A small state in the mid-Atlantic region of the country, Delaware offers a near limitless array of wonderful camping spots within its relatively limited borders. Delaware is positioned on a peninsula that is beautifully marked by dune-backed beaches bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the Delaware River and the gorgeous body of water known as the Delaware Bay.
Dover, which is the capital of Delaware, plays host to a number of great sights and attractions, one of which is the “First State Heritage Park (Delaware was the first state to join what is now the United States).” This park encompasses a wide array of 18th century Colonial landmarks, like the Georgian style “Old State House,” an attraction that draws thousands of visitors each year. Furthermore, the city of Wilmington is well known for its fabulous Riverfront, where guests will find a marvelous waterside district of parks, trendy boutiques and a collection of delectable restaurants serving up the very best in local, traditional cuisine.
Delaware is bordered by Maryland to the west and south, by New Jersey to the northeast and by Pennsylvania to the north, while the east of the state is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The state of Delaware takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron “De La Warr,” an Englishman and noble who was also Virginia’s first colonial governor.
Delaware’s position along the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay makes it a great state in which to camp, especially for those who enjoy beach-style camping; and its western wilderness offers plenty of privacy, seclusion and natural beauty.
In the following article we will profile five of Delaware’s most popular and well-visited campgrounds. And for each of these ideal camping spots we will highlight some of the activities (fishing, hiking, boating, etc.) and amenities (comfort, safety, family-friendly facilities, etc.) that make them such a draw among outdoor enthusiasts.
Lake Bonnie Campground
Located just outside Dover, the capital and largest city in Delaware, in a small town called Goldsboro, the Lake Bonnie Campground is home to 110 pristine campsites that are perfect for any outdoor excursion or holiday trip.
The Lake Bonnie Campground, which was strategically built on the outskirts of Lake Bonnie itself, has all the amenities one could hope for in an outdoor camping facility, as well as the privacy and seclusion that is so eagerly sought by camping enthusiasts. The Lake Bonnie Campground has fully plumbed restrooms with flush toilets, sinks and hot-water showers, and there are even on-site laundry facilities to accommodate those campers who may be staying at the campground for an extended period of time. A dump station is located near the front of the campground, as is a camp store offering everything from propane and firewood to bait and tackle to ice and general camping supplies. Souvenirs can also be purchased at the camp store—souvenirs such as postcards, shirts, sweatshirts and other memorabilia. Every campsite comes complete with a tent pad, picnic table and shelter, and trash receptacles that can be covered and locked in place to discourage late night visits from raccoons and other regional wildlife.
When venturing away from your Lake Bonnie campsite you’ll find a bounty of wonderful trails to explore and the lake provides for hours of fishing fun under the warm Delaware sky. Small children will fall in love with the playground area, while older children will no doubt enjoy the camp’s Wi-Fi connectivity that makes it easy to operate a wide range of electronic devices.
All campsites at the Lake Bonnie Campground are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and while the campground is rarely operating at capacity, those looking to secure a spot within easy walking distance of the lake are urged to come early to reserve their site(s).
Blackbird State Forest
Located in the rural town of Smyrna, Delaware, Blackbird State Forest offers a total of five primitive/tent campgrounds with hundreds of sites that are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Each of these woodsy camping regions provides dozens of secluded and very private campsites, making one feel as if they are alone in the vast wilderness. The campsites sit on relatively flat and even ground, making it fairly simple to erect one or two tents of various sizes near the campsite’s picnic table and fire ring.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the tent campsites in the Blackbird State Forest are the miles and miles of grand trails to explore, effectively making the park one of the favorite destinations for local hikers, backpacking enthusiasts and nature watchers. For inexperienced hikers, there is also a fully paved nature trail with easy-to-follow directional signs and pop-up written descriptions identifying the various types of trees and plants that line the trail.
Blackbird State Forest features a large, well-stocked pond that is teeming with local freshwater fish species, so be sure to bring your fishing rod, tackle box and a fair amount of bait when you set off to explore everything this forest has to offer.
Drinking water is unfortunately not available at the Blackbird State Forest campgrounds, so campers are urged to pack in their own water when they are setting up camp. There are, however, restrooms scattered throughout the camping area—restrooms with pit toilets and hot showers. Each campsite has a great fire pit for campfires and a BBQ grill for cooking the fish you caught at the pond—or the hot dogs, just in case. Playgrounds are available for the children in your group, and there is a local camp store at which you can pick up bait and tackle, ice for the cooler, wood for the fire, and any camp supplies you may have forgotten.
Cape Henlopen State Park
Situated in the small town of Lewes, Delaware, Cape Henlopen State Park is a gorgeous outdoor oasis and the perfect spot for both primitive and family camping. The well-visited state park is sandwiched between the gorgeous Delaware Bay and vast Atlantic Ocean—an ideal spot for those who enjoy camping near the surf and sand. Because of its location, Cape Henlopen State Park provides the salty air and warmth of a beach location during the summer days, but be sure to bring some warm clothing as well, as the nights can be quite chilly throughout the year.
Cape Henlopen State Park offers a wide selection of camping options. Those with trailers, motor homes and other recreational vehicles will love the spacious RV sites—sites with more than ample RV parking and both electrical and water hookups. The primitive campsites, reserved for those who enjoy a more “roughing it” type of experience, are very secluded, private and the perfect recipe for those seeking to sleep out under the stars. Finally, Cape Henlopen State Park also offers a few very spacious cabins that are ideal for those who want the fun of an outdoor adventure by day, and the cooking and sleeping comfort these shelters provide at night.
Cape Henlopen State Park offers a full range of great activities to engage in, with stores and kiosks providing all the necessary gear that is needed for one to pursue his or her passion. The park offers kayak and canoe rentals for those who want to test their luck and balance in the bay; disc golf supplies for testing one’s skill at the park’s Frisbee Gold Course; and a camp store in which your group can pick up everything they need, from bait and tackle to ice to necessary camping essentials.
Trails are plentiful at Cape Henlopen State Park, most of which are colorfully marked to guide hikers and backpackers intent on exploring all the local flora and fauna the park boasts. Showers are interspersed throughout the campground, as are full-service restrooms with water and flush toilets.
Whether you desire to be pampered in one of the park’s amazing cabins, or prefer to camp closer to nature, Cape Henlopen State Park has all the campsites and amenities you need for a one-of-a-kind vacation.
When it comes to camping in—and exploring—the wilderness of Delaware, there simply are no better campsites than the ones available at Trap Pond. A visit to Trap Pond is the ultimate outdoor experience, allowing visitors to make camp among the lush, tall pine trees and all the beauty and seclusion these groves of trees provide.
Trap Pond offers a total of 142 pristine camping sites. Of these, some 132 campsites are fully equipped with water and electrical hookups, bringing a touch of modern convenience to a mostly wooded and private area. In addition to the wide selection of tent and RV camping sites, Trap Pond also offers accommodations in the form of cabins and yurts, where campers will find soft beds, running water, indoor restrooms and picnic tables for outdoor dining.
Although secluded, Trap Pond’s tent camping area is not entirely devoid of modern conveniences. Each site is strategically positioned near the park’s many restrooms, with running water, flush toilets and heated showers. There are also many facets of the park that offer diversion during the daylight hours, including a series of winding hiking trails and nature walkways; a small lake that is ideal for fishing, swimming and small craft boating; and a fully equipped playground for all the kids in your group to enjoy. Trash cans are situated at each campsite, and once every few days the park staff empties these cans into a central dump station near the rear of the park.
All things considered, Trap Pond is one of the largest and most well-loved camping spots in the entire state of Delaware—a place that attracts both locals and out of town visitors looking to treat themselves and their families to a vacation of outdoor fun and entertainment.
The town of Felton, Delaware, where the Killens Pond camping spot is located, is renowned among the state’s local residents as the ideal destination for camping—a popular stretch of fresh water around which is a superb campground and outdoor entertainment center. Killens Pond is a great place for people looking to “get back to nature,” as the campground, its trails and the beautiful trees and shrubs remind campers of what life must have been like a mere century and a half ago.
Along with the amazing and well-equipped collection of RV sites at the Killens Pond campground, the park offers 17 walk-in primitive camping areas, designed for experienced and veteran campers looking to escape the hustle, bustle and noise of Delaware’s more urban and crowded cities. Cabins are additionally available here for those who desire a tamer camping experience, and each cabin comes with bedding, central heat and air, showers and picturesque views of the pond. The tent and RV camping sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but those wishing to rent a cabin overlooking the pond must reserve their temporary housing in advance.
All of the campsites at Killens Pond offer a number of amenities, including large picnic tables for dining, cards and games; fire rings for nightly campfires; restrooms with running water, pit toilets and showers; trash receptacles; and much, much more.
Activities are also plentiful at Killens Pond. Fishermen can try their luck hooking some of Delaware’s local freshwater fish species; and hikers can explore the campground’s outlying areas and the flora and fauna that comprise it. Playgrounds are available for the younger children in your group, and a camp store features everything one could possibly need for a successful outdoor adventure.