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Parade grounds at Fort DuPont State Park

Parade grounds at Fort DuPont State Park. Photo: Ethelred unraed, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort DuPont State Park is a fascinating destination for anyone who loves history and nature.

Situated in Delaware City, the park provides visitors with the chance to explore the remains of a Civil War-era fort and the vibrant natural landscape on which it is based.

Constructed in the mid-1800s to protect the Delaware River and the Port of Wilmington from potential attacks, the fort and the park played an important role during World War II. Serving as both a coastal defense installation and a training facility for the Army.

Today, visitors can explore the fort’s ruins and learn about the history of the site through informative signage and guided tours.

In addition to its historical significance, the 300-acre Fort DuPont State Park also boasts stunning views of the Delaware River and a diverse range of wildlife.

Visitors to this Delaware state park can take a stroll along nature trails, go fishing in two waterways, or simply relax and enjoy a picnic in one of the park’s scenic designated areas.

Activities

During your visit to Fort DuPont State Park there are plenty of things you can see and do.

Outlined below is a brief overview of some of its main sightseeing and recreational highlights.

Fort at Fort DuPont State Park

Built in 1863, the fort was in operation until 1945, providing a crucial coastal defense during the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

It consists of a series of gun batteries, magazines, and underground tunnels, some of which are open to visitors. The batteries were built to protect the Delaware River and the city of Wilmington from enemy ships.

During World War I and World War II, the fort also served as a training ground for soldiers and was used to store ammunition and other supplies.

Today, visitors can explore the fort and learn about its fascinating history.

Guided Tours at Fort DuPont State Park

The park offers visitors a variety of guided tours that provide a glimpse into its rich history and natural beauty.

The guided tours are led by knowledgeable park rangers and cover a variety of topics, including the history of the fort, the Civil War, and the park’s natural resources. They take the form of walking tours, tram tours, and boat tours.

The walking tour takes visitors on a leisurely stroll through the park’s historic district, where they can see the fort’s barracks, officers’ quarters, and other historic buildings. Meanwhile, the tram tour goes on a scenic ride through the park’s wetlands and forests, providing stunning views of the Delaware River. The boat tour embarks on a peaceful cruise along the Delaware River, where park guests can see wildlife and learn about the river’s history.

All of the guided tours are informative and entertaining, making them a great way to experience the history and beauty of Fort DuPont State Park.

Fishing at Fort DuPont State Park

Fishing is a popular activity at Fort DuPont State Park, with the park accessing two major waterways. Namely the Delaware River and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Between them, these waterways offer a variety of fish species, including striped bass, white perch and bluefish.

Anglers can choose to fish from the shore or from boats, which can be launched from the park’s boat ramp.

The park also has a fishing pier that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. It is located near the marina and is a popular spot for anglers.

If you want to fish at the park, you will need to hold a valid fishing license if you are over the age of 16. You’ll be able to pick this up online or at the nearby sporting goods store.

Hiking at Fort DuPont State Park

For those into hiking, the park offers more than six miles of trails that wind through wooded areas, open fields, and along the Delaware River shoreline. The trails are marked and range from easy to moderate difficulty.

Most people who visit the park choose to tackle the River View Trail, which takes in scenic views of the river and passes by the remains of Fort DuPont’s gun battery.

The Woodland Trail is another popular route, taking hikers through a forested area that is home to diverse wildlife and native plant species.

If you are after a longer hike, the Governor Bacon Trail offers a three mile course through the park’s diverse landscapes of wetlands, meadows, and wooded areas.

Pets

Pets are allowed to join you at Fort DuPont State Park although they must always be kept on a leash during their time there.

Owners should also clean up after their dogs and not take them into any of the park buildings, including the museum and visitor center.

For a full rundown of the park’s pet policy, it is worth getting in touch with the staff at the main office.

Camping

There are no campgrounds within Fort DuPont State Park. However, if you are looking to stay overnight in the area there are several nearby camping options you can choose from.

One of them is Lums Pond State Park, which is just about 10 miles southwest of Fort DuPont. There you will find modern tent and RV camping sites, with amenities such as showers, laundry facilities, and a camp store.

Another option you might want to consider is Killens Pond State Park. It also has similar accommodation options and amenities and is located about 20 miles south of the park.

As well as these state park campgrounds, there are some private ones in the area too you might want to stay at. This includes the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, which you will find about 20 miles north of Fort DuPont. It has excellent tent and RV sites and boasts a swimming pool, mini golf, and a game room among its amenities.

Park Location

Fort DuPont State Park
Wilmington Ave,
Delaware City, DE 19706
Phone: 302.834.7941

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Fort DuPont State Park: