When it comes to exploring the great outdoors of the Middle Atlantic states, few places can rival the allure of Trap Pond State Park. Nestled in the heart of southern Delaware, this enchanting park offers great campsites where natural beauty blends with a unique sense of magic. Whether you’re an avid camper, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Trap Pond State Park has something for everyone.
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Where is Trap Pond State Park?
Located near Laurel, Delaware, Trap Pond State Park can easily be visited on a weekend trip from all major cities in the Northeast, namely Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Its central location makes it one of the best state parks to visit in the region. While spanning over 3,500 acres, the park’s focal point is the stunning freshwater pond that gives its name to the park.
What makes it so special is that it is in fact the northernmost bald cypress swamp in North America.
Camping at Trap Pond State Park
Camping at Trap Pond State Park is a remarkable experience for someone who grew up in the thick of Canada’s boreal forrest like me. The magnificent wetland buzzing with life holds a certain magic that is hard to decribe.
This true hidden gem boasts a well-maintained campground with about 140 campsites, accommodating both tent and RV sites. Surrounded by towering trees and lush greenery, the campground provides a peaceful setting for an outdoor escapade. (Although you have to find the continuous sound of the birds chirping and the bugs humming. Each site is equipped. There are also clean (although slightly dated) restrooms and shower facilities.
Map of Trap Pond’s campground
Trap Pond’s best campsite is the elusive island campsite.
This small stretch of land encircled by the swamp can accommodate up to 16 persons.
I might be stating the obvious, but if you don’t have children it’s best not to chose a campsite in the portion of Loop A and B which are close to the playground. During the period between the dinner and the quiet hours, sites in this area can get uncomfortably noisy.
We stayed at site A24 (one of the only campsites left at the time of booking). Even if it was nicely close to the restrooms, given the choice I’d opt for somewhere farther from the recreation ground.
Trap Pond State Park Reservation and Check-in Time
Reservation can be made through Reserve America.
Check-in time for campsites is 1 p.m, and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m for cabins and yurts.
Check-out time for campsites is at noon and 11 a.m. for cabins and yurts.
Kayaking at Trap Pond
Given this beautiful natural park’s origins, it’s unsurprising that many of the best things to do at Trap Pond hinge upon the lake.
From my perspective, kayaking on the pond’s tranquil waters is one of the most remarkable experiences the state of Delaware can offer.
If you haven’t brought your own kayak, you can rent one at the rental place located directly across the lake from the campground.
Expect to pay $10 for a single kayak and $12 for a tandem for 1 hour.
If you like kayaking as much as I do, the Boat Rental also offers Paddle Boards, Pedal Boats, and Canoes.
Beware that the rental shop is closed from mid-October through the end of April.
Other Things to Do at Trap Pond State Park
Beyond camping and kayaking, Trap Pond State Park offers a host of other activities for travelers to enjoy.
Hiking the Bob Trail
Hiking and biking enthusiasts can explore the Trap Pond’s trail network. The 3.1-mile Bob Trail is a favorite and it’s easy to see why. The path loops around the whole naturel preserve and winds through forests, wetlands, and along the pond’s shoreline.
Additionally, Trap Pond is truly an angler’s paradise. Fishing enthusiasts will delight in the abundance of species to catch: largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie, among others.
Are dogs allowed at Trap Pond State Park?
Yes, dogs are allowed at Trap Pond State Park. However, they must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
Dogs are not permitted in cabins or yurts, with the exception of mini cabins 9 and 10.
Can you swim at Trap Pond State Park?
Due to safety concerns, the state park doesn’t allow people to swim in the pond’s waters.
Trap Pond, nonetheless, boasts a golden beach area where visitors can relax, soak up the sun and feel the sand beneath their toes. The beach is a great place to end the evening and enjoy the views of this unique lake.
When is Trap Pond State Park open?
Even thought the natural park’s operating hours may vary depending on the season, Trap Pond State Park is open year-round.
Thinking of other camping destinations?
Trap Pond sure is the most wonderful place to camp beside a lake in Delaware. On the other hand, it’s also possible to go camping in the south of Europe, along the edge of another body of water: the Mediterranean.
Why not go camping in Andalusia instead? The Spanish region has fantastic weather, and you can take city breaks in beautiful historic towns.