April 8, 2019
By: Abby Shepard, Marketing Director at Delaware State Parks
All throughout Delaware State Parks we offer different guided tours that are fun for the whole family! Whether you’re looking to gain knowledge of Delaware’s rich history or just trying to get outside, we have them! Check out some guided tours offered throughout the state this summer.
Built in 1859, Fort Delaware served as a Civil War prison which held close to 33,000 Confederate POWs during the Civil War. The Fort was also active during the Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, and WWII. Today, you can board the ferry to Pea Patch Island and travel back in time to the summer of 1864 when Fort Delaware served as a Civil War prison. Tour the parade ground, officers’ quarters, barracks, kitchen, blacksmith shop and ordnance room. Hear stories of great escapes, and watch as the Fort’s Columbiad cannon fires a gunpowder charge! Engage with fort historians dressed in period clothing, and hear stories of those who lived at the fort in 1864. Fort Delaware opens for the season on Saturday, April 27. Access to Pea Patch Island and Fort Delaware is by ferry only. The ticket office and ferry dock are located at 45 Clinton Street in Delaware City. For more information, click here.
Trap Pond State Park, located in Laurel Delaware, is home to the northernmost stand of bald cypress trees on the East Coast! What better way to experience the unique bald cypress swamps than from a leisurely tour on a pontoon boat? Trap Pond offers a variety of pontoon boat tours throughout the summer including Wildlife from the Water pontoon tour, an evening pontoon boat tour, and a boating through history pontoon tour. Explore the pond and search for wildlife, learn about history, or just take in the stunning views. For full program information, click here.
Take a stroll through Dover’s history by lantern light! First State Heritage Park, located in downtown Dover, offers lantern tours on Friday evenings throughout the summer. Join historical interpreters dressed in colonial attire as they tell true stories of historic Dover, tales of tombstones, and the meanings of 19-century funeral practices, a variety of different tours are available, including tours of the Green and cemetery tours. The churchyard tours are made possible with the cooperation of the Presbyterian Church of Dover, Christ Episcopal Church and Wesley United Methodist Church. First State Heritage Park is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777. The park is a partnership of state agencies under the leadership of DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. Admission to all lantern tours is $10. All April and May Friday tours begin at 8 p.m.; the June 7 tour begins at 8:30 p.m. Space is limited; call 302-739-9194 to reserve your lantern. For more information, click here.
Auburn Valley State Park, Delaware’s newest state park, is nestled in the Piedmont’s Red Clay Valley in Yorklyn. At this unique park, you’ll discover the history of the Marshall Family, Yorklyn’s rich industrial history, and revitalization of this site. On the First Sunday of every month from June through November, Auburn Valley hosts Steamin’ Days! During Steamin’ Days at Auburn Valley, the park truly comes alive. Visitors are encouraged to climb into an antique automobile or board one of our trains and experience what it was like to travel at the turn of the 20th century. You can take a ride on the 1/8-size Auburn Valley Railroad, ride in an antique Stanley Steam Car, tour the 1897 Victorian Mansion, and visit the Marshall Steam Museum. There is something for everyone at Auburn Valley, whether you are 2 or 92. For more information, visit auburnheights.org or call (302) 239-2385. Discounts are available for groups of twenty or more with pre-payment. First Sundays June through November June 2, July 7, August 4, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Rides ticket: $11 per adult age 13 and up, and $8 per child under 13. For more information, click here.
Fort Miles, located in Cape Henlopen State Park, was a key part of the nation’s coastal defense during and after World War II. Experience the historic site from a new perspective and join us for Truckin’ Through History! Visitors tour the park in an historic deuce-and-a-half military truck and explore some of the lesser-known remains of Fort Miles. Truckin’ Through History is offered on Saturday, June 22 and Saturdays July 6 and 20 at 6:00pm and 7:30 p.m. The program is also offered on Saturdays, August 3, 17 and 31 at 4:30 and 6 p.m.
Tours meet at the Biden Center, and tickets go on sale at the Fort Miles Orientation Building each Saturday morning on a first-come, first-served basis. For ages 7 and up with a paying adult. There is a maximum of four tickets per group. Limit 12 per ride. Tickets cost $8 per person.
For more information, click here.
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