Delaware Coastal Area Put-ins,

and other favorite places to paddle from. 

First and foremost is the Delaware State Park system.  For a fee, $2? instate $4? out of state, you can enjoy a premier system of parks including both salt water and freshwater access.  Check their site at for additional information.  Pamphlets are available at the park offices. Stop by any convenience store and buy a Sussex County Map. 

Moulton Avery put out this PDF file for the 2016 Mentor session off Cape Henlopen. Some of the info is specific to 2016, but he gives good referances as to where to find updated information. Cape Henlopen Info for Mentors

 Cape Henlopen State Park, access to the Delaware Bay, follow signs to the Cape May-Lewes ferry, continue east past the ferry terminal and follow signs to the state park.  I like to park in the overflow parking lot at the fishing pier.  It’s a short walk to the beach.  From there you can paddle out to the lighthouses or north west past Lewes.  The Kalmar Nyckel is frequently docked near the ferry terminal.  A word of caution watch the tides and the weather, there’s a reason that many boats have been sunk at the mouth of the bay.  Storms come up quickly and the area between the two lighthouses is both in a shipping channel used by the ferry, and capable of developing 6 ft plus standing waves at tide change.  The currents can be swift.  On the other hand we’ve paddled with dolphins here and it's been like a sheet of glass all the way around the point.  Part of the Delaware State Park system

 Lewes public boat ramp.  While not part of the park system it is free access to the Lewes Rehoboth Canal and Broadkill River.  Paddle out the Roosevelt inlet, or north up the Broadkill River, maybe south through the canal to the Rehoboth Bay.  You’ll be sharing the water with powerboats.  Both the Roosevelt Inlet and the Outlet to the Rehoboth Bay are protected by rock jetties, much of which is submerged.  Paddling south takes you under the drawbridge and through a railroad swing bridge.  It’s best to take the swing bridge carefully but with conviction, when the tide’s flowing it can get exciting.  Somewhere near Rehoboth Beach the tidal influence of the Roosevelt Inlet stops and the flow becomes continuous to the Rehoboth Bay.  Time the tides right and they will carry right to Dewey Beach.  There is no other public access to the canal from Lewes to Dewey.  Come into the town of Lewes.  At the drawbridge go north at the Pilot Town Road traffic light.  Follow it almost to the end, and you're there.

 Roosevelt Inlet.  If you take Cedar Ave. to the end you can launch at the fisherman’s beach.  Be aware that the fisherman here are very serious about their fishing and are not always very happy to see us, especially if the fish are running and the beach is crowded.

Oyster Rocks Rd.  Take Rt1 North out of Lewes.  You will see The Crossing Lewes Church of Christ  and Oyster Rocks Rd on the Right (east side). Follow Oyster Rocks to the end and there is a free state maintained launch site at the end.  This gives you access to the Broadkill River and Oak Creek.  The Broadkill River Race starts here and ends in Milton.

 Milton, there is a free public ramp on the north side of the Broadkill River off Rt 5, Union Ave. just downstream from the dam.  Time the tides correctly, and ride the tide out to the Roosevelt Inlet and catch the incoming tide down the canal.  It’s an interesting trip.

 Dewey Beach, access is limited to the end of a few Streets, you will need either plenty of quarters or a town-parking permit to park in season. And good luck finding a spot to park.

South of Dewey along Coastal Highway are several places to put in as part of the Delaware Park system and require a park pass in season;

 Tower Rd, the first area south of Dewey Beach, easy put in for cartoppers and a nice beach.  Part of the Delaware State Park system

 New Road, just a few hundred yds south of Tower Rd.  Has a ramp and is used to launch sailboats and jet skis. Part of the Delaware State Park system


 Savages Ditch.  There are two areas to launch here, both are well marked by the Park system.  Both are a short walk from your car, which must be moved to the parking area.  The area is a little difficult and muddy to launch from at low tide.  Tides here are about 90 minutes behind the tides at Indian River Inlet.  Part of the Delaware State Park system

Burton's Island

It’s south of Savages Ditch and only accessible, right now, by paddling down from Savages Ditch.  They are supposed to give us access from the Marina, see below.  It is nice place to paddle around and see the wild life, especially birds  It's part of a migratory route for them, and home to many osprey.  Be careful at very low tide, much of it can become shallow even for kayaks.  The old section of road visible to the north is from the old inlet bridge.  Part of the Delaware State Park system.  Purchase a local chart from the Old Inlet Tackle Shop, it will help finding your way around the marshy islands.

Indian River Inlet and Marina, South of Dewey Beach off RT 1, Part of the Delaware Parks system on the north side of the inlet; pull straight in to the parking area for easy access to the surf you can carry your boat around to the surfers beach Ocean Side and play in the surf.   For access to the inlet you can put in at the boat ramp.  The inlet can be very treacherous without local knowledge.  The Marina has a separate fee.  Part of the Delaware State Park system


The Assawoman Canal at the Kent Ave Bridge     Bethany Beach 

Part of the Delaware State Park system

 About half way between the two bays - Right next to Jefferson Bridge: Take Rte 1 to Bethany. Turn West on Rte 26. Immediately turn left on Kent Ave. Follow Kent Ave about 1 - 1.5 miles.  Just before going over Jefferson Bridge turn off to the left and there is an informal landing where you can launch kayaks.
 When you get there you have a variety of choices;
      Go North all the way to Indian River Bay
      Go North and turn right to explore the Salt Pond
      Go North and turn right paddle past the Salt Pond and follow the loop canal under Rt 1 up into Bethany
      Go South and explore the Assawoman Bay area.  There's a nifty little pond off to the west of the canal.  Access it through the small channel just south of the put-in, or a little further down to the larger inlet.  Usually good wildlife back here.  Part of the Delaware State Park system

 Assawoman Day Area: just south of South of Bethany is a small put in area accessing the Little Assawoman Bay.  Across the Bay is the Assawoman Wildlife Area, and north from the put in is the Assawoman Canal.  Part of the Delaware State Park system

 Coastal Kayaks  CALL FIRST this your last chance before you leave Delaware on Rt 1, and is located on the Bay just before you reach Fenwick Island.  Mitch, rents boats, leads tours and is one of the few instructors ACA and BCU certified  in the area.  If they have space available, BUT CALL FIRST For a slight fee you can park here and launch your own boat. They also have kayak racks and offer kayak storage for people who don't want to car top their boat all over.  302-539-7999. or

 The Assawoman Wildlife Area  This is a free area.

 Directions: From Route 1, turn west on Route 26 in Bethany Beach, first light turn left on Kent Avenue, and then drive across Jefferson Bridge (about 1 mile). Take the first left after the bridge onto Road 363. Follow Road 363 to Road 364 and turn left. Follow Road 364 (not 364A or 364B) into the Wildlife Area and follow the signs for Sassafras Landing

Coming from Dagsboro, take Rt 26 east out of town.  At the first light take to road to the right.  Rt 20, Armory Rd, to Roxanna.  A few miles down on the right you'll come upon the Pyle Center, directly across is Daisy Rd ( CR 370) make that left.  Go across RT 17.  Stay on Daisy as the road turns to the right, but Daisy goes to the left.  You should be seeing signs for Camp Barnes.  At the tee turn Left onto Bayard RD (CR 384) Then a left onto Camp Barnes Rd.  Follow the signs to the Assawoman Wild Life Area,
From Fenwick, follow Rt 54 to RT20 (now Zion Church Rd) I think there's now a light there.  Follow up to Bayard Rd CR 384 and make a right, go a few miles to Camp Barnes Rd and make the right.
There are signs everywhere for Camp Barnes and the AWA.

 Sand Cove Road  it is open, but management at Americana Bayside would just as soon no one knew

Access to the Assawoman Bay and a view of the Ocean City sky line

From the east Take 54; Past Uncle Willy’s BP Station, past  the Sound United Methodist Church about a half mile turn a left on to Sand Cove Road and take it to the Magnolia Tree, make a left there and follow this road to the end.

From the west on 54; Lighthouse Road, Sand Cove Road is just after Williamsville and Magee Farms.  Make the right and follow to the Magnolia Tree, make a left there and follow this to the end.  This area is under heavy development pressure.  The put-in was to be preserved as part of the developers agreement with the county and state, put that detail seems to have been forgotten.  A Jack Nicolas Golf Course and 1600+ homes are set to be built in the next 10 years.

Need more info on tides?