Visiting Nature Preserves

Delaware is home to 34 state-dedicated Nature Preserves, totaling approximately 7,000 acres of land. From the steep slopes of the White Clay Creek Valley Nature Preserve to the sandy shoreline of Beach Plum Island, there are exceptional natural features and unique areas to enjoy.

When You Visit

Not all nature preserves are open to the public, but you should visit those that are. Remember that these are special places that need to be visited in a manner that protects their natural and cultural attributes that qualify them as nature preserves. Therefore, here are a few guidelines for enjoying these areas:

  • Stay on the designated trails or public use areas.
  • Nature Preserves are “carry in, carry out” areas. Please take your trash with you.
  • Pets are not allowed in all nature preserves. If they are allowed, all pets must be on a leash that is six feet or less in length and their waste must be picked up and taken with you.
  • You should view wildlife from a distance. It’s safer for you and for the wildlife.
  • Do not pick up or collect any natural or cultural resource (plant material, feathers, rocks, soil, wildlife, fungus, insects, cultural artifacts). In other words, take only photos and leave only footprints.
  • Help prevent the spread of invasive species. Make sure your clothes and shoes are clear of mud and any potential seeds.  Check for and remove any mud, seeds, and unwanted insects (including adults, eggs, and larvae).

Delaware’s Nature Preserves

There are 34 dedicated Nature Preserves in the State of Delaware. Some are open to visitors and some are not. Here is a list of all Nature Preserves, by county. Those that that are not open to the public are listed in grayed-out text. Please note that not all tracts of land within a publicly accessible Nature Preserve are open to visitors.

New Castle County

Appoquinimink River

Augustine Creek

Blackbird Carolina Bays

Bellevue Woods

Brandywine Creek Valley

Burrows Run

Dragon Run

Flint Woods

Frenchtown Woods

Freshwater Marsh

Lums Pond Woods

Pea Patch Island

Red Clay Creek Valley

South Branch Naamans Creek

Tulip Tree Woods

Thousand Acre Marsh

White Clay Creek Valley

Kent County

Cedar Creek

Fork Branch

Milford Neck

Murderkill River

Sussex County

Angola Neck

Barnes Woods

Beach Plum Island

Blackwater Creek

Cape Henlopen

Doe Bridge

James Branch

Little Assawoman Bay

Milford Mill Ponds
(portions in Kent County)

Nanticoke River

New Market Wetlands

Rehoboth Bay Marshes (Burton Island)

Thompson Island