Looking for that perfect hike in Delaware for young children? Whether you’re new to hiking with your baby or toddler, or you’re looking for a new trail to explore, the Hike it Baby community is a valuable resource for finding family hiking trails around the country. In this article, our community shares three scenic hikes in Delaware to explore with babies and young children.
Gordons Pond Trail (Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
The Gordons Pond Trail, located in the Cape Henlopen State Park, skirts the western side of Gordons Pond, a 900-acre saltwater lagoon. The crushed gravel/boardwalk trail meanders through the marshes between Cape Henlopen State Park and Rehoboth Beach. It is popular among nature enthusiasts for bird watching. Gordons Pond Trail is perfect for all ages and ability levels.
The Gordons Pond Trail at Cape Henlopen State Park is a versatile trail for families offering both hiking and biking. It connects the park with Rehoboth Beach for families looking for a true beach town adventure. Keep your eyes out for Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Herons and other shore birds as you meander over boardwalks and a crushed gravel trail through scenic salt marshes. –Corey Heacock
- There are two trailheads: Gordons Pond and Herring Point parking lots. The southern end of the trail begins at the Gordons Pond parking area located in Rehoboth Beach. The northern access point begins at The Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes at the bottom of the Herring Point parking area. You can access the trail via the Lewes or Rehoboth parking area.
- It is open to both hikers and bikers and provides easy access to the beach amenities.
- Along the trail, you will find an overlook onto the lagoon where nature lovers can spot all the area’s birds and wildlife.
Valley Garden Park (Wilmington, Del.)
Valley Garden Park, known as one of the best little-known parks in all of Delaware, is tucked in the chateau country of the Brandywine Valley. The park offers a 1.5 roundtrip mile paved walking trail featuring miniature waterfalls amid a shallow river. Most importantly, this trail is perfect for a scenic hike with your family because of its mesmerizing landscape and gorgeous vistas. If you enjoy frequent stops and memory making during your hike, stop along the waterfalls to take photos and capture the beautiful landscape with your little ones.
Valley Garden Park is a spectacular hidden gem just moments from Wilmington. The gorgeous scenery is ever changing with different flowers appearing each season. Little ones love the small stream, the bridges and plenty of space to run around. Parents can log in some exercise by walking the loop. There are also short dirt trails to explore for the adventurous types. It’s an ideal place for all sorts of adventures – fast-paced stroller walks or jogs for the fitness crowd, leisurely strolls for the laid-back bunch and toddler waddles for the smallest adventurers. The park changes almost weekly, making it a perfect spot for return hikes. And be sure to pack a meal – it’s the perfect location for a picnic! –Corey Heacock
- You can access the paved loop either by a downhill walk or a set of stairs.
- For the more adventurous types looking to leave the paved paths, there are short dirt trails that lead into the woods and overlook a neighboring reservoir.
Carousel Loop Trail (Wilmington, Del.)
Carousel Loop Trail is in Carousel Park and offers all sorts of hiking adventures for little explorers. The crushed gravel and paved trail make it easy for little ones to hike on. Also, the tranquil walking trails make it a relaxing hike for nature-loving hikers. Add more adventures to your hike if you have little ones: they can get up close with the horses of the New Castle County Mounted Patrol, count the swans on the lake or explore the Native American-themed playground.
Carousel Park is perfect for families! Little ones love the horses (all of the Bee Castle County Police horses are kept here) and other farm animals, the enchanted pond and the playground. The combination of paved, crushed gravel and dirt trails offer lots of options for families. –Corey Heacock
- Hours of operation: dawn to dusk.
- It is the longest trail in the park (2.8 miles) and is color-coded purple for easy-to-follow navigation.
- One popular excursion takes you through Sherwood Forest to the Enchanted Lake via “The Enchanted Lake Circle.” This makes a great storytelling opportunity while you’re hiking with your little ones – especially if they’re into fairytales.
What are your favorite hikes in Delaware for families with babies, toddlers and young children? Leave a comment below!
Photos contributed by Corey Heacock.
MORE RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN
Delaware has amazing trail options for families with young children. For more family hike ideas, see:
- Delaware state parks
- Hike it Baby calendar (or connect with the local branch)
- Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers
If you’re traveling through Delaware and need more information or recommendations on trails or would like to join a group hike, feel free to reach out and contact the local branch.
- 3 Great Hikes in New Jersey for Young Children
- 3 Gorgeous Hikes in New York for Young Children
- 10 Tips to Keep Kids Moving on the Trail