Trap Pond State Park

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Trap Pond State Park
Delaware State Park
Trap Pond State Park.jpg
Named for: Trap Pond
Country United States
State Delaware
County Sussex
Location
 - coordinates 38°31′30″N 75°27′59″W / 38.52500°N 75.46639°W / 38.52500; -75.46639Coordinates: 38°31′30″N 75°27′59″W / 38.52500°N 75.46639°W / 38.52500; -75.46639
 - elevation 39 ft (11.9 m)
Area 2,109 acres (853.5 ha)
Founded 1951
Managed by Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Locator Red.svg
Location of Trap Pond State Park in Delaware
Location of Trap Pond State Park in Delaware
Website : Trap Pond State Park

Trap Pond State Park is a 2,109 acre (8.5 km²) Delaware state park located near Laurel, Delaware. It is one of the largest surviving fragments of what was once an extensive wetland in what is now southwestern Sussex County. The state park features an extensive patch of second-growth baldcypress trees.

Baldcypress ecosystem[edit]

Cluster of bald cypress trees in Trap Pond State Park

The bald cypress is a wetland tree adapted to areas of calm, shallow standing water. Trap Pond is the northernmost extensive natural stand of bald cypress on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Many birds flock to stands of bald cypress, including great blue herons, owls, warblers, and pileated woodpeckers. Birdwatchers can also see hummingbirds and bald eagles at Trap Pond in season.

Large specimens of American holly, the state tree of Delaware, can also be seen in the Trap Pond bottomland.

History[edit]

The rot-resistant wood of Trap Pond's baldcypress trees was extensively harvested starting in the 18th century. The lumbermen extensively altered the morphology of the wetland, damming its outflow to create power for a small sawmill to cut the timbers. This dam helped to create what is now Trap Pond. The pond was enlarged in later years as nearby farmers laid down drainage tiles to de-water their wetlands for agriculture. After the old-growth cypress timber had been harvested, the pond and adjacent surviving wetlands were re-used as the drainage sump for the surrounding farmers of Sussex County.

In the 1930s, the federal Civilian Conservation Corps listed the pond as a place of recreation development. The Delaware legislature took over the land and named it as a state park in 1951.

Recreation[edit]

Boating[edit]

The partly sheltered waters of Trap Pond (90 acres/0.4 km²) are now managed as a waterway for family recreation. A concessioner rents canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats. There is also a launching ramp for privately owned shallow-draft vessels.

Fishing opportunities concentrate on panfish such as crappie and bluegill, with some bass and pickerel as well.

Baldcypress Nature Center[edit]

The Baldcypress Nature Center features a display of some of the reptiles, fish and amphibians found in Trap Pond, as well as other natural history exhibits and a nature library. The nature center is open seven days a week during spring and summer. Programs include hayrides, guided nature walks and hikes, naturalist-led pontoon boat tours and outdoor skills workshops.

Camping[edit]

Trap Pond State Park's campground has 140 sites with water and electric hookups, 10 primitive walk-in tent sites, 8 camping cabins, and 2 yurts. The campground is open from March 1 until November 30. Trap Pond Campground is best known for its annual Halloween weekend festivities.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]