The Best National Parks in Delaware

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Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

Established on December 19, 2006, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail consists of several water routes. It stretches up to 3,000 miles and can be found in the Chesapeake Bay. The trail dates back to 1608 when Captain John Smith explored the Bay and discovered several American Indian communities. His maps and drawing have become valuable archeological treasures that document the history of tribal citizens.

This beautiful trail features stunning sights of the historic shipwrecks at Mallows Bay. It also runs through the beautiful James River, which flows through Virginia. You will also find the mighty Susquehanna, which pours over 20 billion gallons of fresh water into the Bay daily on this unique historic trail.

Tourists who cannot visit the trail in person can enjoy an immersive virtual tour of this historic trail. The virtual tour offers real-time videos, images, and lessons of the wildlife, history, and culture of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. You can also learn to make fishing nets, stone tools, dugout canoes, and other crafts in the Maritime Crafts Field School.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Next up is this incredible work of nature that encompasses six states. It spans up to 500 miles and is home to over 18 million people. This national park features a drainage basin that extends to Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. 

This National Park is a true gem because of its diversity and wealth of adventures. Known as the largest estuary in North America, it houses a diverse ecosystem and provides an opportunity for visitors to explore, learn and have fun.

From exploring historical towns to learning about American Indian landscapes and culture, there is something fun for everyone here. Be sure to take the opportunity to visit some major league cities and also explore fishing villages and farms. Be sure to visit the various lighthouses on the Bay and learn to kayak while at it. Go crab picking, enjoy delectable seafood dishes at restaurants in towns near the Bay and explore different hiking trails available.

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First State National Historical Park

Since Delaware is known as the first state to ratify the Constitution, it is not surprising that this National Historical Park in the heart of Delaware is named First State. This park features seven different locations across the state, namely: Fort Christin, New Castle Court House Museum, John Dickinson Plantation, The Woodland Tract at Beaver Valley. Old Swedes Historic Site, The Green and Ryves Holt House. It spans through the forest where the early settlers and Indians first lived and goes all the way to Lewes. 

If you plan to visit this famous National Park in Delaware, be sure to take a stroll through the trails of Woodland and along the peaceful Brandywine River. This river is the birthplace of the Native American Lenape Tribe. You will surely enjoy exploring the beautiful landscape paintings of the Wyeth family.

Next, head on to Southern Delaware, where you will find the ever-elegant Ryves Holt House. Built-in 1665, this is the oldest home in Delaware. It is also one of the 50 oldest structures in the U.S. The Central Delaware area of the Park is a public square that is surrounded by museums and other historic attractions. It is used to host several special events throughout the year and is lined with benches and beautiful old trees that provide shade for tourists and natives alike.

Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

Featuring 680 miles of land and water tails, this National Historic Trail runs through the route taken by General Washington and General Rochambeau to and from the siege of Yorktown. Running through New Jersey across small towns and larger cities, this trail has a history of uniting communities.

Explore this trail and enjoy a vast array of historic and scenic bike and hiking trails, historic sites, and state and national parks along the way. One of the key historic sites on this trail is the French cemetery of Yorktown, where the French allies who died at the siege of Yorktown are buried. Be sure to use an interactive map when touring the trail.

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