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Delaware State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern Region
Redden State Forest
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Redden State Forest © Anita Rich
Enjoying snow covered trails at Redden.
Redden State Forest © Anita Rich
Educational trail.
Redden State Forest © Anita Rich
Pond at Redden Headquarters
Redden State Forest © Anita Rich
Redden State Forest © Anita Rich
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Located in Sussex County, Delaware, the Redden State Forest encompasses vast acres of pristine woodlands and showcases the state's rich natural beauty. This enchanting forest is a peaceful haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a myriad of opportunities for recreational activities. Visitors can explore its captivating trails, perfect for hiking and biking, to discover an abundance of diverse wildlife and stunning flora. The forest also features serene picnic areas where nature lovers can relax and indulge in the scenic surroundings. With its tranquil atmosphere and remarkable biodiversity, the Redden State Forest is a true gem for those seeking solace in nature.
Nature of the Area
Redden State Forest, located in Delaware, is a picturesque and diverse natural area that showcases the state's rich ecosystem. Spanning approximately 12,000 acres, this forest is characterized by lush woodlands, meandering streams, and serene wetlands, providing a sanctuary for a wide array of flora and fauna. Its dense tree cover, consisting primarily of oak and pine, creates a tranquil atmosphere perfect for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and a connection with nature. With numerous hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife observation, visitors can witness the forest's vibrant biodiversity, from rare bird species to elusive mammals. The Redden State Forest serves as a vital conservation area, preserving Delaware's natural heritage and offering a peaceful retreat for individuals seeking an escape from bustling city life.
History of the Area
Redden State Forest, located in Sussex County, Delaware, has a rich history spanning several centuries. Here is an overview of the history of Redden State Forest:

1. Native American Presence: The area that is now Redden State Forest was historically inhabited by the Lenape Native American tribe. They utilized the forest's resources for hunting, fishing, and gathering.

2. European Settlement: In the 17th century, European settlers began arriving in the region. The first recorded landowner of the area was Peter Bayard, who acquired a large tract of land encompassing what is now Redden State Forest in the 1670s.

3. Agricultural Use: For many decades, the land within the Redden area was primarily used for agricultural purposes. The fertile soil supported various crops, including grains, vegetables, and fruits. The land was cultivated by successive generations of farming families.

4. Presence of Redden Family: In the mid-19th century, a prominent local family named Redden began acquiring significant holdings in the area. In 1896, about 4,000 acres of land, including a large portion of what is now Redden State Forest, was owned by the Redden family.

5. Afforestation Efforts: By the early 20th century, concerns arose about the depletion of forests and the loss of wildlife habitats in Delaware. A movement was initiated to conserve these natural resources, leading to the establishment of forest reserves, including Redden Forest.

6. Creation of Redden State Forest: In 1952, the Redden family entered into an agreement with the State of Delaware, permanently transferring ownership of their forested lands to the state. Redden State Forest was officially established, covering approximately 12,000 acres.

7. Management and Conservation: Since its establishment, Redden State Forest has been managed by the Delaware Forest Service and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The primary aim of these agencies is to manage the forest's resources, provide recreational opportunities, and preserve the ecological balance.

8. Recreational Opportunities: Today, Redden State Forest offers numerous recreational activities, including hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding. It also features several nature trails, picnic areas, and camping facilities, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts.

By preserving this vast woodland area, the establishment of Redden State Forest ensures the conservation and enjoyment of Delaware's unique natural heritage for future generations.
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1. Jester Tract Trail: This is a 2-mile loop trail that offers scenic views of the forest and wildlife sightings, suitable for all skill levels.

2. Ellendale Loop Trail: A moderate difficulty level hiking path stretching over 3 miles through dense woods with opportunities to spot local flora and fauna.

3. Redden Headquarters Trails: These are several short trails around the headquarters offering easy walks perfect for families or beginners in hiking.

4. Nanticoke Wildlife Area Pathway: Located on the southern edge of Redden State Forest, this pathway provides hikers an opportunity to explore diverse habitats including forests, wetlands, and fields across its length of about 5 miles.

5. Horseback Riding Trails: There's also a network specifically designed for horse riding enthusiasts which can be used by hikers as well but caution should be exercised when horses are present.

6. The Great Cypress Swamp Hiking Route: It's one among few routes within Delaware where you get chance to hike amidst cypress trees; it covers approximately four miles round trip journey from start point till end.

7. Red Fox Run: An intermediate-level track spanning roughly two-and-a-half-miles featuring beautiful wildflowers during spring season along with occasional sighting of red foxes native to area.

8. Piney Branch Schoolhouse Road Track: This three mile long route takes visitors past historic Piney Branch school house providing them glimpse into region's history while enjoying their trekking adventure.

9. Sandy Ridge Walkway: A relatively flat terrain making it ideal choice even if you're not seasoned hiker yet want enjoy beauty offered by state park without much physical exertion involved.

10. Camp Webb Lake Side Trek: It circles Camp Webb lake giving trekkers panoramic view water body surrounded lush greenery throughout year.

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Area Campgrounds
Holly Lake Campsites
32087 Holly Lake Road
Millsboro, DE
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
Big Oaks Campground
35567 Big Oaks Lane
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Yogi Bear's Jellystone ParkT at Delaware Beaches
8295 Brick Granary Road
Lincoln, DE
Sun Retreats Rehoboth Bay
25491 Dogwood Lane
Millsboro, DE

1. Starting from Wilmington, head south on I-95.
2. Continue on I-95 for approximately 50 miles until you reach Exit 4A, merging onto DE-1 South toward Christiana/Middletown.
3. Stay on DE-1 South for about 32 miles, then take the Exit 95 toward DE-10 West/Dover/Smyrna.
4. Merge onto DE-10 West/South Bay Road and continue for 20 miles.
5. Turn left onto DE-15 South/Paddock Road.
6. Follow DE-15 South for approximately 12 miles.
7. You will reach the entrance of Redden State Forest on your left.

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Delaware State Parks