Delaware’s Cypress Swamp
Freshwater wetlands once covered a large portion of southwestern Sussex County. Trap Pong State Park retains a part of the swamp’s original beauty and mystery, and features the northernmost natural stand of bald cypress trees in the United States. The pond was created in the late 1700s to power a sawmill during the harvest of large bald cypress from the area. The Federal government later purchased the pond and surrounding farmland during the 1930s and the Civilian Conservation Corps began to develop the area for recreation. Trap Pond became one of Delaware’s first state parks in 1951.
Visitors have many opportunities to explore then natural beauty of the wetland forest. Hiking trails surround the pond, providing opportunities to glimpse native animal species and many flowering plants. Birdwatching is a popular activity and the observant hiker may sport a Great Blue Heron, owl, hummingbird, warbler, Bald Eagle or the elusive Pileated Woodpecker.
Boating and Fishing
Boating among the bald cypress is a favorite pastime at the park. Rowboats, pedal boats, canoes and kayaks can be rented for use within the park during the summer season. The park interpreter hosts narrated pontoon boat tours on weekends and holidays, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A boat launching ramp can accommodate small motorized boats for fishing or scenic excursions. Anglers on the water or shore may land largemouth bass, pickerel, crappie, and bluegills. One of the streams that flows into Trap Pond has been marked as a wilderness canoe trail for those who wish to explore the swamp’s interior.
Experience the wonders of southern woodlands along the 4.9-mile Boundary Trail that skirts the park’s 90-acre pong. The Baldcypress Nature Center features a variety of displays and programs that will enhance any visit to the park. Picnic areas overlook the pond and three pavilions may be reserved for group events. Volleyball courts and horseshoe pits encourage active competition among friends. Children will enjoy the playground complex.