It’s no secret that one of the most popular outdoor activities for Americans is camping. In fact, almost six out of 10 households report that one of their residents has gone camping recently. But camping fans here in Delaware will surely be excited to hear that Cape Henlopen State Park’s renovations have finally been completed and the park is open for guests in Summer 2017.
Regional Administrator for Delaware State Parks Pat Cooper feels confident that guests will enjoy the new amenities that have been added as part of the renovations, but expects it to be very busy due to the start of the camping season.
“We’re full. It’s going to be a challenge,” he told Delmarva Now about this past Memorial Day weekend. “It’s our first weekend with the new campground with people coming here so that’s the challenge that we’re going to have.”
About 87% of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities, and those who do will have the ability to take full advantage of the park’s new camp store, playground, picnic tables, firepits, laundry facilities, and more. Delaware Gov. John Carney says the upgrades make Cape Henlopen one of the best parks in the state.
“This is the crown jewel of the Delaware State Park System,” Gov. Carney said. “I remember when I worked for then-Sen. Joe Biden as he advocated with the federal government to piece together what has become this beautiful Cape Henlopen State Park. And these renovations are really incredible.”
Other improvements to the park include the addition of more rustic and wilderness-based sites that don’t have access to water or power. A majority (57%) of Americans over age 65, compared with less than half of those aged 18-29 (47%), 30-44 (46%), and 45-64 (49%), make time for regular trips or vacations, so campers of any ability can choose the site that best accommodates their wants and needs. While many people enjoy “glamping,” a type of luxury camping that embraces modern amenities, others still enjoy the more traditional form of wilderness camping.
The newly improved park offers opportunities for both types of campers, as well as RV campsites,
too. Starting immediately, RV spots are readily available as well, according to Grant Melville, Cape Henlopen State Park manager.
“This plays into camping culture as it is evolving and changing,” he said. “People now more than ever expect amenities like water and electric at every site, so we have now provided that for over 100 sites, as well as the primitive campers who want even less amenities at their site, so you have both types of cultures, and now we have over 20 sites that you can walk into and get more of a natural feel.”
Ultimately, Secretary Shawn Garvin said these renovations, which totaled $4.1 million, are imperative to overall physical and emotional wellbeing of Delaware residents and visitors alike.
“There are just so many things our parks offer not only to our families here in Delaware but tons of visitors who come here every year,” said Garvin. “And Cape Henlopen is the one that gets the most visitors, but it’s just one of many great parks we have here in the state.”