Trap Pond is the feature of this small but lovely Delaware state park. Freshwater wetlands once covered a large portion of southwestern Sussex County, DE, where Trap Pond State Park is located.
Featuring the northernmost natural stand of bald cypress trees in North America, Trap Pond State Park retains a part of those wetlands’ original beauty and mystery. (The bald cypress is a wetland tree adapted to areas of calm, shallow standing water.)
The federal government purchased the pond and surrounding farmland during the 1930s, and the Civilian Conservation Corps began to develop the area for recreation. Trap Pond became one of Delaware’s first state parks in 1951.
The five mile trail we selected would take us on a large loop around the lake, but mostly it was a walk through the woods, with occasional glimpses of swamp or the lake.
The pond was created not to preserve these lovely trees, but to destroy them. In the late 1700s, this manmade pond was created to power a sawmill during the harvest of large bald cypress from the area. The rot-resistant wood of the bald cypress trees was in high demand, and caused the bald cypress trees in the area to be extensively harvested.
I had picked this trail hoping there would be more views of Trap Pond but only a little bit of the trail had it in view. However, every once in a while there’s a side trail leading off toward the lake, and of course, I followed every one!
To make this loop, you need to follow the Bob Trail, then Cypress Point Connector and Cypress Trail, but even then it’s not well marked near the frisbee golf course/campgrounds.
After enjoying views of the lake, you’ll find the path at the far end of the parking lot, continuing south into the woods.
There’s a really nice boardwalk section through the swamp that was pretty neat — really the highlight of this loop hike.
Portions of this loop hike are easily bicycled and especially near the campground, there are a fair amount of kids on bikes.
Getting there: 33587 Baldcypress Lane, Laurel, DE 19956