Cape Henlopen State Park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The park welcomes visitors year round from near and far, coming to enjoy the beaches, nature trails, fishing, camping and picturesque scenery.
Cape Henlopen offers more than just a few pretty pictures, though; it also has historic roots in shipping and military defense. Strategically positioned at the mouth of the Delaware Bay the park was crucial to commercial shipping in the 1800s and 1900s. While the historic Henlopen Lighthouse doesn’t guide ships through the bay anymore, two stone “breakwaters” off the point of the Cape still provide a safe harbor for ships during rough seas.
In 1941, the U.S. Army established Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen, outfitted with bunkers and gun encampments concealed in the dunes and observation towers on the coastline. Although the park is now used for recreation, scientific observation and education, its rich and versatile history add to its natural charm.