The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Delaware

Dune Overlook Trail
Cape Henlopen State Park • Lewes

Cape Henlopen has the distinction of being one of the first parks in America: in 1682 Quaker overlord William Penn decreed that the lands would be for “the usage of the citizens of Lewes and Sussex County.” Today the park boasts more than 5,000 acres, including four miles of pristine beach where the Delaware Bay mingles water with the Atlantic Ocean. This is Delaware’s largest state park.

The primary destination for dog owners at Cape Henlopen is the 3.1- mile Dune Overlook Trail, located south of the pet-friendly campground. The loop is part natural surface, part paved road through pitch-pine corridors and past old fortifications built to bolster America’s coastal defenses during World War II.

Do not let Seaman skip the two short spur trails! One leads into the spartina marshes typical of the Delaware Bay estuary and the other is a romp for your dog onto the 80-foot Great Dune, the highest sand pile on the Atlantic shore between Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras.

A good way to explore the undeveloped sands is on the 1.8- mile Beach Loop Trail that begins opposite the parking lot in the southernmost section of the park and leads to overlooks of Gordon’s Pond Wildlife Area, a unique saltwater impoundment. The soft sand can make for heavy going so don’t hesitate to plop down on a dune for a rest. And there is always a chanceto play in the lively Atlantic Oceanwaves.

HIKING TIME: 2-3 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking


Links to National Forests With Hiking


State Parks With Hiking

Delaware State Parks
Dogs are welcome in Delaware state parks. While in the parks, your dog must be leashed except in designated areas. 
Dogs are not permitted in picnic areas, designated nature trails, bird nesting areas and park buildings.

Alapocas Run State Park
Bellevue State Park
Brandywine State Park
Cape Henlopen State Park
Delaware Seashore State Park
Fenwick Island State Park
Fort DuPont State Park
Holts Landing State Park
Killens Pond State Park
Lums Pond State Park
Trap Pond State Park
White Clay Creek State Park
Wilmington State Park

Hiking With Your Dog In Delaware