State park fee season begins March 1

Charles Megginson Culture, Headlines

Delaware State Parks

When does winter end? Google says March 20. Punxatawney Phil says March 16. DNREC says March 1.

That’s the day Delaware State Parks will transition from the winter free-season to the summer fee-season.

The fee season will remain in effect until Nov. 30, 2022.

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.

Daily park entrance fees may be paid using credit card machines at most park locations, cash 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 also an option for folks who plan to visit Delaware State Parks throughout fee season.

A resident annual pass costs $35 and residents ages 62 and older receive a discounted rate of $18. 

A $65 lifetime pass is available for Delawareans ages 65 and older. 

Reduced rates are also offered to residents who receive public assistance, or who are active duty military or veterans. Active duty military personnel with an out-of-state license plate can purchase an annual pass at the in-state rate.

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.

Off-peak surf fishing permits are also available for purchase and double as an annual pass for entry into any state park in Delaware.

Off-peak surf fishing permits may be used seven days a week except for weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

The off-peak permit fee for Delaware residents is $70, while the fee for out-of-state residents is $140. Delaware residents age 62 and older receive a discounted rate of $60.

 Revenue generated from sales of passes and permits is used to manage 17 state parks, the Brandywine Zoo and more than 26,000 acres of state parklands. 

Park users generate 65% 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.

To purchase an annual pass or off-peak surf fishing permit, click here.

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