Delaware National Parks
As the first state in the Union and Chesapeake Bay on its doorstep, Delaware's National Parks are an important part of America's story. Come #FindYourPark in Delaware.
Delaware National Parks
Table of Contents
1 National Park in Delaware
Other NPS-Affiliated Sites in Delaware
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail - VA, MD, DE, DC, PA, NY
The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail explores the stories, people, and landscapes documented by John Smith and his crew as they set out to map 3,000 miles of the Chesapeake area between 1607 and 1609. Today, you can still explore these areas, and popular activities include visiting Jamestown Island, boating, paddling, or canoeing the waters of the Chesapeake, sailing, learning about 17th-century America at a historical park, or just viewing the wildlife. There are literally hundreds of sites, hikes, and places to visit along the trail.
The Chesapeake National Historic Trail makes its way through parts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York. For more information about places to visit along the trail, visit the official website here. The trail is managed in partnership by the National Park Service and the Chesapeake Conservancy.
Chesapeake Bay - Chesapeake Bay Watershed - DC, DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV
Chesapeake Bay and its watershed encompasses 64,000 square miles of area and is the largest estuary in the United States. In 2009 by Presidential Executive Order, a broad plan was put in place to protect Chesapeake Bay and to help preserve and restore the area for future generations. With the help of other organizations, along with the National Park Service, the strategy includes the addition of 300 new public access sites by 2025 while conserving an additional 2,000,000 acres.
Visitor Centers for the park are located at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage in Wrightsville, PA, Columbia Crossing in Columbia, PA, and Sultana Education Foundation in Chestertown, MD. See findyourchesapeake.com for information on things to do.
First State National Historical Park - DE, PA
First State National Historical Park is Delaware's only National Park Site, and it celebrates the state's status and fame as being the first to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America. The Park also includes other important historical sites around the state and is made up of seven individual sites spread throughout Delaware - Beaver Valley, Fort Christina (the original Swedish colony in Delaware), Old Swedes Historic Site, New Castle, The Green in Dover, the John Dickinson Plantation, and the Ryves Holt House, part of one of the first Dutch settlements in America.
Hours of operation depend on each site, and seven different Passport Stamps are available at each one, including a bonus Underground Railroad Network to Freedom stamp that some sites are involved with. The Beaver Valley site is the largest portion of the park, covering 1,100 acres, and it extends into neighboring Pennsylvania. The park was designated and approved by Congress in 2015.
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail - MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, DC
The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail denotes one of the most successful troop movements in the Revolutionary War - one that led to victory over the British in Yorktown, Virginia and eventually led to America's independence. General Rochambeau of France combined his forces with General Washington's to move 680 miles over land and water to secure victory for the allies.
The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail was formally recognized by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2009. The trail spans Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and what is now Washington D.C. It celebrates America's alliance with the French during our fight for independence and also highlights the historical and military significance that proved to be a pivotal moment in American history.