The 10 Best Hikes in Delaware

Delaware may be a small state, but it's packed with incredible landscapes to explore. Here are my top 10 picks for the best hikes in the First State!

1. Gordons Pond Trail

Cape Henlopen State Park 
Lewes, Delaware


This trail is one of my favorite adventures in all of Delaware because it takes you through so many unique ecosystems. In just 3.2 miles, experience a maritime forests with loblolly pines, an elevated boardwalk over the dunes and wetlands, a sprawling salt marsh teeming with wildlife, and a world-class Atlantic beach. Every time you visit, Gordons Pond is different, and you'll want to come back again and again. 

2. Junction Breakwater Trail

Rehoboth, Delaware


This 5.8 mile trail connects the resort towns of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, and is a popular choice for tourists and locals alike. The trail follows a section of the old Penn Central Rail Line, which transported passengers between Lewes and Rehoboth in the mid-1800s. Today, the trail offers a beautiful tour of the marshes, farmland, and forests that lie beyond the usual tourist stops in the area. 

3. Bombay Hook Boardwalk Trail

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge 
Smyrna, Delaware

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest expanses of tidal salt marsh in the mid-Atlantic, and offers awesome locations for hiking, birding, and photography. The refuge has several trails, but the short yet stunning 0.25 mile boardwalk trail is my favorite. Follow the elevated boardwalk through the forest and marsh to take in the beautiful views of the wetlands. 

4. Walking Dunes Trail

Cape Henlopen State Park
Lewes, Delaware

I love this hidden trail in Cape Henlopen State Park because it feels as though you have been transported to the middle of a desert, even though you can practically hear the ocean. The 2.6 mile loop takes you through wooded maritime forests, salt marsh wetlands, open sand dunes, and The Great Dune, Delaware's highest sand dune rising 80-feet above the ocean below. 

5. Northern Delaware Greenway Trail

Wilmington, Delaware


If you are going to tour Northern Delaware, look no further than the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail. This 10.4 mile trail links some of the best sites and attractions in the region including Bellevue State Park, Wilmington State Park, Brandywine Creek State Park, Brandywine Zoo, and Rockford Park. Hike by two historic estates, the Brandywine River, the dramatic rock walls of Alapocas Run State Park, and more.

6. Cape Henlopen Loop 

Cape Henlopen State Park
Lewes, Delaware


Take the 3.3 mile Bike Loop Trail to experience many of Cape Henlopen's highlights including the Seaside Nature Center, fishing pier, Fort Miles, and The Point where the Atlantic ocean meets the Delaware Bay. Look out for prickly pear cacti, white-tailed deer, eastern fence lizards, Fowler’s toads, ospreys, and more as you make your way through the beautiful park!

7. Swamp Forest Trail

Lums Pond State Park
Bear, Delaware

Follow this 7.5 mile trail that winds around the largest freshwater pond in Delaware and through wetland forests of towering black cherry, sweet gum, and maple trees. Stop and enjoy the campground, boat launch, disc golf course, dog training area, nature center and picnic areas along the way. 

8. Pondside Trail

Killens Pond State Park 
Felton, Delaware

Located in the heart of Kent County, Delaware, Killens Pond State Park features a 66 acre millpond, established in the late 1700s. The Pondside Trail follows the perimeter of the pond, and offers beautiful views of the water and surrounding hardwood forest. You may even see a turtle or two basking in the sun. 

9. Bob Trail

Trap Pond State Park
Laurel, Delaware


The 4.6 mile Bob Trail offers an excellent overview and gorgeous views of Trap Pond State Park, one of the state's first state parks. This pond is home to the northernmost natural stand of baldcypress trees in the U.S., and is a prime birding location to spot warblers, herons, ospreys, and more. 

10. Hidden Pond Trail

Brandywine Creek State Park
Wilmington, Delaware

Hike this lovely wooded trail and walk beside the powerful Brandywine Creek which flows through Northern Delaware. This trail winds through the forest, down to the creek, and back up again, making for a great 2.8 mile trail. 

Published: May 18, 2017

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Abby ShepardExplorer

Dover

Advocating outdoor adventure and chasing sunsets, all with a serious case of wanderlust.