Have you ever longed for a quick escape? Just an hour just to clear your head? Perhaps some place that is quiet and allows you to let the tension of everyday life slip away?
For those of you who live in the Wilmington, Philadelphia, D.C, or New York metropolitan areas, the vision of hopping into your car and escaping for a short while likely led you to imagine one of two places: a spa or salon of some sort, or a tropical island filled with Daiquiris and lounge chairs.
Within the bustling pace and pressure of life in the Northeast, we all know there are fewer and fewer opportunities to truly ‘get away’ or decompress. Yet as the days grow longer and the birds again begin to chirp, Delaware begins to reveal one of its most cherished, rare, and prized possessions: it’s protected lands and natural serenity.
What do I mean? As the weather warms, Delaware’s State Parks and Wildlife Preserves begin to beam with life and offer the weary something rare; an escape from civilization that is close to home.
What makes Delaware’s State Parks and Preserves so unique is that they have something to offer for everyone; and it is right around this time each Spring that these gems awaken and come back to life. For those of you that love a quiet run or bicycle ride in the woods, Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes offers exercise enthusiasts dozens of scenic paved and unpaved trails to explore and escape to. For my fellow nature and animal lovers out there, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Milton offers safe haven to dozens of rare insect, plant, and animal species. For thrill seekers, ‘Go Ape’ in Lums Pond State Park has over forty treetop zip lines that you can book a 2-3 hour time to adventure and swing through. Yes, forty! It is these well maintained and sometimes well hidden natural escapes that makes everyday life in Delaware so different than elsewhere in the Northeast.
One of my personal favorite places to escape is Assawoman Wildlife Area.
Assawoman Wildlife Area is an escape with a feel all its’ own, located off the beaten path on Camp Barnes Road in Frankford. This beautiful land was once home to local Native American tribes and within its’ acres of beauty lie untouched lands to stroll through, bicycle and walking trails to follow, over a dozen places for those who like to hunt, free boat ramps for boating and fishing enthusiasts, and many places to launch a Kayak or Canoe. Yet even with so many things to offer, this escape remains so well hidden that in all of my visits I’ve never seen more than two or three other people. It’s one of those places where you can put on some sunglasses and stroll about without fear of being bothered or getting lost.
As the days grow longer and warmer, it’s these options that make living in Delaware so beautifully refreshing, different and exciting. If I had to narrow my entire two-plus years of living in Delaware to one life lesson this state has taught me, it would be this… even in your own back yard, you never know what diamonds in the rough you may discover until you look.
For those of you who want to explore, escape, discover new adventures and learn more about the plentiful natural beauties of The First State, included below is information for all of the State Parks and Wildlife areas.
I hope to see you all escape the day to day bustle of life to soak in a little more nature, animals and sunshine. Enjoy your adventures my friends!
Delaware State Parks
Information for all of Delaware’s 14 State parks can be found at http://www.destateparks.com/
Delaware Wildlife Areas and Preserves
Information for all of Southern Delaware’s Wildlife refuges can be found at https://www.visitsoutherndelaware.com/outdoor-recreation/outdoor-adventures/wildlife-refuges-sanctuaries
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Area- https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Bombay_Hook/
Okie Nature Wildlife Preserve- This locally donated wildlife preserve does not have a website or phone number but is located at: Marian R Okie Road, Millsboro DE 19966