Your Guide to Hiking and Exploring Lums Pond State Park

Fly through the sky, sail calm waters, and bed down in a cozy yurt.

lums pond state park

Go camping this fall in Lums Pond State Park. Photograph courtesy Delaware State Parks

Location: Bear, DE
Getting there: 50 miles southwest of Center City — roughly one hour by car
Personal space: 1,790 acres, including the largest freshwater pond in Delaware, 10-plus miles of trails and 62 campsites
Entrance fee: $8 for out-of-state plates (through the end of November)

If you — and/or whatever children you share a home with — are exhausted from the crippling boredom of this past summer, Lums Pond will feel like manna from heaven. The sprawling, woodsy park is built around its picturesque namesake pond. In addition to making for pretty hiking (the 6.8-mile Swamp Forest Trail is a crowd-pleaser), the serene body of water means you can easily while away an afternoon fishing (license required) or puttering around in a boat — either your own or one of the park’s rentable rowboats, kayaks, canoes or paddleboats, which are available on weekends through September.

Looking for a bit more action? There’s horseback riding for ages 10 and up via Sunset Stable, which takes reservations year-round, as well as the Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park, home to five zip lines, suspended bridges, trapezes and Tarzan swings. The zip lines, open on weekends through December, are also aimed at adventurers 10 and up, though there’s a ropes course for littler ones, too. (You’re wise to book a spot online before you go.)

Lums is, in general, a great park for just getting out and playing: There are ballfields and basketball courts scattered around the place, along with disc golf, a playground not far from the zip lines, and a range of comfortable campsites for tents or RVs, with access to showers, picnic areas, grills, and even electricity. Bonus: You can also rent a yurt!

Published as “Lums Pond State Park” in the “Call of the Wild” guide in the October 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.