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Beach Hiking Trails

cape henlopen hiking

The Cape Henlopen State Park is home to a wide variety of hiking & walking trails that wind throughout the park & beaches. From the Walking Dunes Trail to the Bike Loop around the park, there is a trail for everyone.

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Pinelands Nature Trail

  • Trailheads: Across from The Seaside Nature Center
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Distance: 2 Miles
  • Description: This two-mile loop meanders on a gentle grade through coastal upland pine forest over packed and loose sand. Nature enthusiasts will discover four species of pine, including loblolly, Virginia, pitch, and black, as well as cranberry bogs. Hikers will see old artillery bunkers built during World War II in an area once traversed by rails used to supply Fort Miles. The Pinelands Trail was designated as Delaware's first National Recreation Trail in 1981.

Seaside Nature Trail

  • Trailheads: Seaside Nature Center
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Distance: .6 Miles
  • Description: This flat, loose sandy surface trail offers a glimpse of a coastal pine forest and views of the Delaware Bay, Inner Breakwater, fishing pier, and the Henlopen Lighthouse. The trail traverses the bayside location of many of the Park's nature programs.

Walking Dunes Trail

  • Trailheads: Herring Point Parking Area
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Distance: 1.6 Miles
  • Description: The trail travels through wooded uplands, traverses tidal marsh, and terminates at The Great Dune. It follows a gentle grade, suitable for all levels of hiking fitness, over sand, crushed shells, or pavement for 1.6 miles. In late spring, look along the trail for blooming Pink Lady's Slipper and Beach Heather, with its abundant, tiny yellow flowers. Nature enthusiasts will also enjoy views of the tidal marsh and of the many birding opportunities available.

Bike Loop Trail

  • Trailheads: Seaside Nature Center, Bathouse Parking, Fishing Peir Parking, Historic Area
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Distance: 5 miles (One Way)
  • Description: This paved trail is suitable for hikers, bikers, strollers, and rollers. The bike loop trail links the Park Office, Nature Center, campground, beach bathhouse, outdoor fitness area, observation tower, and the Fort Miles Historic Area. The observation tower is a popular stop along the trail. Climb the circular staircase for a panoramic view of the Cape Region. The Bike Loop provides side trails which connect to the fishing pier and kayak rental, the campground, and an ocean and dune overlook, resting atop a former military bunker. The trail contour is easy to moderate in difficulty. The Bike Loop Trail allows for a full experience and appreciation of the park. The American Discovery Trail follows the northern segment of the Bike Loop Trail from the Beach to Cape Henlopen Drive.