Camping Off-Season at Killens Pond State Park
About Killens Pond State Park
Do you live in (or near) New York City, Philadelphia, DC, or Baltimore? If so, you’re not too far from an outdoor weekend at Killens Pond State Park. Killens Pond is in Felton, Delaware, less than a half an hour south of the capitol, Dover. The land that became the State Park had been inhabited by tribes of Native Americans and the pond itself was established in the 1700’s located on the Murderkill River. Murderkill?! Supposedly this river is named after a large massacre of a Dutch trading party by one of the local tribes! No longer such a morbid place to be, the park nowadays is a great outdoor retreat with trails, campgrounds, and activities surrounding the 66-acre pond (built originally as a millpond).
At Killens Pond State Park, there are a few different overnight options for the outdoor adventurer: there are sites that only allow tents and there are some for either tent or RV with water and electric hookups. In addition, you can opt to stay in one of TEN cabins or ONE pond view cottage.
The cabins sleep up to four people, have an efficiency kitchen, and a [pictured] grill area. Price ranges from $55-$85 depending on season and day of week.
- 76 total sites
- 17 primitive walk-in only tent sites (G-Loop pictured below)
- 59 sites with water and electric hookups
- 10 cabins (pictured above)
- 1 pondview cabin
Interested in doing more than camping? During peak season, boat rentals are available and you can fish in Killens Pond. You can rent kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and rowboats to take out into the water!
Got kids? There is a Killens Pond Water Park available including a toddler pool for younger children.
There is also an amphitheater, a playground, and disc golf for the active camper. During peak season there are often activities going on at the park during the weekends: survival courses, hayrides, archaeology classes, and naturalist-led programs. There are also some 4 great hiking trails if you want to explore away from your campsite but they are all short (3 miles or less) and rated as “easy”.
Primitive Walk-In Tent Sites
At Killens Pond State Park, we chose to stay at one of the G-Loop primitive walk-in tent sites. That means our car was parked in a lot and we carried our gear to the site. If you’re wondering, it was about a 5 minute walk from parking lot to campsite 11G (see map above). Since it was April (off-peak season) and a last minute decision to camp, we booked our campsite just a couple days before our trip. During peak season, I wouldn’t recommend this since the campground will fill up much earlier than that. Most campsites around this area (and surrounding states) are not open until at least May 1st; most of them not even until Memorial Day!
Cost: Just $27 per night in the Spring/Fall season.
Our campsite at site 11G with our Marmot Limestone 6
Since our reservation was off-peak and also on a cool-weather weekend, we didn’t have any camp neighbors in our campsite loop. There were other campers on the campground but they were all around the sites with electric and water hookups (most of them in RVs and Airstreams). During peak season you will likely have neighbors and unfortunately the sites are pretty close to one another so it won’t be the ideal escape if you’re truly looking to be isolated.
Fire pit available at each campsite
How to Get There from NYC
The driving route from New York City took us through New Jersey (where I learned it’s illegal to pump your own gas!), just around Philadelphia, and though a lot of farm land once you get to Delaware. Having grown up in Minnesota, the open farm land and fresh smell of spring took me back to memories of growing up! Overall it’s a pretty pleasant drive. With a couple of pit stops to stock up some snacks for the campground, it took us a bit over 4 hours, but it should be closer to 3 hours if you drive straight.
This is not a public transit-friendly getaway; you will need to rent a car. We rented a car outside of the city but returned it within Manhattan, so there was a $15 toll to drive back into the city.
Proximity to Baltimore, DC, and Philadelphia
Tips for Visiting
- This campground is one of few around that is open year round.
- Check the camping season schedule and associated rates for accurate pricing information for your stay.
- The cabins are unfortunately not pet-friendly.
- Not completely secluded: there are a few homes nearby with a small amount of light pollution.
- You can pick up firewood from the Reservation Office.
- Bonus: Delaware has no sales tax! Living in NYC this was very exciting news for us and we took advantage of picking up a trunk full of groceries on our way home.
For more information, please visit Delaware State Parks – Killens Pond.