Delaware has a number of trails with minimal obstacles. Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible. Here are just a few of them.
These links were found through Internet search. I would love to have some first-hand recommendations. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form in the sidebar.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge’s 16,251 acres include “tidal salt marsh with a mix of cordgrass meadows, mud flats, tidal pools, rivers, creeks, and tidal streams. The upland area includes forests, freshwater impoundments, brushy and timbered swamps, and fields of herbaceous plants.” There are a “12-mile wildlife drive, five walking trails (2 handicapped accessible), three observation towers, wildlife photography, hunting opportunities, a variety of nature and educational programs, and interpretative displays.” Phone 302-653-9345 Trail Map Brochure
Bear Swamp Trail 0.25 mile forest and freshwater marsh to observation tower and floating platform.
Boardwalk Trail 0.25 mile over tidal salt marsh.
Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
This 10.144 acre refuge is “…an important stopover site for migratory birds as they travel up and down the Atlantic Flyway and provides protected breeding habitat for federally and State-listed threatened and endangered species, as well as many neo-tropical migrating bird species. Prime Hook’s habitat features include salt marsh, freshwater marsh, ponds and impoundments, wooded swamps and upland grasslands and forest.” Phone 302-684-8419 Brochure Walking trails map
Boardwalk Trail 0.5 mile loop “…meanders through uplands, forested wetlands, and across 600′ of freshwater marsh…”
Dike Trail 0.5 mile to observation platform overlooking the marsh.
Cape Henlopen State Park
“Cape Henlopen’s beaches attract thousands of visitors who enjoy ocean swimming and sunbathing. A designated swimming beach, accessible from the Lewes entrance to the park, provides lifeguard patrols between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.” Trails Map Phone 302-645-8983
“Mobi-Mat equipment, consisting of three 30-foot mats allowing those in wheelchairs and power chairs to access the beach from the boardwalk, is also available at this location. View our wheelchair policy here.”
Junction and Breakwater Trail “Trail users will pass through mature hardwood and conifer forests, marshes and open fields. Scenic vistas at the Wolfe Glade and Holland Glade crossings provide spectacular views of the coastal marshes, and interpretive signs provide visitors with information about plant and animal life along the trail.”
Gordons Pond Trail Accessible for 3/4 of a mile to an overlook.
Delaware Seashore State Park
The park has six miles of ocean and bay shoreline, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by Rehoboth and Indian River Bays.
Phone 302-227-2800 Trails Map
Fred Hudson Road Trail 1.0 mile connector from parking to the Prickly Pear trail
Prickly Pear Trail “….3.5-mile loop perfect for exploring the park’s open meadows, young hardwood and pine forests, and a view of the Indian River Bay.”
Thompson Island Trail 1.7 mile round trip “The hike begins in a mature upland hardwood and conifer forest, traverses a small marsh, and meanders through pine forest toward the Lewes/Rehoboth Canal. The trail ends at an overlook showcasing views of Thompson Island, tidal salt marsh, Rehoboth Bay, and the Dewey Beach skyline.”
Holts Landing State Park
This 203 acre park “…contains a variety of beautiful landscapes, from bay shore beach to grassy fields and hardwood forests.” Phone 302-227-2800 Map Trails
Seahorse Trail 1.2 mile loop. “The trail travels over packed earth along the forest edge, open meadow, and dense forest.”
Sea Hawk Trail 1.5 mile loop described as flat and easy. “…meanders through mixed hardwood and conifer forest, crosses grassy meadow, and follows a section of the Indian River shoreline. Birding and wildlife viewing opportunities exist for nature enthusiasts as they experience the different coastal bays environment along the trail.”
Lums Pond State Park
Lums Pond State Park is built around the largest freshwater pond in Delaware. The park features camping, fishing, sports facilities, hiking trails, and an adventure rope course. Phone 302-368-6989 Map Trails
Sensory Trail is a 0.10 mile loop from the Nature Center. There are two other trails which sound easy, but long. You might call to see if walking partway on one of these would be appropriate for you ability.
Here is a website with comprehensive list of the state park trails giving length, ease, and accessibility .
Trap Pond State Park
Trap Pond State Park is a remnant of an extensive freshwater wetland. It “…retains a part of the swamp’s original beauty and mystery, and features the northernmost natural stand of baldcypress trees in the United States.” “Hiking trails surround the pond, providing opportunities to glimpse native animal species and many flowering plants. Birdwatching is a popular activity…” PHone 302-875-5153 Trails
Loblolly Trail 4.6 mile loop that “… winds around Trap Pond and links the Park Office, campground, and Baldcypress Nature Center. ”
American Holly Trail 0.7 mile loop through mixed hardwood forest.
An article by Barbara Raskauskas on wheelchair trails in Delaware State Parks
Delaware Nature Society Phone 302-239-2334
The Delaware Nature Society is the state affiliate for the National Wildlife Federation and “…manages over 2,000 acres of land, including four nature preserves, and operates three educational nature centers: Ashland Nature Center, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center and DuPont Environmental Education Center at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge. Programs are also held at our Coverdale Farm Preserve.”
Abbott’s Mill Nature Center Trails Trail Map Phone 302-422-0847
There is a wheelchair accessible boardwalk and three miles of walking tails. Stop off at the Visitor Center to be sure where to go.
DuPont Environmental Education Center Phone 302-656-1490
? There is a “10-acre ornamental garden, a quarter-mile pond loop through a freshwater, tidal marsh and a four-story environmental center.” One visitor to TripAdvisor mentions that the boardwalk “…can be easily traversed with a stroller or wheelchair.” Still a good idea to call first.
Maps and Guides to Delaware Greenways
Nature For The Blind has a directory of Braille trails for almost every state in the US and for many other countries.
The Northern Delaware Greenway trail is nine miles, about half of which is a rail-trail. It passes through several state and county parks. Map
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Delaware.