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State park campground undergoes major facelift

Goal is to protect habitat and be more RV friendly
All roads in the campground have been narrowed by 15 feet and will be repaved to make way for larger RV campsites. The traffic pattern within the campground has also been changed to one-way roads. RON MACARTHUR PHOTO
April 18, 2017

Story Location:
Cape Henlopen Drive
Lewes  Delaware
United States

Campers at Cape Henlopen State Park this spring are in for some big changes – about $4 million worth.

The wide roads have been narrowed by 15 feet to allow more room for campsites with paved pads. More more than 100 RV sites now have electric connections, which were not previously available. Each site has its own water connection as well.

The campground has pads for 20-, 40- and 50-foot RVs. Some pull-through sites have been added to accommodate larger RVs. “The goal has been to make the campground more RV friendly,” said Cindy Todd, construction project administrator for Delaware State Parks.

A new trail will traverse the campsite for better pedestrian and bicycle access. The camp store has been enlarged and renovated and shares space with a new laundry room. That building is adjacent to a family bathroom building and common-space area that includes a small playground.

Each campsite has a new picnic table and fire ring attached to a small concrete pad. Todd said this is another change campers will find. “In the past, campers moved them all over the sites,” she said. “This will help keep the sites cleaner and easier to maintain.”

Tent campers will also see changes with 20 walk-in sites in the area adjacent to the Walking Dunes Trail and Gordons Pond Trail. A new lot has been built for campers to park their vehicles.

The circulation pattern within the campground is also changing, Todd said. There will be one entrance and one exit out of the campground, and all roads within the campground provide for one-way traffic.

Todd said protecting the campground's habitat was a key factor during planning for upgrades. Campers will be permitted to park vehicles only on paved pads and no longer will be allowed to park on the sand or on unpaved areas at their campsites. Overflow parking lots have been added, including space for 60 vehicles near the entrance, in addition to a 40-space parking lot also near the entrance.

The campground has 54 tent sites and 128 RV sites.

 

Seaside Nature Center undergoes makeover

The Seaside Nature Center and park office have undergone a complete makeover.

The center, opened in 1971, served as a jail when the military occupied the site. The wall that separated the retail area from exhibit space has been removed, giving the building an open feel.

In addition to new lighting, flooring and a new ceiling, the center now houses a new 475-gallon, two-level touch tank with viewing windows. Rays and baby horseshoe crabs are in the tanks now.

There's also a new monitor for the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park osprey camera. When the nest is empty, the monitor will be used to display program information and videos.

The center still has five 1,100-gallon aquariums showcasing native fish habitats in the park.

The work is continuation of a project that has included fishing pier improvements, the addition of 12 camping cabins and two new bathhouses for a total of three at the campground.

Work on the campground project – which started in September – is expected to be completed by Memorial Day when camping resumes.

Go to destateparks.com/Cape for more information on park programs or to get information on camping reservations.

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