Delaware State Parks Fee Season Begins March 1

by Pat Haley

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds visitors to Delaware State Parks that 2024 entrance fees will be in effect starting Friday, March 1 through Nov. 30.

State park entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks. Entrance fees will remain in effect through Nov. 30, which is the normal fee season end date.

Daily park entrance fees may be paid via credit-card machine at most park locations, where fee attendants are on duty or via self-registration envelopes provided at park entrances that are then placed in designated secured drop boxes.

Annual passes are a convenient way to access Delaware State Parks for the entire fee season. Multiple types of annual passes are available, including resident, non-resident, active-duty military and veterans. Those who purchase annual passes online will receive a virtual pass that can be used up to 30 days from the date of purchase until the actual pass is received via mail.

Residents who receive certain types of public assistance can contact their case worker(s) for an assistance pass at a discount. Active duty military personnel who are stationed in Delaware also qualify for pass at a reduced rate, and all public libraries in Delaware offer an annual pass that can be checked out for free by library cardholders.

The Delaware State Parks corporate and group annual pass gives employers and groups a way to promote health and wellness. This pass provides employees and groups, including athletic teams, with discounted annual passes for statewide park access all season long. It also includes exclusive benefits for end-of-the-year outings and personal discounts for camping or cottage stays.

Annual and two-year surf fishing permits provide year-round drive-on access, including peak weekends and holidays. Off-peak surf fishing permits provide year-round access, excluding peak weekends and holidays from May through Labor Day weekend. Both surf fishing permit decals enable the vehicle to gain entrance into the other state parks without paying the daily entrance fee.

A reservation will be required for permitted vehicles to access any of the seven Delaware State Parks multi-use drive-on beaches during peak time periods. Reservations open weekly for the upcoming weekend, starting in May, online at the Delaware State Parks reservations page or via phone at 800-499-8221.

Revenue generated from sales of passes and permits is used to manage 17 state parks, the Brandywine Zoo and more than 26,500 acres of state park lands. Park users generate 70% of the revenue utilized to operate and maintain the parks. The revenue is used for trail maintenance, environmental and recreational programs, visitor amenities, guarded beaches, management of campgrounds, cabins and more.

The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, which will soon assume management of the state-owned Deauville Beach from the city of Rehoboth, is evaluating the fee structure for that area. Given the timing for the management transition, fees will not yet be charged to utilize Deauville Beach until later this spring. More information will be shared publicly as it becomes available.

To purchase an annual pass or surf fishing permit, go to

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state‚Äôs natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on FacebookInstagramX (formerly known as Twitter) or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Michael Globetti, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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