Your Guide to Delaware's Hiking Trails: Photos, Filters, and FAQs

10 Hiking Trails

What to expect

Delaware has 10 trails including difficult, medium, and easy trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Fox Point State Park Loop and the one with the least climb is the American Discovery Trail South Route. The longest trail is American Discovery Trail South Route at 8000 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 406 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Charles E Price Memorial Park at Levels Road Loop a t 2.39 km. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Beaver Valley Trail, PennDel Trail and Charles Baily Trail Loop, Mason-Dixon Trail, Charles E Price Memorial Park at Levels Road Loop, and Fox Point State Park Loop.

Guide to hiking in Delaware

Be prepared for hiking in Delaware with the HiiKER app

FAQs about hiking in Delaware

What is the climate like for hiking in Delaware?

In Delaware, spring (March to May) brings temperate weather with blossoming flora, making it an appealing time for hikers. However, trails can be muddy from rain, suggesting waterproof gear may be beneficial.
Summers (June to August) are hot and humid, best suited for coastal or forest hikes, which offer some respite from the heat. It's essential to stay hydrated and avoid midday hikes.
Autumn (September to November) is arguably the best hiking season in Delaware, with mild temperatures and stunning fall foliage. Winter (December to February) can be cold, but clear days can offer serene hikes, albeit with proper cold-weather gear. For more information, consult the Delaware State Parks website here.

Do I need a permit to hike in Delaware?

Generally, hiking in Delaware doesn't necessitate specific permits, but a daily or annual park entrance fee is required for vehicle entry into state parks. Some activities and park areas may need additional permits. For accurate information and to purchase passes, visit the Delaware State Parks website here.

Is wild camping allowed in Delaware?

Wild camping in Delaware is generally not permitted outside of designated campgrounds in state parks to preserve natural habitats. Regulations and booking for designated campsites can be found on the Delaware State Parks website here. Always follow the Leave No Trace principles when camping.

Are there mountain rescue services in Delaware?

For hiking emergencies in Delaware, dial 911 to reach emergency services who coordinate rescue efforts. This can include local police, park rangers, and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. For more safety information, visit the Delaware State Parks safety page here. Always hike responsibly and prepared.

Are there dangerous plants in Delaware?

Delaware's diverse ecosystems host a range of flora. Expect deciduous forests with oak, hickory, and maples, coastal marshland vegetation, and beach grass on dunes. Remember, plant life is crucial to local ecosystems, so avoid disturbing it. The Delaware Department of Agriculture here provides additional information.

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Delaware?

In Delaware, hikers may encounter diverse wildlife, including deer, foxes, and myriad bird species. Insects, including mosquitoes, are common during summer. Coastal areas might reveal marine life like horseshoe crabs. Respect wildlife and keep a safe distance. For more information, visit the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife here.