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Delaware State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern Region
Ellendale State Forest
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The Ellendale State Forest, located in Delaware, is a mesmerizing natural haven that encapsulates the essence of tranquility and biodiversity. Spanning across a vast expanse, the forest showcases a harmonious blend of tall, majestic pine trees intertwined with lush undergrowth, creating a visual spectacle that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, Ellendale State Forest offers solace to nature enthusiasts, providing opportunities for peaceful walks, invigorating hikes, and breathtaking wildlife encounters. This pristine forest is also home to numerous species of flora and fauna, inviting visitors to explore its hidden wonders and fostering a deep appreciation for the unspoiled beauty that lies within the heart of Delaware.
Nature of the Area
Ellendale State Forest, located in Delaware, is a vast and diverse natural area that showcases the state's unique beauty and biodiversity. Spanning hundreds of acres, this forest is characterized by its dense vegetation, towering trees, and meandering trails that offer a tranquil escape for outdoor enthusiasts. The forest consists of various ecosystems, including picturesque wetlands, rolling meadows, and pristine woodlands, providing a haven for numerous plant and animal species. Visitors to Ellendale State Forest can immerse themselves in the serenity of nature, engage in recreational activities like hiking, bird-watching, and wildlife observation, and experience the true essence of Delaware's remarkable wilderness.
History of the Area
The history of Ellendale State Forest in Delaware dates back to the early 20th century. The area that now comprises the state forest was initially established as a result of the State Forestry Act of 1913, which aimed to address the deforestation issues that occurred due to rampant timber harvesting and unsustainable forestry practices.

The state forest was officially designated in 1924, covering approximately 12,255 acres in Sussex County, Delaware. It was named after the nearby town of Ellendale. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a significant role in developing the forest. The CCC was a federal work relief program that employed young men to perform various conservation and infrastructure projects.

Under the CCC's guidance, the Ellendale State Forest saw extensive reforestation efforts, tree planting, soil conservation, and the construction of recreational facilities. Buildings such as barracks, mess halls, and workshops were constructed to house the CCC workers. Additionally, the CCC established fire lanes and firebreaks to prevent forest fires, which were a significant concern at the time.

The Ellendale State Forest has played a crucial role in Delaware's forestry management efforts. In the mid-20th century, it became a hub for tree nurseries used to grow seedlings for reforestation projects statewide. It also serves as a test site for researching various tree species' adaptability to Delaware's climate.

Today, Ellendale State Forest continues to be actively managed by the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the Delaware Forest Service. The forest is open to the public for recreational activities like hiking, bird-watching, and picnicking. It also serves as an educational resource, providing visitors with opportunities to learn about sustainable forestry and conservation practices.

Overall, the history of Ellendale State Forest represents the state's initiative to conserve natural resources, combat deforestation, and promote sustainable forestry practices, while also providing recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy nature.
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Area Campgrounds
Homestead Campground
25165 Prettyman Road
Georgetown, DE
Tall Pines Campground Resort
29551 Persimmon Road
Lewes, DE
Steamboat Landing LLC
13849 Steamboat Landing Road
Milton, DE
Yogi Bear's Jellystone ParkT at Delaware Beaches
8295 Brick Granary Road
Lincoln, DE

1. Start by heading onto DE-1 S from Wilmington. Continue driving on DE-1 S for approximately 54 miles.
2. Take Exit 97 for Delaware Route 26 toward Dagsboro/Bethany Beach. After exiting, merge onto DE-26 W.
3. Follow DE-26 W for about 20 miles until you reach McKee Road. Take a left turn onto McKee Road.
4. Continue on McKee Road for approximately 4 miles.
5. Look for signs indicating the entrance to Ellendale State Forest on the right side of the road.

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Delaware State Parks