Killens Pond State Park in Felton, Delaware

Killens Pond is a great place for a mini family adventure with young children.  There are tent camping sites, primitive tent camping sites and camping cabins. The eleven reasonably priced cabins can be rented for the week during high season or booked for shorter stays in the off season.  Delaware residents are offered an even more affordable rate.

The cabins are situated in a circular arrangement with walking paths in and around the cabin grounds.  There is enough space between cabins for privacy but there is definitely a community feel to the arrangement.

There are three cabins visible in this photo, two are close together on the left and part of a third is visible on the right.

There are carts available to haul supplies and luggage from the car to the cabin.  The walk from the parking lot is short and is easily made by young children.

Carts for carrying your supplies from the parking lot to the cabin.

Each cabin has its own picnic table and fire pit for outdoor cooking, eating or socializing.  Wood is available for purchase at the park entry gate.

Enjoying dinner outdoors
Small fire pit at each cabin

Each cabin has a small screened in porch and is entered through a door with a combination lock.

screened in porch

Inside, there is a small kitchen with a sink and two burners.

kitchen burners

There is also some cabinet and counter space for storing food.  A full size refrigerator is available for cold items and a bathroom complete with sink, shower and toilet make for convenient “camping” with young children.

refrigerator
small dining area next to the refrigerator

The one bedroom contains one double bed and a set of bunk beds.  There is also room between the beds for a pack and play, tent mattress or air mattress.  The room slept two adults and three young children comfortably with no one utilizing the top bunk or the floor space.

Bedroom with pack and play between the double bed and bunk beds

The cabin floors are hard and got wet easily with use of the shower and shallow bathroom and kitchen sinks.  There is no beach to speak of , but there was a surprising amount of sand brought in by wet shoes that had walked sandy trails.  Bringing extra towels to mop up floors would be useful.

The fact that these cabins also boast heat and a window air conditioner in the bedrooms make them the perfect lodging for families with young children who are looking to explore nature, but who are not yet ready to rough it in a tent.

The trails at Killens Pond State Park are also ideal for families with young children.  The trails can be sandy, but are gently sloping and well maintained.  It is possible to hike all the way around the pond or to take a variety of shorter routes. It is a quick walk from the cabins to a dock where you can view the pond.  There is one cabin that costs a little more than the others that has a pond view.

view of the pond from the dock
hiking trails near the pond
bridge on hike route
View of the pond from a different hiking trail

Evening hikes and hikes in the rain were doable on these trails with young children.

Heading out on a hike at dusk
Making the most of a rainy day

In addition to hiking trails, there is a playground and a large screened in pavilion at the park.  The playground is for kids ages five and up and is not suitable for younger children.  The pavilion makes for a great space to entertain restless kids on a rainy day.

pavilion near playground

There is also a nice nature center housed in an environmentally friendly building.  The building collects rain water and has an environmental toilet.

Killens Pond Nature Center
The roof of this building collects rain water.
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The center had some educational information and some interactive activities for kids.  The staff was friendly and happy to answer questions.

Checking out some of the creatures at the nature center.
Looking at an educational display.

The park was full of interesting plants and insects.  There was much to discover for adults and children.

lots of bug hunting opportunities.
Read about this plant, sometimes called Indian Pipe, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotropa_uniflora
a ground beetle found under a log, read about it at http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/common_black_ground_beetle.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_beetle

In addition to all there is to learn about nature at this park, there are paddle boats for rent and there is also a small water park to enjoy.  The water park was closed due to rain, but looked like it would be fun and had a very affordable admission price.

Killens Pond is just the right amount of adventure for families with young children.  You can experience nature, but have your own bathroom.  You can hike for miles or for minutes depending on the energy level of your little ones.  You can learn much while taking a break from the tv and computer.  You can snuggle up at night in one room and focus on each other without the distractions of busy lives.  Killens Pond is an ideal place to bond with family while learning about and enjoying nature.

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