Delaware State Parks Fee Season Begins March 1

Delaware State Parks Fee Season Begins March 1

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds visitors to Delaware State Parks that 2023 entrance fees will be in effect starting Wednesday, March 1 through Nov. 30.

State park entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks. Entrance fees will remain in effect through Nov. 30, which is the normal fee season end date.

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We parked real close to the swale edge and just walked in this was after a Sea Witch festival parade

Daily park entrance fees may be paid via credit-card machine at most park locations, where fee attendants are on duty or via self-registration envelopes provided at park entrances that are then placed in designated secured drop boxes.

Annual passes are a convenient way to access Delaware State Parks for the entire fee season. Multiple types of annual passes are available, including resident, non-resident, active-duty military and veterans. Those who purchase annual passes online will receive a virtual pass that can be used up to 30 days from the date of purchase until the actual pass is received via mail.

Delaware State Park ranger checking the point beach conditions
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Residents who receive certain types of public assistance can contact their case worker(s) for an assistance pass at a discount. Active duty military personnel who are stationed in Delaware also qualify for pass at a reduced rate, and all public libraries in Delaware offer an annual pass that can be checked out for free by library cardholders.

The Delaware State Parks corporate and group annual pass gives employers and groups a way to promote health and wellness. More employers than ever are utilizing these passes for their staffs and a record number were sold in 2022. This pass provides employees and groups, including athletic teams, with discounted annual passes for statewide park access all season long. It also includes exclusive benefits for end-of-the-year outings and personal discounts for camping or cottage stays.

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Horseback riders on the point beach in Cape Henlopen State Park

Annual and two-year surf fishing permits provide year-round drive-on access, including peak weekends and holidays. Off-peak surf fishing permits provide year-round access, excluding peak weekends and holidays from May through Labor Day weekend. Both surf fishing permit decals enable the vehicle to gain entrance into the other state parks without paying the daily entrance fee. A reservation will be required for permitted vehicles to access any of the seven Delaware State Parks multi-use drive-on beaches during peak time periods.

Revenue generated from sales of passes and permits is used to manage 17 state parks, the Brandywine Zoo and more than 26,000 acres of state park lands. Park users generate 65% of the revenue utilized to operate and maintain the parks. The revenue is used for trail maintenance, environmental and recreational programs, visitor amenities, guarded beaches, management of campgrounds, cabins and more.

To purchase an annual pass or surf fishing permit, go to

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The Saltwater Fly Anglers lined up along the fishing pier beach in Cape Henlopen State park

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