Cape Henlopen State Park

Quick Facts

Cape Henlopen State Park


(302) 645-8983

Map Directions

Things To Do


Cape Henlopen's beaches attract thousands of visitors who enjoy ocean swimming and sunbathing. Two designated swimming beaches provide lifeguard patrols between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. The park's open spaces feature many other activities: disc golf, basketball, kite flying. There are plenty of hiking trails and beach walks and a paved trail for bicycling. The park also conducts a variety of entertaining recreational programs, including natural history lectures, seaside seining, and birdwatching, to name but a few.

Cape Henlopen State Park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset. Normal park office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Map of Cape Henlopen (DE)

Latitude, Longitude: 38.771983, -75.104940



  • Boating

    Paddle the open water of Cape Henlopen State Park and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beach. Travel the shore line or paddle around the pier while observing osprey, gulls, horseshoe crabs and possibly dolphins. Start at the boat rental facility or the boat ramp (round trip). Rent a boat and try your hand at canoeing, rowing, kayaking, or sailing or grab a friend and get in a paddle boat! You must be 18 years of age to rent a watercraft in Delaware State Parks.

  • Bicycling

    There are four trails in Cape Henlopen for biking: Bike Trail, open all year; Walking Dunes Trail, closed during hunting season (except Sundays) from September to January; Junction & Breakwater Trail; and Gordons Pond Trail.

  • Camping

    Pine-covered dunes are the setting for over 150 sites, most with a water hookup.

  • Fishing

    For those interested in fishing, a quarter-mile-long pier provides convenient access to the Delaware Bay. The bait and tackle concession at the pier offers fishing supplies and snack foods, and transportation along the pier is available for people with disabilities between April 1st and Oct 31st.

    Surf fishing is a popular year-round activity along the park's ocean beaches. Dune crossovers allow pedestrian and vehicle access to the designated fishing areas. A surf fishing vehicle permit is required in order to drive onto the beach. Permits are available online or at the park office. The Fishing Center is open 7 days a week, May 15 through Oct. 31: sale of bait and tackle, fishing gear, prepackaged snack food and beverages, rod and reel rentals, convenience items for campers and park visitors (bug spray, sunscreen, etc. ) fishing related demonstrations and lectures, tournaments.

  • Golfing

    Disc golf is available and quite the workout!

  • Hiking

    There are seven hiking trails ranging in length from just over half a mile and up to four miles. Experience the park's scenic and ever-changing landscape - and get a lesson in history - along the three-mile-long paved trail that loops the park. Take a trail break and climb to the top of the World War II Observation Tower, where the 360-degree views are spectacular. Or take a short climb to the top of a former military bunker to view the dynamic action along the Atlantic coastline. Explore the coastal environment along the Seaside or the Pinelands Nature Trails, or hike the six miles of beach along the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is permitted on the beach only, between November 1 and April 30. Trailers and tow vehicles must park in either the Gordons Pond Parking lot or the Point Comfort Station Parking lot. At Gordons Pond, the surf fishing vehicle crossing is designated for equestrian access to the beach. At the Point Comfort Station lot, a dune crossing is marked and designated for equestrian access to the beach. Designated beach for equestrian use runs from the ocean-side of the Point of the Cape south to the Gordons Pond surf fishing vehicle crossing. (4.6 miles)

  • Hunting

    The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation allows hunting on its lands as a tool for wildlife management. It is permitted only when compatible with Division management objectives.

    All hunters wishing to hunt on State Park lands must first register for the Delaware State Parks Hunting Program. The State Parks Hunting Registration must be carried, along with a valid Delaware Hunting license, whenever hunting on State Park lands. Special hunting rules are in effect at each State Park. These rules and park hunting maps must be obtained prior to hunting each site. They are available in printed form at each park where hunting is allowed, or at 89 Kings Highway, Dover. These special rules are in addition to the regulations outlined in the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.

    Bullfrog, snapping turtle and terrapin hunting is prohibited in all areas.

    State Parks are multiple use areas. Hunters must share areas with other uses such as hiking, camping, biking, horseback riding, and boating. Extreme caution is required when hunting on State Park lands.

  • Picnicking

    This park features three pavilions for rent, picnic tables with grills at the fishing pier, and picnic areas with large grills for rent at the main beach area. Gordons Pond has picnic areas for rent with large grills and a fire ring, and picnic tables with grills at the basketball courts. Disc golf and a workout station are also available near the basketball court. Alcohol is permitted.

  • Water Sports

    Cape Henlopen's beaches attract thousands of visitors who enjoy ocean swimming, sunbathing and even surfing. Two designated swimming beaches provide lifeguard patrols between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. The beach at Gordons Pond is guarded 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends through Labor Day. Umbrellas can be rented during the summer. The northern swimming area also features a modern bath house with showers, changing rooms, and a food concession.

Park Partners



GPS Users: Please note that the park address has recently changed. In order to accurately find the location, you may need to use the old address of 42 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes, DE 19958.

Phone Numbers


(302) 645-8983