Delaware Coastal Area Put-ins
and favorite places to paddle from.
First and foremost is the Delaware State Park system. For a fee,
$2? instate $4? out of state, you can enjoy a premier system of parks including
both salt water and freshwater access. Check their site at
www.destateparks.com for additional information. Pamphlets are available at
the park offices. Stop by any convenience store and buy a Sussex County Map.
Click here for Delmarvalous Paddling Events
Cape Henlopen State Park, access to the
Delaware Bay, follow signs to the Cape May-Lewes ferry, continue east past the
ferry terminal and follow signs to the state park. I like to park in the
overflow parking lot at the fishing pier. Itís a short walk to the beach. From
there you can paddle out to the lighthouses or north west past Lewes. The
Kalmar Nyckel is frequently docked near the
ferry terminal. A word of caution watch the tides and the weather, thereís a
reason that many boats have been sunk at the mouth of the bay. Storms come up
quickly and the area between the two lighthouses is both in a shipping channel
used by the ferry, and capable of developing 6 ft plus standing waves at tide
change. The currents can be swift. On the other hand weíve paddled with
dolphins here and it's been like a sheet of glass all the way around the point.
Part of the Delaware State Park system
Lewes public boat ramp. While not part of
the park system it is free access to the Lewes Rehoboth Canal and Broadkill
River. Paddle out the
Roosevelt inlet, or north up the Broadkill River, maybe south through the canal to the Rehoboth
Bay. Youíll be sharing the water with powerboats. Both the Roosevelt Inlet and
the Outlet to the Rehoboth Bay are protected by rock jetties, much of which is
submerged. Paddling south takes you under the drawbridge and through a railroad
swing bridge. Itís best to take the swing bridge carefully but with conviction,
when the tideís flowing it can get exciting. Somewhere near Rehoboth Beach the tidal influence of the Roosevelt Inlet stops and the flow becomes
continuous to the Rehoboth Bay. Time the tides right and they will carry right
to Dewey Beach. There is no other public access to the canal from Lewes to
Dewey. Come into the town of Lewes. At the drawbridge go north at
the Pilot Town Road traffic light. Follow it almost to the end, and
Roosevelt Inlet. If you take Cedar Ave. to
the end you can launch at the fishermanís beach. Be aware that the fisherman
here are very serious about their fishing and are not always very happy to see
us, especially if the fish are running and the beach is crowded.
Oyster Rocks Rd.
Take Rt1 North out of Lewes. You will see The Crossing Lewes Church of
Christ and Oyster Rocks Rd on the Right (east side). Follow Oyster
Rocks to the end and there is a free state maintained launch site at the
end. This gives you access to the Broadkill River and Oak
Creek. The Broadkill River Race starts here and ends in Milton.
Milton, there is a free public ramp on the
north side of the Broadkill River off Rt 5, Union Ave. just downstream from the
dam. Time the tides correctly, and ride the tide out to the Roosevelt Inlet and
catch the incoming tide down the canal. Itís an interesting trip.
Dewey Beach, access is limited to the end of
a few Streets, you will need either plenty of quarters or a town-parking permit
to park in season. And good luck finding a spot to park.
South of Dewey along Coastal Highway are several places to
put in as part of the Delaware Park system and require a park pass in season;
Tower Rd, the first area south of Dewey
Beach, easy put in for cartoppers and a nice beach. Part of the Delaware
State Park system
New Road, just a few hundred yds south
of Tower Rd. Has a ramp and is used to launch sailboats and jet skis. Part
of the Delaware State Park system
There are two areas to launch here, both are well marked by the Park system.
Both are a short walk from your car, which must be moved to the parking
area. The area is a little difficult and muddy to launch from at low
tide. Tides here are about 90 minutes behind the tides at Indian River
Inlet. Part of the Delaware State Park system
Itís south of
Savages Ditch and only accessible, right now, by paddling down from Savages
Ditch. They are supposed to give us access from the Marina, see below.
It is nice place to paddle around and see the wild life, especially birds
It's part of a migratory route for them, and home to many osprey. Be
careful at very low tide, much of it can become shallow even for kayaks.
The old section of road visible to the north is from the old inlet bridge.
Part of the Delaware State Park system. Purchase a local chart from the Old
Inlet Tackle Shop, it will help finding your way around the marshy islands.
Indian River Inlet and Marina, South of
Dewey Beach off RT 1, Part of the Delaware Parks system on the north side of the
inlet; pull straight in to the parking area for easy access to the surf you can
carry your boat around to the surfers beach Ocean Side and play in the surf.
For access to the inlet you can put in at the boat ramp. The inlet can be very
treacherous without local knowledge. The Marina has a separate fee.
Part of the Delaware State Park system
The Assawoman Canal at the Kent Ave Bridge
Part of the
Delaware State Park system
About half way between the two bays - Right next to
Jefferson Bridge: Take Rte 1 to Bethany. Turn West on Rte 26. Immediately turn
left on Kent Ave. Follow Kent Ave about 1 - 1.5 miles. Just before going over
Jefferson Bridge turn off to the left and there is an informal landing where
you can launch kayaks.
When you get there you have a variety of choices;
Go North all the way to Indian River Bay
Go North and turn right to explore the Salt Pond
Go North and turn right paddle past the Salt Pond
and follow the loop canal under Rt 1 up into Bethany
Go South and explore the Assawoman Bay area. There's a nifty little
pond off to the west of the canal. Access it through the small channel
just south of the put-in, or a little further down to the larger inlet.
Usually good wildlife back here. Part of the Delaware State Park system
Assawoman Day Area:
just south of South of Bethany is a small put in area accessing the Little
Assawoman Bay. Across the Bay is the Assawoman Wildlife Area, and north from
the put in is the Assawoman Canal. Part of the Delaware State Park system
CALL FIRST this your last chance before
you leave Delaware on Rt 1, and is located on the Bay just before you reach Fenwick
Island. Mitch, rents boats, leads tours and is one of the few instructors ACA
and BCU certified in the area. If they have space available,
BUT CALL FIRST For a slight fee you can park here and
launch your own boat. They also have kayak racks and offer kayak storage for
people who don't want to car top their boat all over. 302-539-7999.
The Assawoman Wildlife Area
This is a free area.
Directions: From Route 1, turn west on Route 26 in
Bethany Beach, first light turn left on Kent Avenue, and then drive across
Jefferson Bridge (about 1 mile). Take the first left after the bridge onto
Road 363. Follow Road 363 to Road 364 and turn left. Follow Road 364 (not 364A
or 364B) into the Wildlife Area and follow the signs for Sassafras Landing
Coming from Dagsboro, take Rt 26 east out of town. At the first light take to
road to the right. Rt 20, Armory Rd, to Roxanna. A few miles down on the
right you'll come upon the Pyle Center, directly across is Daisy Rd ( CR 370)
make that left. Go across RT 17. Stay on Daisy as the road turns to the
right, but Daisy goes to the left. You should be seeing signs for Camp
Barnes. At the tee turn Left onto Bayard RD (CR 384) Then a left onto Camp
Barnes Rd. Follow the signs to the Assawoman Wild Life Area,
From Fenwick, follow Rt 54 to RT20 (now Zion Church Rd) I think there's now a
light there. Follow up to Bayard Rd CR 384 and make a right, go a few miles
to Camp Barnes Rd and make the right.
There are signs everywhere for Camp Barnes and the AWA.
Need more info on tides?