Far From the Maddening Crowd
The beach is a great place to get back to nature. These refuges and preserves offer plenty of it. By kayak, bicycle or on foot, there is plenty to explore.
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Cape Henlopen State Park
42 Cape Henlopen Drive , Lewes , 645-8983, destateparks.com
Given to the state by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1964, these beautiful parklands were once the home of Fort Miles, a World War II Army base. Watchtowers on the ocean shore are reminders of that era. Yet these lands have held historic significance long before the war. The cape is the gateway to the Delaware Bay and River, a maritime highway for commerce since Colonial times.
Over the decades the park has grown from 543 to 5,193 acres. It includes bay and ocean beaches, Gordons Pond and the Great Dune, which soars 80 feet above sea level. Other dunes pepper the pine forests, and there is a salt marsh on the park’s western boundary. A 3-mile trail loops the park. Walk it, or ride a bike.
Look for: Pitch pines, loblolly pines, brown-headed nuthatches and pine warblers. You might see deer. In the marshes, keep an eye out for egret and northern harrier, a type of hawk that feeds on field mice.
Page 4: James Farm Ecological Preserve