Delaware State Forests now on Avenza Maps

DOVER, Del. (April 16, 2021) — Visitors to Delaware state forests can now use a mobile phone to locate trails, hunting stands, or parking areas using the Avenza Maps® mobile app (available for iPhone or Android devices from the App Store or Google Play.) All state forest maps are free to download. The app uses the phone’s built-in GPS to locate it on the map, even when the device is out of range of a network or Internet connection. Users can select a particular map of interest, download it, and store it on their phone. A blue dot follows users wherever they go so they always know where they are on the map. Visitors can zoom in and out, navigate from place to place, mark points of interest (such as where a car is parked or where a hunting stand is located) and easily attach photos exactly where they were taken.

Phone users can use their cell phone camera to capture a unique QR code (below) and use their mobile browser to access a link to all of the Delaware Forest Service maps.

Read the Avenza Maps® fact sheetOpen this document with ReadSpeaker docReader for more information about the features of this mobile app.

State forest offices also offer printed maps at the main office. Standard PDF maps for all state forest tracts (which can be printed) are also available at


Delaware State Forest Avenza Maps

State Forest Camping Now Open To The Public

DOVER, Del.  (March 15, 2021) – Delaware’s state forest campsites are now open to the public under a new online reservation system that allows for advance booking and preferred site selection. Primitive-style camping is available 365 days a year on a first-come, first-serve basis at both Blackbird State Forest, north of Smyrna, and Redden State Forest, north of Georgetown.

State forests only allow tent camping: pickup campers, travel trailers and/or self-propelled motor homes are excluded due to access and parking limitations, unless otherwise noted. Amenities include on-site parking, BBQ grills, picnic tables, fire rings, firewood (if available), and portable toilets. No showers or bath facilities provided.

The cost per night is $25 per site (plus a small administrative fee) with a three night maximum stay per reservation. Each state forest has added two new sites for a total of eight (8) at Blackbird and seven (7) at Redden. All camping requires a permit and is subject to state forest rules and regulations. Complete information, maps, camping rules, and links to make a reservation are available at

“We’re really excited to be launching this next generation of primitive camping to our users so that they can have a better booking experience, with greater ease of making and cancelling reservations,” stated Kyle Hoyd, assistant forestry administrator. “This will allow people to manage their camping online and make repeat reservations by creating an online profile at the Book Your Site website.”

Users can read the Forest Camping Guide to Online Reservations  for instructions on booking a campsite.

Blackbird Camping Map

Redden Camping Map

For questions about Blackbird State Forest, email, or call 302-653-6505.

For questions about Redden State Forest, email, or call 302-856-2893.

State forest camping reservation link

Camping Facts at a Glance

  • Camping is open year-round: sites are limited and permits required.
  • Amenities include on-site parking, BBQ grills, picnic tables, fire rings, firewood (if available), and portable toilets.
  • No showers or bath facilities provided.
  • $25 per night fee for each site at Blackbird or Redden State Forest.
  • Three night maximum stay per reservation.
  • Blackbird has eight (8) tent sites and Redden has seven (7) sites.
  • Campers must use the online reservation link or click above.
  • Valid major credit card required.

Camping Regulations

  • Camping is by permit only and restricted to map-designated campsites.
  • Camping permits and online registration are at, or contact forest offices.
  • Reservations are required prior to arrival date.
  • Campsites are of a primitive type and used ONLY for tent camping. Pickup campers, travel trailers and/or self-propelled motor homes are excluded due to access and parking limitations, unless otherwise noted by a state forest employee.
  • Campsites are limited and come equipped with tables, fire pits, and charcoal grills. Campsites are limited to a maximum number of six (6) people per site, with two (2) vehicles per site, overflow parking is provided nearby the parking areas. Camper(s) must remove their trash upon vacating their campsite and drop it off at the designated dumpster located on the camping map. Failure to adhere to these regulations will result in the camper’s removal and loss of security deposit.
  • Camping is at your own risk. State Forests are a public use area and there is no after-hours, nighttime or weekend security. Law enforcement is provided by the Delaware State Police and the Department of Natural Resources Police should the need arise.
  • State forests are “multiple-use facilities”, which means other activities will continue while you camp. These activities include: hunting, picnicking, hiking, nature study, horseback riding, firewood cutting (by permit only), and timber harvesting. The DFS reserves the right to limit or deny permits during times of conflicting use.
  • Firewood for camp use is available for purchase onsite and no outside firewood is permitted. Please refer to the camping map for its location. If more firewood is needed, it may be gathered locally from dead and downed trees. Standing trees or shrubs shall not be cut. Using firewood located outside of the designated area of the office complex is prohibited. Campfires shall be contained within established fire rings only.
  • Campsites are to be left clean and all fires are to be extinguished before departing from the area.

Redden Forest pavilion


Redden Lodge and Forest Campsites Closed

Kyle Hoyd, Assistant State Forester
Delaware Forest Service

To limit coronavirus, the Redden Forest Lodge and campsites at Blackbird State Forest and Redden State Forest are now closed.

DOVER, Del. — Beginning immediately, the Delaware Forest Service will take the following steps to limit the potential spread of the Coronavirus:

  • The Lodge at Redden State Forest will be closed to the public until further notice.
    For existing reservations, contact Catherine Connelly at 302-698-4547 or
  • All campsites at Redden and Blackbird State Forests will be closed to the public until further notice.
  • All large gatherings (>25 people) scheduled for any of the State Forests will be cancelled.
  • State Forests will remain open to the general public for the time being for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, etc.
  • Staff members will cancel all scheduled meetings (or use teleconferencing as an alternative), school programs, on-site educational programs at the State Forests, and any other activity would involve multiple people in the same room.
  • Staff members will avoid all out-of-state travel until further notice.
  • Staff members will limit their exposure to the general public whenever possible, in order to prevent the possible transmission of coronavirus.
    State Forest Changes

Delaware sends Type 6 engine to North Carolina

Del. engine crew in North Carolina
PHOTO: From left, Adam N. Keever of Newark and Sam Topper of Federalsburg, MD are currently serving a two-week assignment with Delaware’s Type 6 engine on the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. The team departed October 4, 2019 from Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna, Delaware.



Contact: Kyle Hoyd, Delaware Forest Service

MURPHY, N.C.  —  The Delaware Forest Service has dispatched a Type 6 engine and crew to the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. The unit will provide resource and readiness capability as a combination of drought, fuel moisture, and weather conditions have created above average potential for increased wildfire activity across the Southern Region. Delaware’s crew consists of Sam Topper of Maryland, a senior forester with the Delaware Forest Service, and Adam N. Keever of Newark, a conservation technician with DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.

This is the first assignment of 2019 for the Delaware engine crew. In 2018, the Delaware Forest Service dispatched a Type 6 engine to battle California’s Ferguson Fire, which caused two fatalities and burned almost 97,000 acres in the Sierra National Forest and Yosemite National Park. In 2017, the Type 6 engine and crew was sent to the Eagle Creek Fire, which burned more than 50,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon.

“One of the Delaware Forest Service’s core missions is providing critical resources for wildfire suppression and emergency response—both locally and nationally,” said Kyle Hoyd, Delaware’s assistant state forestry administrator who oversees its wildland fire program. “We take pride in the fact that our Type 6 engine and experienced crew members can support the needs of our federal and state partners when we are called upon to serve.”


Days since rain map in Southern Region
GRAPHIC: “Days Since Rain” map in the South: A prolonged lack of rain has heightened the risk of wildfire activity in the region.


Delaware Type 6 engine and crew in North Carolina
Delaware’s Type 6 engine is shown here at the Panther Lookout on the Nantahala National Forest. The two-person engine crew is scheduled to serve a two-week assignment in the Southern Region to provide resource readiness for increased wildfire risk.

Apply now for Delaware state forest turkey permit

DOVER – The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) is accepting applications for its lottery to award state forest permits for the 2020 turkey hunting season, which begins April 11, 2020 and ends on May 9, 2020. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters occurs on April 4, 2020. No Sunday hunting is allowed. State forest turkey permits are issued for one of four season segments: A (4/11-4/17), B (4/18-4/24), C (4/25-5/1), or D (5/2-5/9).

Blackbird State Forest
Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna is one of the three state forests where hunters can apply for a 2020 spring turkey permit.

The 2020 Delaware State Forest Turkey Hunting Permit Application is now online.

Completed applications must be received by January 10, 2020 at:

Delaware Forest Service Turkey Permit Application
2320 S. DuPont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901

Turkey hunters can request a permit for either Blackbird State Forest, Taber State Forest, or Redden State Forest and also indicate their request for preferred weeks and locations. All hunters are required to complete a turkey hunting safety education course. Failure to check the box on the form indicating completion of an approved course will disqualify the application. 

The Delaware Forest Service began issuing its own separate permits for state forests in 2019. The change now provides hunters with up to two weeks of permitted turkey hunting: either at a DNREC Wildlife Area or a Delaware State Forest. State forest hunting is still free to the public and requires no separate usage fees. The DFS receives no funding from income generated by hunting license and registration fees. Even though the Delaware Forest Service is issuing its own permits, all current turkey hunting license and registration requirements remain in effect: harvested wild turkeys must still be registered through the state turkey hunting check stations.

“The Delaware Forest Service’s goal is to continue enhancing the quality of turkey hunting opportunities on state forest lands. Hunters that turned in their turkey logs this past season provided us with valuable information that helped us monitor populations throughout the remainder of the year,” said Kyle Hoyd, assistant state forester. “We are also targeting areas to implement forest and wildlife management techniques that will provide the much needed habitat turkeys require to survive. This will help us improve the quality of turkey hunting at our state forests,” said Hoyd.

In addition, the DFS will use a system that allows hunters to call in if they no longer need their permit so it can be reassigned to another individual on the waiting list. This was developed in response to a lack of hunters during previous seasons. The DFS will also provide hunters with a survey card they will need to fill out to apply the following year that includes questions on how many turkeys they saw, days hunted, and on which tracts they hunted.