You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Delaware State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Fort DuPont State Park
start slideshow
Fort DuPont State Park Sub adult Bald Eagle © Christopher Walker James
Fort DuPont State Park © Christopher Walker James
Fort DuPont State Park © Christopher Walker James
Availability Search
P.O. Box 170
Delaware City, Delaware   19706

Phone: 302-834-7941
Email: park email button icon
While you are in the Delaware City area, take the time to visit nearby Fort DuPont State Park. Named for Rear Admiral Samuel Francis du Pont, the Fort was actively used as a military base from the Civil War through World War II. Following World War II, the Fort was turned over to the State of Delaware and has been used for various purposes, including the Governor Bacon Health Center. Portions of the land were dedicated as a State Park in 1992.

Fort DuPont is located just south of Delaware City off Route 9. The park features 322 acres along the scenic Delaware River and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Open year-round, the park provides opportunities for passive recreation including picnicking, fishing, and hiking. A self-guided trail is available for visitors to explore the site's rich historic past. For those interested in more active recreation, the park provides both tennis and basketball courts.
History of the Area
Fort DuPont, located in Delaware City, has a rich history dating back to the late 18th century. It was initially established as an American defense site during the Spanish-American War and World Wars I & II. The fort is named after Rear Admiral Samuel Francis du Pont for his distinguished naval career.

After its military use ended post-WWII, it transitioned into various roles including housing veterans returning from war and serving as a state-run mental health facility until 1998.

In 1992, Fort DuPont was designated by Delaware's General Assembly as part of First State National Historical Park due to its historical significance. Today it serves recreational purposes offering hiking trails while preserving several historic structures like officers' quarters.

Anglers can enjoy freshwater fishing along the Delaware River and its tributaries. Common catches include striped bass, catfish, and perch.

Fort DuPont State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables and grills overlooking the Delaware River. Restrooms are available.
Explore a network of trails suitable for cyclists, including the River View Trail offering scenic rides along the Delaware River. Branch Creek Trail presents more challenging terrain with natural obstacles and elevation changes. The park's interconnected pathways allow riders to create custom loops fitting their skill level and desired distance. For family-friendly outings, opt for paved paths like Officers Row or shorter grassy tracks that meander through historic areas and green spaces.
- Fort DuPont Loop Trail: This is a 1.8-mile loop trail that offers scenic views of the Delaware River and historic structures, suitable for all skill levels.

- Parade Grounds Pathway: A flat, paved pathway circling around the park's parade grounds; it covers approximately half a mile in length.

- Officer's Row Walk: An easy walk along Officers' Row houses with historical significance; this short route spans about one-third of a mile.

- Battery Park Connector Trail: Links to nearby New Castle via an off-road multi-use path which stretches over two miles long from end-to-end.

- Port Penn Interpretive Center Route : It extends up to three-quarters of a mile leading towards marshlands and wildlife viewing areas near Port Penn area.

- Sea Wall Walking Path : Approximately quarter-mile-long sea wall provides panoramic riverfront vistas ideal for birdwatching or simply enjoying nature at its best.

- Governor Bacon Health Center Trails : These trails wind through woodlands within hospital property on-site covering roughly 2 miles altogether offering tranquil forested scenery.

- Branch Canal Towpath Hike : Historic towpath alongside old canal branch stretching just under half-a-miles providing glimpses into past maritime activities related to fort operations.

Area Attractions
Port Penn Interpretive Center

See what life was like on the Delaware River in a different era. The Port Penn Interpretive Center is open Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., from May 3 through September 28.

The Port Penn Interpretive Center is located on Route 9 about four miles south of Delaware City. The Center offers displays and programs which explain the folk life of the historic wetland communities along the shores of the Delaware. Self-guided walking tours are available featuring the historic homes of Port Penn, as well as the scenic marshlands surrounding the town.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
write a review
Share On

Area Fishing Related Businesses
Rod & Reel Repair
3612 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA
(703) 528-3022
Angler's Lie The
2165 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA
(703) 527-2524
Holiday Sports Bait & Tackle
4520 Saint Barnabas Rd
Temple Hills, MD
(301) 894-3322
Area Cabins and Lodges
Animal Resorts Inc
3208 Colvin St
Alexandria, VA
(703) 823-3647
Rosen Hotels & Resorts
908 King St
Alexandria, VA
(703) 780-4009
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts The
705 Avon pl
Alexandria, VA
(703) 299-6763
Best Western Arlington Inn & Tower
2480 S Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA
(703) 685-0051
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
1306 S Norwood St
Arlington, VA
(703) 271-0972
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
1325 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA
(703) 525-1234
Westin Hotels & Resorts
801 N. Glebe Road
Arlington, VA
(703) 717-6204
Interstate Hotels & Resorts
4501 Fairfax Dr
Arlington, VA
(703) 351-9934
Marriott Hotels & Resorts
1999 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Arlington, VA
(703) 418-0789
2700 Eisenhower Ave
Alexandria, VA
(703) 329-2323
Silliman Thomas Associates
425 N Lee St
Alexandria, VA
(703) 548-4100
Fairfield Resorts
1757 King St
Alexandria, VA
(703) 837-3400
Rustic Retreats
4354 Warren St NW
Washington, DC
(202) 686-5339
Atlantis Resort The
1455 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC
(202) 349-4076
Nearby Hotels

Directions from Wilmington, Delaware:

- Start on I-95 S.
- Take exit 5A for DE -141 S towards New Castle.
- Merge onto Basin Rd/DE -141S.

From Newark, Delaware:

- Begin at E Main St and head eastwards to Library Ave/S College Ave.
- - Turn right onto US - 13 N/N Dupont Hwy
- - Continue straight until you reach the park

From Dover, Delaware:

- Head north on Bay Road (US Route 113).
- Follow signs for Smyrna/Wilmington; merge with U.S. Route1 Northbound.
- Exit toward State Highway92/Delaware City/St Georges.

state route ranger badge

Delaware State Parks