Paddling Cape Henlopen, DE???

Planning a trip out there next weekend. Never been before. Can anyone provide any advice / info about launch sites, conditions, good play spots, etc?

I understand the conditions can be squirelly (rough water is the reason for picking this location).

I have heard there is a fishing pier on the west side that you can launch from. Would imagine that there are some reflective waves off the breakwaters on the west side, confused water at the point and probably good surfing on the east side.




Cape Henelopen
The fishing pier is as good as any place to launch. It is a protected harbor. If you paddle out to the “point” the conditions can change considerably. At that point you are no longer protected by jetties. Depending on the tides and the wind, conditions can vary considerably. I have seen it as smooth as glass and have seen large 4 foot rollers when the tide and wind are strong. there are many great places to paddle within a half hours drive, if conditions are bad the Assawomen canal is a great paddle, the bay it connects to is inland and very shallow.

I second mutan

Bad Conditions…
Bad conditions are the whole point of the trip! I hope the conditions are really “bad”!

I had heard about there being a fising pier. That sounds like a good place to launch. I assume it is inside of the park. I’ll have to try to find it on the map.



Cape Henlopen
Was there about 2 weeks ago. Rough water is right. Big fun is right! You may have to pay but we launched at the inner breakwater inside the state park. You can launch at the pier as well (it was too rought when we were there. We took a group of 12 with most being newbies so our guides suggested the inner break water) Do write and let me know if you saw dolphins . . .you very well may so I hear (we didn’t much to my great dissapointment) Still a great paddle!

no advantage to…
…launching from pier at CHSP, and it will cost you $8. just to get into the park daily. The water here at low tide is very shallow (can be a long wade to launch).

For free you can launch from the Lewes public beach just up the road and paddle to the fishing pier area in 5-10 minutes. Just watch out for those pesky ferries. I learned the hard way that if you’re rounding the jetty from Lewes beach, and one is just leaving, you can’t really see or hear them until it’s almost right on top of you.

Yikes! (but then again, you said you wanted scary conditions!)

Lewes Beach
Is located at the end of E. Savannah Road just past the Dairy Queen located at the intersection of Cape Henlopen Drive and E. Savannah Road. You might have to throw quarters in the box to park there.

On the other hand, I THINK but am not positive, that you do not have to pay the State Park Entrance Fee starting October 1st (?) till next Spring. Call the CHSP and ask them.

If you do go into CHSP with your car, there is excellent signage to direct you over to the “Fishing Pier”.