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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Cape Henlopen State Park

Historic WWII observation tower

Lewes, Delaware

Cape Henlopen State Park is a major regional vacation destination and economic driver. The park includes the 80-foot-high Great Dune and a variety of natural habitats important to wildlife and birdwatchers alike. Visitors come to enjoy ocean swimming and sunbathing, hiking and biking trails, camping, and other outdoor activities. In 1941, the U.S. Army established a military base at Cape Henlopen. Bunkers and gun emplacements were camouflaged among the dunes, and concrete observation towers were built along the coast to spot enemy ships. In 1964, the Department of Defense identified the base as surplus land and gave 543 acres to help establish Cape Henlopen State Park. Between 1972 and 1993, the National Park Service's Federal Lands to Parks program gave 1,305 acres of additional land to the state at no cost. Cape Henlopen State Park is now 5,193 acres of coastland from the Atlantic Ocean inland to the Delaware Bay.

Photo: Historic WWII observation tower
– State of Delaware

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