There are just four National Park Services in Delaware, and there are no National Parks in the state. The national park services are comprised of one National Historical Park, a National Scenic Trail, a National Historic Trail and a National Treasure. Ready to explore inspiring historic sites and places of natural beauty in the First State? If so, here are some of the best National Parks in Delaware to visit.
The Best National Parks in Delaware
1. First State – National Historical Park
First State National Historical Park tells the story of the area. For example, how the Dutch, Swedes, Finns, English, and Germans settled in the Delaware Valley and their relationship with Native Americans. The park also preserves the cultural landscape of the Brandywine River Valley. First State National Historical Park consists of six individual sites throughout the state of Delaware. The many sites in the park help recount the early colonial history of Delaware and the role the State played in the establishment of the United States. Delaware is famous as the First State to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The six sites are the Brandywine Valley, Fort Christina, Old Swedes Historic Site, New Castle, The Green, and John Dickenson Plantation. Brandywine Valley comprises 1,100 acres, some of which extend into southeastern Pennsylvania. Here you can enjoy a plethora of recreational activities such as hiking, horseback riding, biking, and kayaking.
2. Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route – National Historic Trail
The 680-mile (1,090km) Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route follows in the footsteps of the Continental Army. In 1781, the French and American troops, under the command of George Washington and Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau, took this route when they marched for 14 weeks from Newport in Rhode Island, to Yorktown in Virginia. 4,000 French and 3,000 American soldiers marched, making this the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. This effort and cooperation between America and France led to victory at Yorktown and secured American independence. During this march, the First Brigade camped overnight in Wilmington, Delaware.
3. Chesapeake Bay Watershed – National Treasure
One-third of the State of Delaware drains into the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in America. It is also one of the largest and most biologically productive estuaries in the world. It’s home to several thousand species of plants and animals, for instance, blue crabs and bald eagles. The Chesapeake Bay watershed and network of streams, creeks, and rivers cover 64,000 square miles of the East Coast of the USA. It stretches from upstate New York to southern Virginia, from the West Virginia panhandle to the Delmarva Peninsula. All along the watershed, you can enjoy lots of activities, for instance, fishing, hunting, boating, water sports, hiking, bird-watching, and relaxation.
4. Captain John Smith Chesapeake – National Scenic Trail
The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is America’s first water-based National Historic Trail. These waterways extend roughly 3,000 miles (4,800km) along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. It follows the routes of Englishman John Smith’s historic voyages on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in 1607-1609. The trails are based on the explorer’s documents, for instance, his map and written accounts. Along the trail, you will take in lots of other National Park services, for example, 16 National Wildlife Refuges, 12 National-Parks, and three other National Trails. Following the trail into Delaware, you can visit the Seaford Museum which has thousands of local artefacts telling the history of the area.