Gov. John Carney and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin recently announced renovations at Cape Henlopen State Park highlighting the campground and new amenities at the park’s Seaside Nature Center and Fort Miles Historical Area.
The renovated campground is designed to improve the camping experience by fulfilling visitors’ requests made over the years. Wide roads have now been narrowed to accommodate campsites with paved pads, which are now available for 20-, 40- and 50-foot RVs. The new roads are designed to increase the amount of environmentally-friendly pervious surfaces.
More than 100 RV sites have electrical and water connections, including the first 100 amp electrical service in any state park. In addition, some pull-through sites were added for larger RVs. Campsites include a picnic table and fire ring, all on a concrete pad. In addition, a new trail connects the campsites, enabling safer bicycle and pedestrian access.
A camp store in the center of the campground includes an expanded laundry and camper washing accommodations.
A playground between the bathhouse and camp store creates a hub in the center of the campground. The playground offers space where children can play while parents shop for groceries, do laundry or socialize with other campers.
Tent campers can enjoy 20 walk-in sites adjacent to the Walking Dunes Trail.
Visitors also can enjoy a renovated Seaside Nature Center. The wall that previously separated the retail from the exhibit space has been removed.
The centerpiece is a new, 495-gallon, two-level touch tank with viewing windows. The windows allow visitors to watch stingrays, horseshoe crabs and other species in the tank while they’re underwater. The touch tank will serve as an educational tool for school groups, scouts, teachers and families.
The aquarium hallway has new lightboxes with updated information about species and habitats. An improved exhibit for the Friends of Cape Henlopen’s Osprey Cam is installed. New flooring and lighting have also been installed.
Fort Miles will showcase a new 90-millimeter gun, which is being restored by the Fort Miles Historical Association’s “Bunker Busters.” The gun was the model used at Fort Miles at the end of World War II in 1944 and was used for research projects. This gun adds to the Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area’s artillery park.
Funding for the renovations and new amenities came from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund, state bond bill funds, state parks fees and donations from the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park and the Fort Miles Historical Association.