Delaware State Parks hope for another record breaking year

Campsite set up at Cape Henlopen State Park. (Paul Parmelee/WHYY)

Campsite set up at Cape Henlopen State Park. (Paul Parmelee/WHYY)

The 2016 summer season kicks off this weekend with state park campsites at capacity.

With a record number of campers pitching a tent in Delaware in 2015, the 2016 summer season kicks off this Memorial Day weekend with Delaware State Parks’ campgrounds, cabins or cottages fully booked.

The number of campers in 2015 increased by 19 percent compared to 2014, the highest at any time in the parks’ history.

“Investments in state parks provide long-lasting recreational and educational benefits to Delawareans and enhances our quality of life,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Campgrounds in Delaware State Parks are world-class, and that’s why Delawareans and visitors alike rate them so highly, and why campers return year after year.”

In recent years, Delaware has invested in many of its state parks:

Killens Pond — New fire pits for the cabins and 50-amp electrical service for campsites have been added, and the largest waterpark renovation in the history of the facility is underway.
Cape Henlopen – Two new bathroom facilities and six cabins have been added. This winter, electric service will be added to campsites.
Lums Pond – A $5 million-plus renovation to add full hookup sites and new bathrooms is underway. Reservations can be made now for the opening, expected in mid-June.
Delaware Seashore – The North Inlet campground has opened with full hook-up sites, new bathroom and laundry facilities, a playground, and a promenade walkway that allows access to both sides of Indian River Bridge.
Trap Pond – The Trap Pond Partners originated a free borrow-a-bike program.

The results of these improvements have earned the state national recognition by being awarded with the 2015 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

“Our parks offer unique, varied and memorable experiences not found in other state parks in our region. We expect that plans for new amenities and other improvements will only enhance the enjoyment of our campers and further increase visitation,” said DNREC Secretary David Small.

Campsites for other holiday weekends are already filling up.

Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens advises campers to be proactive for the future and go online now to make reservations for other popular holidays like July 4, Labor Day and Halloween weekends.

To make a reservation at a Delaware State Park campground visit www.destateparks.com, or call the state park call center at 1-877-98-PARKS

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