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Delaware State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern Region
Redden State Forest Bailey Tract
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Gone fishin.
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The Redden State Forest Bailey Tract, located in Delaware, is a pristine natural area encompassing approximately 3,800 acres of diverse ecosystems. This tract offers visitors an immersive experience in nature, boasting an abundance of beautiful hardwood forests, wetlands, and serene ponds. The forest is home to a myriad of plant and animal species, providing opportunities for wildlife observation and nature enthusiasts. With well-maintained hiking trails and picnic areas, the Bailey Tract is the perfect destination for outdoor activities, relaxation, and exploration amidst the picturesque scenery of Delaware's Redden State Forest.
Nature of the Area
The Redden State Forest Bailey Tract, located in Delaware, is a captivating natural wonderland that boasts an enchanting mix of diverse habitats and stunning landscapes. Spanning over thousands of acres, this tract exhibits a lush expanse of verdant woodland, interspersed with extensive wetlands, sparkling streams, and tranquil ponds. The forest is primarily dominated by towering hardwood trees, creating a dense forest canopy that provides shelter to countless species of flora and fauna. This pristine natural area offers an idyllic setting for outdoor enthusiasts, who can explore the many recreational opportunities, including hiking, wildlife observation, leisurely walks through picturesque trails, and the chance to immerse oneself in the serene ambiance of this captivating forest.
History of the Area
The Redden State Forest Bailey Tract is a part of the larger Redden State Forest, located in Sussex County, Delaware. This tract is named after the Bailey family, who were early settlers and landowners in the area.

The history of the Bailey Tract can be traced back to the 18th century when the Bailey family acquired the land through a land grant. They settled and established a farm on the land, living off its resources and contributing to the local economy.

In the early 20th century, the Bailey Tract and surrounding area became a hotspot for logging operations due to the abundance of hardwood trees. Large quantities of timber were harvested, supplying the local wood-processing industry and contributing to the economic growth of the region.

In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the Delaware State Forest Commission initiated a reforestation program in order to address deforestation and soil erosion issues. The Bailey Tract was one of the areas selected for reforestation, and it became part of the newly established Redden State Forest in 1941.

The reforestation efforts involved planting various tree species, including loblolly pine, which proved to be successful and eventually became the dominant species in the tract. Over the years, the forest underwent management practices such as selective harvesting, controlled burning, and habitat restoration to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Today, the Redden State Forest Bailey Tract is a serene natural area that offers recreational activities such as hiking, bird-watching, hunting, and fishing. It also serves as a research and demonstration area for forestry practices, wildlife conservation, and environmental education.

The history of the Redden State Forest Bailey Tract reflects the transformation of land use from farming and logging to reforestation and conservation, highlighting the importance of sustainable practices and the preservation of natural resources.
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1. Bailey's Walking Trail: This is a 2-mile loop trail that offers scenic views of the forest and its diverse wildlife. The path is well-maintained, making it suitable for all skill levels.

2. Redden Loop Trail: A moderate level hiking route spanning approximately 3 miles through dense woods with several spots offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.

3. Piney Branch Crossing: An easy to navigate pathway stretching about half a mile along an old railroad bed leading towards beautiful pine groves in the heartland of this state forest tract.

4. Wildlife Observation Pathway: As suggested by its name, this short but rewarding hike provides ample opportunities to spot local fauna including deer, foxes and various bird species amidst lush greenery over less than one mile distance.

5. Horseback Riding Trails: These are multi-use trails covering around five miles which can be used not only for horse riding but also biking or walking while enjoying picturesque landscapes throughout their course.

6. Forest Management Demonstration Area Paths: Several small paths crisscrossing each other within these areas provide insights into different forestry practices being implemented here besides serving as pleasant strolls under tree canopy coverings varying distances from quarter to half-a-mile long individually.

7. Historic Railroad Bed Walks: Two separate walks following former railway lines offer unique perspectives on history intertwined with nature across roughly two-and-half total combined mileage.

8. Pondside Nature Stroll: Just shy off three-quarters-of-a-mile,this stroll takes hikers alongside tranquil pond waters reflecting sky above them creating serene ambiance perfect for relaxation after day full exploring rest park grounds.

9. Hunting Access Routes: While primarily intended facilitate hunters during hunting seasons,these routes double up excellent trekking options outside those periods due their rugged terrain providing challenging yet satisfying hikes ranging between one:three miles length depending specific track chosen.

10. Fishing Creek Side Trek: Approximately two:thirds-of-a-mile long, this trail runs along a creek known for its abundant fish population. It's an ideal spot for anglers who want to combine their love of fishing with hiking.

11. Swamp Forest Trail: This 1.5 mile hike takes you through the unique swampy areas of Redden State Forest Bailey Tract and offers views of various wetland plants and animals.

12. Birding Pathway: A short half:a-mile pathway specifically designed for birdwatchers that winds through different habitats attracting diverse species making it paradise ornithologists or anyone interested in avian life.

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Area Campgrounds
Holly Lake Campsites
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Tall Pines Campground Resort
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Steamboat Landing LLC
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Yogi Bear's Jellystone ParkT at Delaware Beaches
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1. Start your journey by heading east on DE-16 E/W Broad St towards Market St in Ellendale.
2. Continue on DE-16 E and drive for about 4.5 miles.
3. Take a slight left onto Sussex Highway/US-113 N and continue for approximately 5 miles.
4. Turn right onto W Piney Grove Rd and follow it for about 4.7 miles.
5. Turn right onto Rd 84/Gravel Hill Rd and drive for approximately 1 mile.
6. Take a slight left onto Rd 392/Redden Rd (signs for Redden State Forest) and continue for about 2 miles.
7. You will reach a small parking area for the Bailey Tract on your left. Park your vehicle here.

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Delaware State Parks