Take It Open air and Make the Most of Kent County’s Parks and Trails

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Kent County’s parks, trails, and outdoor areas are the perfect way to get outdoors and promote your health – mentally and physically.

Going outdoors in Kent County is a surefire way to get some fresh air and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether your leisure activity is a brisk walk through the woods or shooting hoops on the basketball court on your own, these Kent County’s parks and outdoor areas will keep you moving all season.

Browns Branch

1415 Killens Pond Road, Harrington

Enjoy access to public restrooms, fitness stations, hiking trails, horseshoes, sand volleyball, sports fields, a picnic area, and outdoor barbecue grills. The trails include a 0.3 mile nature trail and a 1.1 mile boundary loop in open fields and woodlands. There are three softball fields for adults and three multi-purpose fields available for rent.

You can find more information at co.kent.de.us/parks-recreation/browns-branch-county-park.aspx

Killens pond

5025 Killens Pond Road, Felton

Killens Pond State Park offers a variety of activities including a 4 km pond path, fishing, picnic areas, playgrounds, gazebos, athletic fields, camping, and a nature center. You can attend various educational events in the nature center on weekdays until April. The nature trails are still available for hiking, biking, and running. Other sports facilities include large ball fields, playgrounds and 18-hole disc golf courses. Camping and cabin rentals are possible all year round, but availability may be limited.

Fees: In the state | $ 4 Daily Out of State | $ 8 daily

For more information, visit destateparks.com/PondsRivers/KillensPond

Brecknock Park

80 Old Camden Road, Camden

Brecknock Park offers many amenities, including a public toilet, sand volleyball, playgrounds, horseshoes, several hiking trails, pavilions with grills, sports and multi-purpose fields, a nature center, field rentals, and a stage. One nature trail is a 1.5 km loop and the other is 1.3 km and leads to the playground at WB Simpson Elementary.

Further information can be found at co.kent.de.us/parks-recreation.aspx

There are many places to get some fresh air and exercise in Kent County. / Courtesy photo of Delaware State Parks

Hunn Nature Park

1624 Sorghum Mill Road, Dover

The Hunn Nature Park offers a 1.5-mile nature trail that is easily accessible and usable for all levels of difficulty. The trail is often used for hiking, walking with pets, and for nature trips. The route is a loop covered by a variety of landscapes from cattails to forestry.

Further information can be found at co.kent.de.us/parks-recreation.aspx

Little Creek Wildlife Area

3018 Bayside Dr., Dover

Little Creek is a prime public hunting and fishing destination with over 4,700 acres of natural space including tidal swamp, forest, and farm fields. There is a dog park where pets large and small can be trained on a leash. The area is often used for crab fishing and bird watching. A permit is required to hunt wild animals.

For more information, visit visitdelaware.com/listings/little-creek-wildlife-area/2410/

Kesselring Park

1683 New Burton Road, Dover

The Kesselring Park offers a spacious space for activities such as hiking, running, sports and other sports. Hiking trails, a grass field and multi-purpose fields can be used and rented for the public. The park’s leisure center was temporarily closed at the time of going to press.

Further information can be found at co.kent.de.us/parks-recreation.aspx

Schutte Park

10 Electric Ave., Dover

The Schutte Park covers 71 hectares of outdoor space, including playgrounds for 3 to 12 years, pavilions, hiking trails, a cross-country ski run, four softball fields with lights and 10 multi-purpose fields. The hiking and cross-country skiing trails lead through wooded and elevated areas. The park also has a small pond.

Visit cityofdover.com/schutte-park for more information

Photo courtesy Delaware State Parks

Dover Park

1210 White Oak Road, Dover

Dover Park is the only park in the region with three public tennis courts. The park also has a softball field, a multipurpose field, two basketball courts, and a disc golf course. In addition to athletics, the park offers two pavilions, picnic areas, hiking trails, fishing areas, and children’s playgrounds. The park offers plenty of space for safe outdoor gatherings and physical activity.

Visit cityofdover.com/parks-listing for more information

First State Heritage Park

102 S. State St., Dover

The First State Heritage Park is more than just a large green space for picnics or walks – it also continues to host a variety of events for visitors. Every first Saturday of the month, the park replaces its usual market fair with a variety of artists and other special programs. The Biggs Museum of American Art has free entry on the first Saturdays. From Wednesdays to Saturdays until 3 p.m. there are historical tours of the buildings throughout the park. Some of the other historic buildings on the property include the John Bell House, Legislative Hall, and the Old State House. Visit the Victrola Museum, dedicated to the history of the recording industry.

For more information, visit destateparks.com/History/FirstStateHeritage

Silver lake

300 Washington St., Dover

Silver Lake is 182 acres of open and wooded land for picnicking, walking, exercising, and fishing. The park has two pavilions and three grills for safe outdoor social gatherings. The play equipment is suitable for children aged 2 to 12 years. There is a boat ramp as well as bridges to access fishing areas for largemouth bass, carp, crappie, striped bass, white bass, bluegill, catfish and others. The trail is long enough for jogging, but short enough for a leisurely excursion on the lake.

Visit cityofdover.com/silver-lake for more information

Gabelzweig nature reserve

2373 Kenton Road, Dover

Fork Branch Nature Preserve contains a 1.1-mile loop that is mostly forested. The fairly flat gravel path leads through marshland and over bridges. The site is popular as the home of barrel owls, a species that is a protected species due to the dwindling floodplain in Delaware.

Several species of birds can be spotted in the nature reserve, from owls to red-shouldered falcons and woodpeckers.

For more information, visit visitdelawarevillages.com/directory/fork-branch-nature-preserve/.

Delaware State Parks

Photo courtesy Delaware State Parks

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

2591 Whitehall Neck Road, Smyrna

The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is made up of six walking and driving trails that allow you to see the wildlife firsthand. The Wildlife Drive is a 12 mile vehicle-accessible trail that deviates into five other trails for exploring the salt marshes and woodland. The Raymond Tower Trail is only a quarter mile long but includes a 30 foot high observation tower. This trail is only recommended for hiking. The promenade over the salt marsh is one of two handicapped accessible paths with a length of a quarter mile. The 1.6 km long Parson’s Point Trail follows freshwater swamps and forests. The Bear Swamp Trail, also a quarter mile away, is wheelchair accessible. This path has another observation tower as well as a floating platform. Finally, the Shearness Tower Trail is a quarter mile hike with another observation tower. These trails are great for walking, running, and cycling. Fishing or crab fishing from the protected areas is prohibited.

More information can be found at fws.gov/refuge/Bombay_Hook/

Big Oak Park

417 Big Oak Road, Smyrna

This 90-acre park consists of two space-themed playgrounds, a climbing wall, and pavilions with public grills. The public toilets are open and closed next to the pavilions. The park shares residence with the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation. The foundation offers many educational opportunities related to science, space, technology, engineering, the environment and mathematics. A schedule of activities is available on dasef.org. The foundation also houses a Galaxy Garden with a walkway and benches. The walking path for the park is 1.8 km long and leads through a nature reserve with a river bank and promenade with both wooded and open areas. There are several softball and multipurpose fields for recreational use.

Further information can be found at co.kent.de.us/parks-recreation.aspx

Woodland Beach

100 Beach Ave., Smyrna

Woodland Beach is great for a relaxing getaway outside. In addition to the beachfront view, there is a fishing and crab pier and a boat ramp. Some fish that are common depending on the season are croaker, catfish, striped bass, bluefish, spot, white perch, dogfish, skates, rays, sharks and the occasional carp. The beach also has a footpath along the coast. A small pavilion and benches are along the sidewalk. Back inland on the other side of the parking lot is a pond and field for other outdoor activities.

Further information can be found at woodlandbeach.net

Delaware State Parks

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George C. Wright Jr. City Park

502 N. Main St., Smyrna

The park across from North Smyrna Elementary School is popular in the community for its numerous playgrounds, swings, skate parks, pavilions, grills, two basketball courts, two softball fields, a soccer field, public restrooms, and picnic tables. The sports fields are often occupied by local teams, but are available for public use when not occupied. The skate park is also outdoors, but it is separated from the park and fenced off. Carnevals, live performances and movie nights are held in the park all year round.

You can find more information at smyrna.delaware.gov/george-c-wright-jr-municipal-park

Lebanon landing

1400 Sorghum Mill Road, Dover

The scenic area offers easy access to a boat ramp and docks for fishing and crab fishing. The convenient roadside park also has picnic tables.

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