In my opinion, Trap Pond State Park has some of coolest paddling in the entire state of Delaware. Here is everything you need to know about paddling in this unique swamp.
Why You Should Visit the Park
Trap Pond is home to the northernmost natural grove of baldcypress trees in the country, and paddling through the ancient swamps is like being transported to another world. You may wonder if you are in Delaware anymore. I believe that everyone in Delaware should go kayaking at Trap Pond, and when I have out-of-state visitors, I almost always take them to Trap Pond. It’s that cool.
Start at the Nature Center
Upon arriving at the park, follow the main road to the Baldcypress Nature Center. The Nature Center offers information about the baldcypress trees and wildlife that inhabit the pond. The center also has restrooms and water.
Parking and Boat Rentals
Park on the far side of the parking lot, furthest from the nature center, and walk the short distance from the lot to the boat dock. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent. Hours vary by season, so visit destateparks.com for more information. I recommend renting a kayak for at least 2 hours if you plan on going back into the swamp. If you own your own kayak, you are free to kayak whenever you like.
Finding the Swamp
The pond will look like an ordinary pond at the boat dock, but don’t be fooled! You will need to paddle for 20-30 minutes to get to the dense swamp. Paddle into the open pond, and past several stands (about 3) of baldcypress trees (the trees that are growing out of the water). Keep paddling until the trees and lily pads start to become denser. Look out for a sign to the left that says Terrapin Branch Water Trail, and take this water trail. The trail leads into a dense cypress swamp, and provides a completely different experience than kayaking in an open pond. The trail is not a loop, so continue as long as you like, then turn around to exit the same way you came in. Keep an eye out for wildlife including herons, turtles, and frogs. Try to avoid hitting the tree branches themselves, because spiders like to hang out there.