with the park, it’s time to hit the trails and water to discover more and enjoy the natural setting. More than 10 miles of multi-use trails invite hikers, bikers and horseback riders to explore the woods and wetlands. Paddlers can take to the ponds and explore 2.5 miles of water trails. Boat rentals are available in the park, as well as launches and docks for small watercraft. For anglers, common catches in the ponds include pickerel, crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass. Visitors can also play at the sports courts or disc golf course, or take in bird-watching for waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors.
Ranger Review: HeadSpin Convertible Light System at Trap Pond State Park
We enjoy camping in the off or shoulder season more than peak because the campgrounds are quieter, however, sometimes this means we cannot enjoy the full amenities a place has to offer. At Trap Pond, we missed being able to rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat by a week. Free bike rentals were still available (donations accepted) so we were able to take a ride around the pond (about 4.5 miles). There are four loops plus cabins and yurts. All sites appeared level and some have a view of the pond. Bathhouses were very clean, including the showers. When we were there, they were delivering a new bath and shower facility to one of the loops. Although I did not check it out, there is also a laundry facility. The camp staff was extremely friendly and helpful and there is also a small store for t-shirts and essentials. We only stayed for one night but would definitely consider returning at a time when we could rent a boat to be able to see the Cypress trees up close.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the awesome opportunity to occasionally test products. At this campground, we tested the HeadSpin Convertible Light System by Headspin Outdoors. The first thing I noticed when I unboxed my HeadSpin was how compactly it was fit into its semi-hard, zippered carrying case. That said, however, if packing space is at a premium, you may want to decide which elements you want to use before taking a trip to reduce what you pack. Although intuitive to figure out how to use, there were no instructions (maybe missing from mine?). Because of this, I was not sure when the unit was fully charged (the green light was flashing and did not change to solid, but the unit seemed to be charged). We travel in a campervan, so we have USB and electric charging capabilities while camped but if you are tent camping, make sure everything is charged before you leave home (or, if you are driving a distance to your campground, you can charge it in your car using the USB port). Assuming the flashing green light indicates it is charged, this process did not take very long.
There is one light that can be attached to three base options: flashlight, headlamp, and bicycle mount. There are three light strength options, as well as a wide or narrow beam, and a strobe setting. The light is attached via magnets and I found it very easy to attach and detach the light from the different mounts. We also used the light as a stand-alone magnetic mount on our van door and on the metal lantern post; making the magnet system very versatile.
I have a favorite flashlight I have used for over 10 years, so it was going to take a lot to convince me to change. I was very pleased with the HeadSpin flashlight– it is very lightweight and easy to hold, however, a strap would be helpful. My husband thought the strap was necessary since the handle was so slender (this was a plus for my smaller hands!). Also, there was a warning in the packaging about how strong the light is and not to place it face down while on. Because of the design of the flashlight, I would likely have done this, so this warning was good to include.
We had recently used headlamps on a guided trip and had considered buying them to add to our supplies, so I eagerly looked forward to trying this one out. Although it worked fine, it was a bit bulkier/heavier than the headlamp I recently used. I used it to go to the restroom and to cook dinner and wash dishes in the dark; the more I used it, the more comfortable I became with it.
We don’t travel/camp with bicycles, so we were not able to try this mount. I rarely bike at night (if I can help it!) so not sure I would use this option, but it is a good addition, as I know many do bike in the dark.
Overall, I really liked giving the HeadSpin a try. I loved the flashlight, and the packaging is top-rate, however, it is pricey, so it is an investment. Picking up a battery-operated flashlight to find the batteries were dead would convince me it is worth the price! I think campers who like gadgets will like this product very much.
My sons and I spent four nights on the island site and loved it. We lucked out and had both sites to ourselves which I recommend. I couldn’t imagine sharing the secluded site with strangers. We set up our hammocks on the edge of the water. We walked around the pond and rented boats and kayaks for the day and rowed back to our site which the kids loved. They got to spend the day learning to paddle on the pond. The camp ground has a small store however they close early, so make sure to stock up on wood and ice before they close. They also had a bike shed where you can sign out bikes for free for the day which was super neat. They also have wheelbarrows to borrow so if you have a drive up site you can use them. While we were there they were building a new bath house near the island and cabin sites otherwise porter potties were there. The location is great. We took a day and drove to assateague island which was about an hour. All and all we loved the location we loved watching all the different birds and seeing so many stars. The people were all very nice. We look forward to coming back soon. Oh and if you stay at the island site make sure to be nice to the resident squirrel !!!
My first time visiting TPSP. The site is gorgeous throughout. The camp store is small but has everything that you need. Personnel were warm and friendly, very helpful for a first timer… spent some time chatting with them. I stayed at a tent site. The tent sites are walk in only but parking is not very far. The site provided hand trucks and wheelbarrows for you to car your items into your site. I had brought my own wagon which was helpful in keeping some of my gear off the ground during a rain storm. The site I stayed at was clean, level and well appointed; a t bar for hanging trash or a shower pack. Fire pit with grill. The tent sites are far enough from each other that you are not disturbed by neighbors, lots of trees between sites. There are water pumps every few yards, some are a Bit tricky to get working but I did not have an issue. The campground has trash and recycling bins so you do not have to carry out. I checked out some of the drive in and RV sites. They are large and well maintained, good for camper or tent camping, although fewer trees separate you from adjacent spots, so if you’re interested in more privacy opt for a tent site. The weekend I stayed we had torrential rain for about six hours but my site did not flood. Be sure to bring a large enough footprint to account for rain however, as I needed to really clean my tent and fly when I got home due to splash back of mud and leaves. Thee bathhouse was clean and the playground looked pretty good as well. Hoping that for my return trip the new bathhouse bear the tent sites is completed. If you’re not keen on using port a Johns or hiking to the bathhouse near the camper sites I suggest bringing a travel composting toilet. I hiked the full Bob Trail which is breathtaking. Easy level hike that winds all around the park and connects to the campground. I also rented a kayak for about three hours and was able to travel the full pond and connecting Terrapin Trail and back. The recreation area(where you rent boats and kayaks) has a nice picnic area and playground. I have camped at Henlopen State Park in the past and can say that TPSP is my new favorite in delaware. I enjoyed my time so much that I am already booked to return in late September and again in early November.
Nice quiet, everything you need, kayaking, fishing.
I’ve only ever camped here in the spring. Summertime will be extra buggy so bring spray. If you own a kayak or a canoe you have to bring it. Getting out on the pond and being one with the bald cypress is amazing! You can roll in with your RV, tent camp, or rent a cabin or a yurt. Our last visit here we stayed in a cabin and it was so much fun. It’s a little on the small side and the mattress was less than stellar, but we didn’t mind at all. It’s a perfect little shelter for when you’re not outside enjoying all the beautiful nature. I highly recommend checking it out.
For this visit, I stayed in one of their two yurts. The views were just gorgeous.
The yurts have a bunk bed with a queen mattress on the bottom and a twin on top, as well as a futon that folds out into a queen. The bunks were very comfortable, but the futon was so hard we didn't even use it to sit on. The yurts also have electricity, heat and air, and are well equipped with other items such as: a trash can, broom and dustpan, standing lamp, two chairs, two small tables, a fire extinguisher, and two fly swatters.
The views should be the huge selling point of this campground. When you walk out of the yurt, you walk onto your own raised wooden deck to beautiful views of Trap Pond. There are plenty of trees around for shade, but not so many that you can't enjoy the view. The trees also seclude you somewhat from your neighbors in the cabins, but you could interact if you wish.
The closest restrooms to the cabin and yurt area are port-a-potties but they are currently prepping to build a bath house in this area.
The cabins and yurts are walk up and wheelbarrows are provided. The walk is also pretty close. There is no running water, but there is a centrally located water pump.
The campground offers a lot to do and quite a bit of it is free: free bike rentals, free horseshoes and ladder ball, two huge playground area and a nature center. They also have boat rentals and a boat tour available.
We will definitely be visiting again!
h pull throughat witWe stayed here last weekend in our Class C RV. Hook up was 30 amp with water. Few dump stations within park. D loop was gr sites. There was a little kakay launch right onto the water. Great state park, I run here all the time but never camped here. Bath house/bathrooms we all good. No complaints, and the price is right at about $25/night.
This is a beautiful campground. Rent both island sites for an amazing camping experience!
The sites close to the lake the end of the loops are large with great views of the lake. Docks for fishing and launching a kayak are at the end of each loop. Well maintained 5-mile bike/hike trail. Live music at the nature center in the summer. In general, very quiet and restful location for a quick getaway.
One of our go-to camping sites near Laurel, DE. Situated on Trap Pond and an old cypress swamp. Multiple sites a short distance to the pond and most have at least a view of the water. Sites are water and electric. Some loops have 50 amp service, so check the reservation system for your specific needs. Some pull through sites, tent hike-in area and yurts available. Small camp store at the check-in cabin. Small boat launch area also for canoeing and kayaks. Believe there is a group camping area as well and a group picnic pavilion.
Have been there for several July 4th's and they had an Elvis impersonator in concert across the pond at the swimming/picnic area!