Nature and history abound in the first town in the first state in America
8:30 departure from Cape May NJ, for those taking the ferry
12-16 mile walk begins at 10am.
Start the longest day of the year ferrying on the beautiful Cape May-Lewes Ferry to experience the first town in the first state! We will travel the Maritime History Trail, enjoy the wildlife of Cape Henlopen Park, visit the oldest building in Delaware, and gain a sense of what life was like for early colonial settlers.
Upon disembarking the ferry, we meet at the ferry terminal and walk less than a mile to Cape Henlopen Park. Once in the park, we walk to World War II's Fort Miles and museum. Exiting Cape Henlopen Park, we walk approximately two miles into historic downtown Lewes, where you can follow the Historic Lewes Greenway signs to its many historically significant sites. If you are partial to the beach -- now get this -- the beach is only blocks away! Bathrooms and food trucks are available at the beach. Restaurants, ice cream stores, antique stores and more await you in town.
Note: It is unlawful to smoke in the city's parks, playgrounds and municipal beaches.
Ferry info: 17-mile, 85 minute cruise
Ferry schedule and fares:
Depart: 8:30 a.m. sharp via Cape May-Lewes ferry
Arrival instructions: Meet at Lewes Ferry terminal front door after disembarking. Terminal has restorooms and snack bar.
Return: 5:15 p.m. via Lewes-Cape May ferry
Parking: Parking is free at the Cape May ferry terminal. You do not need to bring your car on the ferry for this walk. Cape May Ferry terminal: 1200 Lincoln Blvd., North Cape May, NJ 08204. GPS: 38.968719, -74.959717.
Terrain: Concrete streets and sidewalks. Be advised that ticks are present on hiking trails, if you wish to explore them at your own discretion.
Provisions: Bring water and snacks for the first part into Cape Henlopen Park. There are numerous places to buy drinks, snacks and lunch once in town.
Points of interest:
- Cape Henlopen Park
- Maritime History Trail
- St. Peter's Episcopal Church,
- Lewes Historical Society Visitor Center
- Dodd's Corner
- Ryves Holt House
- Rowland House
- Colonial Lewes Arsenal Site
- Original Old Bethel Church
- Hiram Rodney Burton House
- Fisherman's Cottage
- Lewes Museum store
- Zwaanendael Museum
St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 2nd St. (placed on National Historic Registry 1977)
Lewes Historical Society Visitor Center, 2nd St. at Shipcarpenter St.
Dodd's Corner, 135 2nd St. Look for Agave's restaurant sign which directs you to a late 19th century section of concrete that still reads "Doctor".
Ryves Holt House c.1665, the oldest building standing in the state of Delaware, 218 2nd St.
Rowland House c.1740, 229 2nd St.
Colonial Lewes Arsenal Site c.1740, 241 2nd St.
Original Old Bethel Church c.1790, 214 Mulberry St. Notice the Dutch shoe planters on the West side window.
Hiram Rodney Burton House, Shipcarpenter at 2nd St. H.R. Burton, 1841-1927, was an American physician and politician who served two terms as U.S. Representative from Delaware. The land upon which this house stands was acquired in 1675 and the oldest portion of the current structure dates back to 1720.
Fisherman's Cottage c.1720, W. 3rd at Shipcarpenter St. Original structure flooring made with salvaged shipwrecks. Moved from canal to 3rd St. in 1900, and currently a private residence since 1996.
Lewes Museum store, 302 Savannah Rd (corner of 3rd St)
Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, tells the story of the Zwaanendael, Dutch immigrants to Delaware in the early 17th century. The museum building replicates the town hall of the Dutch city of Hoorn. Exhibits display the life of the first settlers and local Lewes history.