Cape Henlopen State Park Bike Loop


10 Reviews

View Trail Map
View Map
Send to App

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Cape Henlopen State Park Bike Loop Facts

States: Delaware
Counties: Sussex
Length: 3.3 miles
Trail end points: Cape Henlopen Dr. and Dune Rd. and Fort Miles Historic Area
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6415598

Cape Henlopen State Park Bike Loop Description

Cape Henlopen State Park, on Delaware’s Atlantic coastline, is one of the state’s must-see destinations. William Penn (founder of Pennsylvania) once owned much of the land that’s now the park, but in 1682, through local resident Edmund Warner, he gave the community free rein to use it for recreation and fishing. After his death, it remained open for public use, officially becoming a state park in 1964.

A trail loop through the state park offers 3.3 miles of paved riding with views of maritime forest, sand dunes, and other picturesque natural set-tings. In the spring, the Cape is also a stopping point for thousands of migrating birds, and horseshoe crabs lay their eggs on the bayside beaches, providing a food source for the birds. The trail is relatively level, except for two steep sections: one on the approach to the Fort Miles Historic Area on the southeast section of the loop, and the other just west of the campground.

Begin your Cape Henlopen State Park Bike Loop adventure at the Seaside Nature Center, where you’ll find parking, restrooms, and displays on the area’s fascinating wildlife. Heading east from the nature center, you’ll cross a park road in 0.5 mile and see a sign for the bathhouse. Here, you’ll have access to a coastal swimming beach, a food concession, and restrooms.

In another 0.5 mile, you’ll enter the Fort Miles Historic Area and see the remnants of a military base hastily constructed in the early days of World War II to help protect the East Coast from the potential invasion of German forces. The grounds include an orientation building, several barracks, and a fire-­control tower that would have located enemy ships and coordinated attacks against them. That history is recounted in a re-furbished gun battery that now serves as a museum.

Just west of the Fort Miles parking lot, you’ll cross Dune Road and see the observation tower, where visitors can climb a spiral staircase for panoramic views of Delaware’s Cape Region. Rounding out the bottom of the loop, you’ll travel through a pleasantly wooded section and, in 0.6 mile, reach the historical Fire Control Tower 12. Continuing the route north, you’ll largely parallel Engineer Road up to Cape Henlopen Drive, the entrance road to the park, which you can follow east back to the nature center.

If you have more time to explore the park, there are a handful of un-paved nature trails to enjoy (Seaside Nature TrailPinelands Nature Trail and Walking Dunes Trail), along with two rail-trails: The Junction & Breakwater Trail sits on the western edge of the park, connecting the towns of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, while the growing Georgetown-Lewes Trail begins in the park along Cape Henlopen Drive and extends nearly 9 miles southwest toward its eventual end in Georgetown.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking areas are located within Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes. To access Cape Henlopen State Park from downtown Lewes, Delaware, follow Savannah Road and signs for the Lewes Terminal that provides ferry trips to Cape May, New Jersey. Turn right on Cape Henlopen Drive and follow it to the park entrance. There is a $10 park entry fee for automobiles (in-state drivers pay $5). Parking is available at the McBride Bathhouse (Cape Henlopen Dr. and Post Road), Seaside Nature Center (15099 Cape Henlopen Dr.), Fort Miles Historic Area (Dune Road just south of Cape Henlopen Dr), by Campgrounds or Great Dune.

Cape Henlopen State Park Bike Loop Reviews

nice loop

My son, grandson and I rode e-bikes around the loop several times. Some nice overlooks, particularly the “hawk watch.” We camped in the state park and accessed the trail from there. Most of it is shady and paved. There are a number of old preserved artillery guns and the lookout tower to see. There are several good beach access points with racks to lock up the bikes.


We enjoyed the whole loop

Cape - Lewes Trail Now Open

DELDOT has converted the rail line along Cape Henlopen Dr to a paved path. It extends 1.5 miles from the State Park Entrance to American Legion Drive in Lewes.

beautiful, & of course flat! :-)

We rode though, enjoyed sand dunes, views. Serenity.


Cape Henlopen Bike Loop

Great paved trail around the Cape Henlopen State Park! A few small hills, but otherwise flat. A mix of shade and sun, this trail also connects to the Gordon Pond Trail to get you into Rehobeth Beach to the south. Lots of wild life, and the view from the Fort Miles battery is worth the small climb up the feeder trail.
Also, the feeder path up to "The Point" will reward you with fantastic views of the Delaware Bay and the Dunes of Cape Henlopen

A Great Day

We rode this trail while on vacation as a family of four. The trail is very nice and very flat for the most part. I loved stopping at the towers and artillery and learning a little history along the way. We had a beautiful day and finished it off by resting on the beach! I can't wait to come back and visit other trails in this park.

A great Experience

I really enjoyed the trail. There were so many interesting sites to see as we rode around on our bicycles and to see history where we could get close to it. I would recommend it and go back.

The best biking place

We love to see our fellow campers at Cape Henlopen campground all drive in loaded with bicycles. This is a bike paradise! We ride to the beach, to the pier, to the point to watch the sunset. We've ridden the original trail to Rehoboth and were lucky to be some of the early riders on the new trail from Herring Point to Gordons Pond. We knew it would be good but it far exceeded our expectations! Great view of the previously-unseen dunes, and a pleasant surprise that much of it is elevated! (spoiler -- sorry). Then the amazing wetlands, full of birds! Then on to Rehoboth for salt water taffy and breakfast in a nice cafe. What a place!


This is a short, easy paved trail that you can access by bike from Lewes or Rehoboth. Cape Henlopen Park is a treasure, so enjoy the ride, the nature, and the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. In mid-June 2014, this trail will connect at Herring Point to the new Gordon's Pond trail (crushed stone), so you will be able to ride the entire length of the park, which is fantastic.

Cape Henlopen St. Park's bike loop

Sept. 2011 - I'm from Delaware and camped for the first time at Cape Henlopen State Park. LOVE this wide, paved, mostly shady trail that passes next to dunes, campgrounds a nature center, fishing pier, beaches, observation tours and WWII and maritime history sites. Bike racks conveniently placed. Great staging place to extend biking experience by following road signs to Junction & Breakwater Trail--Lewes to Rehoboth--and beyond. Also nearby: Cape May Ferry, Lewes beach/shops/restaurants and more. Take advantage of great weather during early fall/late spring. - Linda Young, RTC member

Nearby Trails

Go Unlimited Today!

  • FREE Account
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Post your trail reviews
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Get a free map in the app!
Register for FREE
Purchase Unlimited

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple


Your account has been deleted.