Hike the Cape Henlopen State Park Loop

Delaware Cape Henlopen State Park Loop

Added by Abby Shepard

Hike or bike along this three-mile trail though beach dunes, along the Atlantic coast, and beside historical sites to experience this park's scenic and ever-changing landscape.

Cape Henlopen is a true gem of a park, located in Southern Delaware. The park is situated at the point where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, creating a unique combination of natural wonders and cultural history. The bay and ocean ecosystems allow for a wide array of wildlife, and during WWII, the park became a military base named Fort Miles. Today, Cape Henlopen draws millions of beach visitors each year as well as those looking to discover the park’s rich history.

Take the Bike Loop Trail to experience the park’s many highlights. Begin the loop at the Seaside Nature Center. The multi-use trail is paved and suitable for biking or hiking. Parking is available in front of the nature center, and free bike rentals are available from the Bike Barn.

Enter the loop in front of the nature center from either direction (I recommend turning left as you leave the center). Notable highlights along the 3-mile trail include (in order from turning left):

Parade Field: the large expanse of grass in front of the nature center. Look out for deer around dusk

The Point: the point where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Take a short detour from the main bike loop to look over the cape that separates the 2 bodies of water. The view is worth the detour!

Main Beach Bathhouse: stop at the bathhouse for a snack, restroom break, and a swim in the ocean!

Fort Miles: the WWII fort. Look at the new artillery park, explore the old bunkers, or take a guided tour of the battery

Observation Tower: this tower was used during WWII to spot enemy ships on the water. Today, you can climb to the top of the tower for spectacular 360 views of the entire park

Fishing Pier: bring your fishing poles or just walk along this 0.25-mile pier that extends into the bay. Explore the calmer waters of the Delaware Bay and look for shore birds, horseshoe crabs, and the East End Breakwater Lighthouse. Bring a picnic lunch to eat under the Fishing Pier pavilion

Look out for prickly pear cacti, white-tailed deer, eastern fence lizards, Fowler’s toads, osprey, and more as you make your way through the beautiful park! Check out the parks' website for more info. 

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Sun protection
  • Mountain bike
  • Fishing gear
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Camera
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Activities:

Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

3.3 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

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How to Get There

6 months ago

Amazing gem in Delaware

I absolutely love Cape Henlopen State Park! The park loops truly offers something for everyone. I also recommend stopping by the Seaside Nature Center where there is a touch tank and aquariums featuring local fish and reptiles. The programs that the nature center runs are also excellent. If you are visiting on a day Seining the Bay if offered, it's a fantastic, hands-on way to learn more about the marine life living in the Delaware Bay.

6 months ago

10 months ago

Fun Bike ride!

There are great bike trails to explore. Walk out on the boardwalk of the bath house to see a great view of the beach. We had a blast & the bike rentals are free of charge.

10 months ago

over 1 year ago

Best Bike Trail In Delaware

This is a really fun bike trail! Brand new boardwalk type track for a lot of it and then trails along the ocean and ponds. You see a lot of birds and wildlife. By far my favorite park in Delaware. Also very easy so you can bring kids and you don't need a mountain bike but it helps.

over 1 year ago

Added by Abby Shepard

Advocating outdoor adventure through landscape and wildlife photography

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