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Cape Henlopen State Park

Cape Henlopen State Park has many year-round hiking and biking opportunities, and allows leashed dogs on the beach in the summer season. Pets are allowed in the seashore park/beaches all day without limitation of time of day (six miles of dog-friendly fun). Dogs are not permitted on the boardwalk, ocean beach, or any swimming areas designated by the Parks Division as not allowing dogs from May 1 to September 30. Visit Website

Or call (302) 645-8983 or email ParkInfo@state.de.us for more information.

Reviews

BringFido Guest Rating

Cape Henlopen State Park has received a rating of 3.9 out of 5 bones by 16 canine critics on BringFido.

  • William
    Apr. 10, 2021
    Day visit

    So there is quite a few places you cannot take your dog, like the fishing pier area and the nature trails, which is sad, but they do have a bike trail that makes a huge 4+ mile-ish circle (with some additional off shots we didn’t do) around the park including some great remnants from its fort days and some great views. However, If your dog has issue with bikers, skateboarders, etc. this may not be the place for you as there are a lot of them on the same trail, if your dog doesn’t get bothered by that it is a great long walk with different scenery. Also you can take your dog on the beach in the off season. Be aware there is a charge to enter the park, $5 for DE residents, $10 for out of state.

  • Tom
    Mar. 21, 2021
    Awesome Beach (except for complainers)

    We have taken our pup Penny to this beach many times during the off season, and it has always been wonderful! People are friendly and always put their dogs back on leash when others approach. It helps to read signs, though, and to maybe do 30 seconds of online research on a beach you're going to for the first time before you show up and start complaining about the cost of entering a state park, the lack of a tourist boardwalk, or having to pack out your own trash.

  • Stacey
    Aug. 29, 2019
    Dòg policy suck

    If you are here (and I'm sitting at camp in my tent with my dog), you pretty much cant take take the dog much of anywhere and swim and have a normal beach day. The poster that said its deceptive is correct. You can take the dog on designated parts of the beach, but you cant swim. Or u have to be there fishing. Actively fishing. You cant take them to all these things to do. Not allowed on trails. Not allowed , not allowed not allowed....you can sit at your site with your dog. And the are strict with these rules.

  • Nicole
    Jul. 7, 2019
    Great for day trips!

    We took Riley on her first day trip and she did fantastic! Great space to run around with her and dip her paws in the water. People are so friendly which allows for a relaxing environment. Dogs are permitted on the selected beach year round so I see many trips in the future!

  • Maria
    Apr. 27, 2019
    Great for spring camping and hiking with dogs!

    We actually camped at the State Park in late April with our dog for a week. Great, quiet time to come. Campground is clean and well-maintained and the people were awesome. Lots of dog-friendly places to eat out too. Free bike rentals at Nature Center. Lots of good hiking trails by cool forts. We will try to return!

  • Cindy
    Jul. 12, 2018
    Beautiful Park!

    Cape Henlopen is a beautiful park with a lot of things to do. Our dog had a great time at the beach digging in the sand and playing in the water. There were a few other well-behaved dogs there on leashes. Like many state parks, there is a fee to enter and you do have to carry your trash out.

  • Kenny
    More than a year ago
    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    So my girlfriend, my service dog and I embarked on a day trip to Delaware.

    I had never been to Delaware, so we packed a cooler, some snacks and headed out. After a longer than anticipated trek due to traffic issues, we finally made it to Lewes Delaware and Cape Henlopen State Park. I drove up to the fee vestibule and asked the guy POINT BLANK, "Is there a boardwalk with shops and restaurants?" He says, Oh yeah, there's a boardwalk and all sorts of things to see and do." Since we're not from Delaware, they charged us TEN dollars to enter. We drive to the parking lot, and walked to the "boardwalk." Half across this "boardwalk" I came to the stark realization that there was NOTHING BUT A BEACH and a lot of people. NO shops. NO restaurants. NOTHING but a beach. So I just paid $10 to look at a beach and I was infuriated that the guy lied to me.

    On the way back to the car, my dog took a dump in some sand. I picked it up and looked for a trashcan. Apparently, these people pull in tons of cash on a daily basis, yet can't afford one trashcan or someone to empty it? LAME. The locals told us that we needed to carry our trash out with us? Really? So i need to put a smelly bag of crap in my car? WTH? I tried to toss it out in the men's room and they don't even have a trash can in there. My girl mentioned that someone left a sanitary napkin in the woman's restroom and we spotted several people just leaving bags of trash everywhere. This was just stupid.

    I drove back to the "Park Office" waited in (a sweltering hot) line for almost thirty minutes only to be told that they refused any refunds. Really? We were there for all of six minutes and were told BY THEIR EMPLOYEE what we were to look forward to. He misrepresented the park but gladly took our cash. They do NOT accept credit or debit cards by the way. Again, they take in all that money, yet can't afford a better air conditioning system?

    I am so outraged by this place and would NEVER recommend it to anyone. We ended up going to Rehoboth Beach and found exactly what we were looking for... A strand with shops and eateries. I wish we had more time to visit the many antique shops in the area.

  • Janet
    More than a year ago
    Great beach for you and your dog!

    We have been going to this beach for over 10 years now. It is dog friendly on the non- guarded beaches. Gordon's pond is not guarded and therefore dog friendly. It is very clean and the majority of beach goers follow the keep dogs on leashes law. It is $10 to get into the beach. We get the out of state yearly pass because we go more than enough to cover the price. There is plenty of parking and not a long walk to the beach at all. There is a spot to rinse off feet. There are portable toilets if needed. There is a small stand to rent umbrellas and chairs that is open seasonly according to the weather and demand. They sell some drinks and limited food/snacks. It is carry in/carry out so plan to take your garbage and dog's doody with you! Although unguarded lots of people swim in the ocean.

  • Max
    More than a year ago
    Amazing find

    Went there on a weekday. Beautiful beach and friendly people. Only seen a few dogs at the beach, but dog lovers all around. Easy access, clear path, no need to go far or worry you will be in the wrong place. Whether your passing through or looking for a day trip with your dog, well worth it!

  • Ruth
    More than a year ago
    Great spot for you and doggies

    What a wonderful beach. Clean, wide open space. Our dogs loved it last year and so did we. The dog beach is at the far end, so bring your supplies (including trash bags). Much larger than other dog beaches.

  • Sandy
    More than a year ago
    Too Limited

    Well...that certainly leaves us OUT for a summer vacation, then. Can't do the extra-long trek to the "dog-permitted" beach. CAPE MAY, HERE WE COME!!

  • Tim
    More than a year ago
    Ok, but plan ahead

    Huge park. Dogs only allowed at fishing beaches. Signs will tell you which beaches you CANNOT go. Much longer walk from the car to the beach. Like the Seashore park better.

  • Stephanie
    More than a year ago
    pay attention to the rules

    Nice beach area but pay attention to the rules b/c dogs are allowed only in certain areas of the park.

  • Eric
    More than a year ago
    Deceptive on Dog

    Pets on the Beach

    Pets are allowed in our seashore parks, but Delaware State Law prohibits them from all swimming and sunbathing beaches from May 1 to September 30. Park rules and regulations also restrict pets from areas such as surfboarding & sailboarding beaches and shorebird nesting areas. Pets must be leashed at all times in our seashore parks.

    These areas are CLOSED to pets year-round:

    Picnic areas

    Nature trails

    Bird nesting areas

    Park buildings

    Cabins

    Cottages

    Yurts

    Fort Delaware State Park (service animals allowed)

    Camping with Your Pet

    While in the campground, no excessive barking, especially during “quiet time” (10 p.m to 7 a.m.), will be permitted. Never leave your pet unattended either outside or inside a camping unit. The leash law will be enforced at the campgrounds. Please don’t forget you are required to clean up after your pet.

    At the Beach

    Pet access maps

    Pets are allowed in our seashore parks, but Delaware State Law prohibits them from all swimming and sunbathing beaches from May 1 to September 30. Park rules and regulations also restrict pets from areas such as surfboarding and sailboarding beaches and shorebird nesting areas.

  • Jess
    More than a year ago
    Love it!

    I was so excited the first time I went here!! My dog loves the beach but its so hard to find nice areas that allow dogs. We are going back for a second time and camping with my dog too!

  • Diane
    More than a year ago
    Beautiful

    A beautiful park where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean with bicycle and walking paths and many miles of beaches. While in the park, pets must be leashed (not to exceed 6 feet) and under control. Owners must honor all park signs that prohibit the entry of pets in specific areas. Guide dogs are permitted in all pedestrian areas.

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Cape Henlopen State Park