What to do in Trap Pond State Park

Freshwater wetlands once covered a large portion of southwestern Sussex County. Trap Pond State Park retains a part of the swamp's original beauty and mystery, and features the northernmost natural stand of bald cypress trees in the United States. The pond was created in the late 1700s to power a sawmill during the harvest of large bald cypress from the area. The Federal Government later purchased the pond and surrounding farmland during the 1930s and the Civilian Conservation Corps began to develop the area for recreation. Trap Pond became one of Delaware's first state parks in 1951.

Visitors have many opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the wetland forest at Trap Pond State Park. Hiking trails surround the pond, providing opportunities to glimpse native animal species and many flowering plants. Bird watching is a popular activity and the observant hiker may spot a great blue heron, owl, hummingbird, warbler, bald eagle or the elusive pileated woodpecker.

Boating among the bald cypress is a favorite pastime at the park. Rowboats, pedal boats, surf bikes, canoes and kayaks can be rented during the summer season, and the park interpreter hosts narrated pontoon boat tours on weekends and holidays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A boat ramp can accommodate small motorized boats for fishing or scenic excursions. Anglers on the water or shore may land largemouth bass, pickerel, crappie, and bluegills. One of the streams that flows into Trap Pond has been marked as a wilderness canoe trail for those who wish to explore the swamp's interior.

The Bald Cypress Nature Center features a variety of displays and programs that will enhance any visit to the park. Picnic areas overlook the pond and three pavilions may be reserved for group events. Volleyball courts and horseshoe pits encourage active competition among friends, and children will enjoy the swing set.

Overnight visitors will find 142 campsites on the pond's northern shore, two primitive youth areas and a community of yurts, which are Mongolian tents. This is actually a luxurious way to camp. The sturdy units are slightly off the ground, have canvass sides, include beds, futon, electric, and outdoor deck. Water and grills accompaniments are like those found at standard campsites.

A variety of recreations take place at Trap Pond. Multi-use trails invite hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. Fishing opportunities are available from shore or by launching your own boat or a park rental. Wildlife viewing is the favorite for bird watchers. Camping, picnicking, enjoying a ball field or just relaxing is easily acquired at the park. The park does offer laundry facilities.

Nearby Trussum Pond is nationally known for its scenic bald cypress stands and the James Branch Nature Preserve, downstream from Trap and Trussum Ponds, features some of the largest bald cypress trees in the state. In addition, the Barnes Woods Nature Preserve south of Seaford offers a self-guided nature trail through hardwood forests, along a tidal stream.

Trap Pond State Park is located five miles east of Laurel, off Delaware Route 24. The park is one mile down County Road 449.

The Chesapeake and Delaware Bays moderate Delaware's climate. The state experiences four distinct seasons. Winter can be bitterly cold. Highs during this season average near freezing with low temperatures near 0 degrees F. Spring comes to this region in mid to late March. This is a pleasant time to visit with moderate temperatures and low humidity. Summer brings temperatures ranging from 80 to 90 degrees F. Humidity is highest inland with ocean breezes cooling the shoreline. Fall brings cooler temperatures and low humidity. The forested regions of the state often have brilliant foliage displays.

R.D. 2, Box 331
Laurel, DE 19956

Phone: 302-875-5153

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