Event highlighted renovated campground, Seaside Nature Center and Fort Miles improvements and amenities
CAPE HENLOPEN – Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today announced renovations at Cape Henlopen State Park highlighting the newly improved campground and new amenities at the park’s Seaside Nature Center and Fort Miles Historical Area.
“Cape Henlopen State Park is a treasure – one of Delaware’s natural, recreational and historical gems,” said Governor Carney. “With more than 1.7 million visitors a year, this park is a major attraction and greatly contributes to the state’s $3.1 billion tourism industry. These campground improvements and new amenities will attract even more visitors, living in Delaware and outside our state.”
“Cape Henlopen is the place for campers and visitors to be this summer,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The improvements to the campground, the Seaside Nature Center and Fort Miles all serve to make the unique experience of visiting Cape Henlopen State Park better than ever. This would not have been possible without the partnership of the National Park Service, our state legislators and our parks visitors.”
The newly renovated campground is designed to improve the camping experience by fulfilling many 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 now 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. Every campsite includes 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 larger, new camp store in the center of the campground includes an expanded laundry and camper washing accommodations. The store will supply campers with many of the essentials they may have forgotten as well as morning coffee. A new 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. The walk-in campsite area is a first for the park, already popular at Lums, Killens and Trap Pond state parks.
Visitors can also enjoy a renovated Seaside Nature Center, the most visited nature center in any state park. The wall that previously separated the retail from the exhibit space has been removed to add an open feel to the building.
The centerpiece is a new, 495-gallon, two-level touch tank with viewing windows. The windows allow visitors to watch sting rays, 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 WWII in 1944 and was used for top-secret research projects. This gun adds to the Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area’s new 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.
Media contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 47, No. 117
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