Delaware is full of kayaking adventures thanks to its many beautiful ponds, canals, shady creeks, and its vast stretch of inland bay. This makes it possible for kayaking enthusiasts to pick their own preferred type of kayaking experience from a significant range of state parks and other public locations. These ranges of waterways and coastlines mean that kayakers will be sure to enjoy their paddle in beautiful and distinctive surroundings depending on which unique destination that they choose in the end.
We look at 10 of the top locations for kayaking in Delaware here.
1. Trap Pond, DE
Trap Pond is part of the self-named Trap Pond State Park in Delaware. This southern woodlands destination offers beauty and wonder all along the Boundary Trail and its nearly five miles hugging the 90 acre pond in the park. It is a majestic and stunning setting for kayaking on the peaceful water.
There is also the Baldcypress Nature Center here that showcases many programs and displays that are sure to increase the enjoyment of visiting the state park. After a long kayak on the pond, visitors can enjoy a picnic in one of the picnic tables that overlook the lovely pond. There are even three pavilions here that visitors can reserve if they have larger group events.
Besides the excellent kayaking and picnic facilities, the park offers horseshoe pits and volleyball courts. Children also love the major playground complex found here. Seasonal camping in either tents or RVs is accommodated at the park as well, allowing visitors to make several days of the kayaking adventure.
2. Fenwick Island, DE
Another state park setting welcomes kayakers at Fenwick Island. This destination lies in between the famed and beloved resort towns of Ocean City and the Fenwick Island in the south and Bethany Beach in the north. Many kayakers will enjoy the fact that going to paddle at Fenwick Island State Park provides a soothing respite from the overwhelming hordes of summer visitors to the state of Delaware.
Fenwick Island is actually a three mile long Barrier Island. It has become justifiably well-known for being a happy playground for those who love the sun, sea, and sand on the Atlantic Coast of Delaware. Kayaking here is ocean water style, making it better suited to more experienced kayakers.
3. Delaware River at Fort DuPont State Park, DE
Fort DuPont State Park lies immediately to the south side of Delaware City, directly off of Route 9. This park boasts 322 acres lying on the beautiful Delaware River as well as the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Kayakers love that it remains open all year long and so delivers great settings for recreation that includes kayaking, fishing, hiking, and picnicking.
If visitors wish, they can also follow the self-guided trail in order to better explore the wealth of history in this park’s site. There are also other opportunities for more active forms of recreation. These include both basketball and tennis courts.
4. Killens Pond, DE
Ponds seem to be popular settings for kayaking in the great state of Delaware as they are frequently naturally occurring around the state. Killens Pond is another good example of beautiful and easy to kayak waters to visit and paddle. It lies in the aptly named Killens Pond State Park in the state’s roughly center in Kent County’s heartland.
The park offers a wealth of opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors here once visitors have completed their kayaking experience at the state park. This includes vacation cabin rentals (at affordable rates), tent site rentals, and RV slot rentals. Naturally the central attraction of the state park is its beloved 66 acre sized millpond that also offers fishing and general boating besides kayaking.
Recently opened up, the Killens Pond Water Park delivers resort-styled entertainment throughout a natural and peaceful backdrop. Getting to Killens Pond is easy. It lies approximately an hour and a half by car from the state’s southern or northern borders. Kayakers also appreciate that the park remains open all year long, as do the tent and RV campgrounds and home-like rental cabins on site.
5. Lums Pond, DE
In the north of Delaware lies a state park called Lums Pond. This enchanting spot provides fantastic outdoors recreational opportunities that include kayaking. Part of what makes this such a lovely kayaking setting is the firs- rate beautiful natural scenery that the land surrounding the pond offers. After finishing a good kayaking adventure on the placid pond, visitors can try their hand at the hiking, cycling, and walking that the Lums Pond State Park offers people of all ages for other fantastic outdoor activities.
6. Mispillion River, DE
Another fantastic river to kayak along is the Mispillion River that lies in the south of Delaware and flows all the way to the Delaware Bay. This winding river runs for about 15 miles (24 kilometers), draining a significant area of 76 square miles (197 km²) along the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The river covers significant parts of both Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware.
The easiest way to access the river with a kayak is from the public ramp that provides good entry to both the Cedar Creek and the Mispillion River and hence on in to the Delaware Bay. This ramp is found at the DuPont Nature Center in the old Mispillion Lighthouse property. This is a practical site also as it is a seasonally open outdoor educational and informational center.
7. Rehoboth Bay, DE
Rehoboth Bay proves to be an interesting body of water found in Sussex County in Delaware. It offers kayakers excellent connections to other waterways such as the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal which connect to the Broadkill River. The Bay is also connected to Indian River Bay in the south, which combine to form a tidal exchange to the Atlantic Ocean through this Indian River Inlet. There are two parallel stone jetties here.
A good access point for boats and kayaks on the Rehoboth Bay is the Rehoboth Bay Marina found in the Rehoboth-Dewey Beach area. This marina boasts 190 individual slips for docking boats and good access for boat rentals. It is considered a top-rated access point for launching a kayak.
8. Delaware Seashore, DE
The Delaware Seashore is an interesting backdrop for an enjoyable and diverse kayaking expedition. Visitors are able to launch their kayaks at the shore by parking in the lots to the west of Route 1. From here, paddling is pleasant and varied as it includes access to the shallower waters in the Rehoboth Bay, the Indian River, and Little Assawoman Bays. Those kayakers who have less experience should beware the stronger tidal currents found in the Indian River Inlet.
9. Cape Henlopen, DE
It was William Penn who took possession of the present day lands that make up the state of Delaware back around 1682. Penn himself declared that the Cape Henlopen area with its natural resources should be held for common use of the citizens in Sussex and Lewes County. In this way, he actually decreed what became among the original public lands of the United States as well as of Delaware.
Amazingly, these lands have stayed a part of the public domain to this day, proving to be useful for both local shipping as well as in the country’s military history. Kayakers can enjoy the history-filled Henlopen Lighthouse, which no longer guides ships through these dangerous bay waters. The harbor here was made safer by the construction of the two stone breakwater barriers lying off of the Cape. These were finished in the years 1869 and 1901.
Today Cape Henlopen is still a Delaware State Park. The beaches here draw in visitors by the thousands. They come to participate in all of the good things offered by nature here, such as kayaking, swimming in the ocean, fishing, boating, paddle-boarding, and hunting for clams and clam baking.
10. Brandywine Creek, DE
Brandywine Creek flows through the state of Delaware around 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the southeast and passes by Chadds Ford. Eventually it joins up with the Christina River right above the confluence at the Delaware River in Wilmington. This is a historically significant kayaking run, as the river banks served as the setting of an old important battle site fought in the American Revolutionary War back in 1777. It was known as the Battle of the Brandywine.
The Indians called this river the Wauwaset, while the later arriving Swedish immigrants named it the Fish Creek (Fiskiekylen in Swedish). The present day name probably came from early settler and resident Andrew Braindwine.
Summing Up Kayaking In Delaware
Delaware may be among the smaller states in the U.S., but it offers so much in fantastic recreational opportunities and sites that are ideal for kayaking. This includes its scenic rivers, ponds, and Atlantic seashore. Kayakers living in Delaware do not have to travel far to enjoy great paddling adventures like the Delaware Seashore, Indian River, Cape Henlopen, and Brandywine Creek, to name just a few of the many great spots.