Kayaking and Canoeing in Delaware’s Wetlands


Delaware’s wetlands are known for their tranquility, scenic beauty, and diverse wildlife. One of the best ways to explore and experience all that these unique ecosystems have to offer is through kayaking and canoeing. With over 25,000 acres of wetlands, there are plenty of opportunities for paddlers to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy a peaceful adventure.

Equipment and Safety

Before embarking on a kayaking or canoeing trip, it is important to have the proper equipment. For kayaking, a kayak, paddle, and personal flotation device (PFD) are essential. Canoeing requires a canoe, paddle, and PFD as well. It is also important to wear appropriate clothing that can get wet, such as a swimsuit, or quick-drying clothing.

In addition to having proper equipment, it is important to practice safety measures while on the water. This includes wearing a PFD at all times, paddling with a partner, and informing someone of your plans and expected return time.

Prime Locations for Kayaking and Canoeing

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

One of the best places to kayak or canoe in Delaware’s wetlands is the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge spans over 10,000 acres and offers numerous paddling opportunities. The refuge has several trails that lead to the wetlands, including the Broadkill River Trail, which follows the Broadkill River through the marshes.

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Another great place for paddling in Delaware’s wetlands is the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge spans over 15,000 acres and offers plenty of opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. The best trails for paddling in the refuge are the Shearness Pool and the Blackbird Creeks, both of which offer stunning views of the wetlands and abundant wildlife.

Assawoman Wildlife Area

For those looking for a lesser-known paddling destination, the Assawoman Wildlife Area is a hidden gem in Delaware. The wildlife area spans over 2,500 acres and is located between Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. The best trail for paddling in the wildlife area is the Mooring Creek Trail, which offers beautiful views of the wetlands and nearby islands.

Wildlife and Photography

One of the biggest draws of paddling in Delaware’s wetlands is the wildlife that can be seen. The wetlands are home to numerous species of birds, including egrets, herons, sandpipers, and ospreys. Paddlers may also see turtles, muskrats, and even otters.

Paddling in the wetlands also presents excellent opportunities for photography. The scenic beauty of the wetlands combined with the abundant wildlife makes for stunning photographs. It is important to remember to respect the wildlife and their habitats by keeping a safe distance and not disturbing them while taking photos.


Kayaking and canoeing in Delaware’s wetlands is a peaceful and exciting way to explore these unique ecosystems. There are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, take breathtaking photographs, and enjoy the serene beauty of the wetlands. With proper equipment and safety measures, paddlers can safely immerse themselves in nature and create unforgettable memories.

Scroll to Top