You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Delaware State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Southern Region
Fenwick Island State Park
Oh Yell ©
Spring Hike ©
Availability Search
39415 Inlet Road
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware   199971

Phone: 302-539-9060
Toll Free: 302-739-9220
Email: park email button icon
Situated between the popular resort towns of Bethany Beach to the north and Fenwick Island and Ocean City to the south, Fenwick Island State Park is a relaxing escape from the summer crowds. This three-mile stretch of barrier island is a playground of sand, surf, and sun along Delaware's Atlantic coast.

Before the area became a park, the dynamic forces of nature constantly changed the narrow strip of barrier dues between the Atlantic Ocean and Little Assawoman Bay, keeping the area wild and undeveloped. The area that is Fenwick Island State Park remained largely undisturbed, even as the towns of Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island were established. In 1926, a statewide survey classified the park area as public lands, which were soon assigned to the state Highway Department. Later, during World War II, the park lands were used as part of Delaware's coastal defense system. A concrete observation tower from the war era still stands near the northern boundary of the park.

In 1966, the property was assigned to the State Park Commission as a southern section of Delaware Seashore State Park. The area was renamed Fenwick Island State Park in 1981, and is now managed in conjunction with Holts Landing State Park, on the nearby Indian River Bay.
History of the Area
This 344-acre park was established in the late 1960s. It is situated between Ocean City and Bethany Beach.

The land originally belonged to Assateague Indians before European settlers arrived during the early colonial period.

In World War II, it served as a strategic military outpost with concrete observation towers built along its coastlines.

Post-war years saw an increase in recreational use of these coastal areas leading to official state park designation.

It offers various activities such as swimming, sunbathing and surf fishing while also providing habitat for local wildlife species.
Today, Fenwick Island State Park invites visitors to enjoy 344 acres of peaceful ocean and bay shoreline. Naturally, swimming and sunbathing are popular activities on the ocean side of the park. The white sand beaches gradually slope into the Atlantic, creating a broad swimming area. Lifeguards patrol the swimming beach daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 9am to 5pm. One of the newest features at the park is the modern bathhouse, which offers convenient showers and changing rooms, a gift shop, and a snack food concession. During the summer months, umbrellas, chairs, and rafts may be rented on the beach.
Visitors can enjoy surf fishing along the ocean shoreline, casting for species like bluefish, striped bass, and flounder. Fishing from the bayside offers a chance to catch trout or croakers. A valid Delaware fishing license is required for anglers aged 16 and over.

Fenwick Island State Park is located near Berlin, Dewey Beach and Lewes

Fenwick Island State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables. Grilling is permitted; bring your own charcoal grill. Enjoy ocean views while dining outdoors. No alcohol or glass containers allowed for safety and preservation of the park's natural beauty.
Cyclists enjoy the scenic Coastal Highway that borders the park, offering a paved route with ocean and bay views. No specific bike path names within its boundaries; riders share roads or use nearby trails like Assawoman Canal Trail for extended rides. Always stay alert to traffic conditions when riding along shared roadways in this area.
- Fenwick Island State Park Beach Trail: This is a 3-mile trail that runs along the beach, offering beautiful ocean views. It's perfect for walking and bird watching.

- Little Assawoman Bay Paddle Trail: A water-based trail spanning approximately 5 miles; it offers opportunities to explore marshes and open waters via kayak or canoe.

- Prickly Pear Hiking Loop: An easy loop of about half a mile in length through diverse habitats including forests, meadows, wetlands with plenty of wildlife spotting chances.

- Dune Crossover Trails: These are short trails leading from the parking areas over dunes to the beach area - they vary between few yards up to quarter mile long each but offer stunning panoramic sea vistas.

-Fenwick Island Nature Pathway : Short pathway around park facilities providing an opportunity for visitors who want quick nature immersion without venturing too far into wilderness

-Bayside Salt Marsh Self-Guided Interpretive Trail : Notable as educational walk where hikers can learn more about local flora & fauna by following interpretative panels placed throughout this less than one-mile-long path

-Little Assawoman Wildlife Area Walking Paths : Although not directly within state park boundaries these paths provide additional hiking options nearby - lengths range from under a mile up-to three miles depending on chosen route

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
write a review
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Holly Lake Campsites
32087 Holly Lake Road
Millsboro, DE
Lighthouse Beach RV Resort
26162 Bay Boulevard
Millsboro, DE
Treasure Beach RV Park & Campground
37291 Lighthouse Road
Selbyville, DE
Sun Retreats Rehoboth Bay
25491 Dogwood Lane
Millsboro, DE
Nearby Hotels

Directions from Wilmington, Delaware:

- Head south on I-95 S.
- Take exit 4A to merge onto DE-1 S toward Christiana Mall Rd.
- Continue straight for about an hour and a half.

From Dover, Delaware:

- Start by heading southeast on US13-S/DE8-E/N Dupont Hwy towards Walker Road.
- Merge onto DE1-S via the ramp to Beaches/Milford; continue driving for approximately one hour.

From Salisbury, Maryland:

- Begin westward along US50-W/Salisbury Bypass
- Turn right at MD353-N/Gumboro Rd after passing Perdue Farms Corporate Office
- After crossing into Delaware state line it becomes Millsboro Highway (Route 24)

state route ranger badge

Delaware State Parks