TRAP POND STATE PARK
Delaware's Cypress Swamp
Freshwater wetlands once covered a large portion of southwestern Sussex County. Trap Pond State Park retains a part of the swamp's original beauty and mystery, and features the northernmost natural stand of baldcypress trees in the United States. The pond was created in the late 1700s to power a sawmill during the harvest of large baldcypress from the area. The Federal Government later purchased the pond and surrounding farmland during the 1930s and the Civilian Conservation Corps began to develop the area for recreation. Trap Pond became one of Delaware's first state parks in 1951.
Visitors have many opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the wetland forest. Hiking trails surround the pond, providing opportunities to glimpse native animal species and many flowering plants. Birdwatching is a popular activity and the observant hiker may spot a Great Blue Heron, owl, hummingbird, warbler, Bald Eagle or the elusive Pileated Woodpecker.
Playground at Trap PondIn addition to the natural attractions, the park offers a variety of recreational activities. Experience the wonders of southern woodlands along the 4.9-mile Boundary Trail that skirts the park's 90-acre pond. The Baldcypress Nature Center features a variety of displays and programs that will enhance any visit to the park. Picnic areas overlook the pond and three pavilions may be reserved for group events. Volleyball courts and horseshoe pits encourage active competition among friends, and children will enjoy the playground complex.
Located in Laurel, Delaware, the park was established in 1951. It is home to one of the largest surviving fragments of a wetland forest that once covered much more extensive areas along Delmarva Peninsula's western edge.
The pond itself dates back to late 18th century when it was created as part of an industrial millpond for powering sawmills. The area became less industrially significant with advancements in technology and transportation during mid-19th century.
In early 20th century, efforts were made by private owners and state agencies alike towards preserving this unique ecosystem from further degradation due to logging activities or agricultural expansion.
During Great Depression era (1930s), Civilian Conservation Corps workers built recreational facilities here which laid foundation for its future status as a public recreation site under Department Of Natural Resources And Environmental Control's jurisdiction since post-WWII period.
Today it offers visitors various outdoor activities like camping, hiking trails through bald cypress swamps besides boating opportunities on Trap Pond waters teeming with freshwater fish species such as largemouth bass etc., making it popular among nature enthusiasts all year round.
Visitors who wish to stay overnight at the park may camp at one of the 142 campsites on the pond's northern shore. 130 of the sites are equipped with water and electric hookups. Tents and recreational vehicles can both be accommodated beneath the tall loblolly pines. Two primitive camping areas are also available for youth groups by reservation only.
There are also yurts available at the park. Yurts are round stationary structures with canvas walls that feature: a single and double bed bunked together, a double bed size futon, and outdoor seating area, and outdoor deck. Yurts are a fun and easy alternative to pitching a tent yourself, but still allow you to experience the rustic feel of camping outdoors. Perfect for the new camper in your family. Some restrictions do apply; please contact the park office for additional information.
Trap Pond also offers Camping Cabins for your enjoyment.
The Trap Pond State Park oversees 2,685 acres of land that offer recreational opportunities to the public. Nearby Trussum Pond is nationally known for its scenic baldcypress stands and the James Branch Nature Preserve, downstream from Trap and Trussum Ponds, features some of the largest baldcypress trees in the state. In addition, the Barnes Woods Nature Preserve south of Seaford offers a self-guided nature trail through hardwood forests, along a tidal stream. A visit to the wetlands of Trap Pond State Park treats each guest to a wonderland of spectacular beauty.
Boating among the baldcypress is a favorite pastime at the park. Rowboats, pedal boats, canoes and kayaks can be rented during the summer season, and the park interpreter hosts narrated pontoon boat tours on weekends and holidays, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A boat launching ramp can accommodate small motorized boats for fishing or scenic excursions. Anglers on the water or shore may land largemouth bass, pickerel, crappie, and bluegills. One of the streams that flows out of Trap Pond has been marked as a wilderness canoe trail for those who wish to explore the swamp's interior.
Anglers on the water or shore may land largemouth bass, pickerel, crappie, and bluegills. One of the streams that flows into Trap Pond has been marked as a wilderness canoe trail for those who wish to explore the swamp's interior.