Sledding on the dunes is against the rules

Charlie Megginson Culture, Headlines

Those caught trespassing in dune areas restricted to the public could face fines upward of $100 from the DNREC Natural Resource Police. (Photo courtesy of DNREC)

In the state with the lowest mean elevation of all U.S. states, the dunes at Cape Henlopen and other beaches along Delaware’s Atlantic Coast might feel like mountains. 

And when a snowstorm blows in, you might be tempted to capitalize on those rare slopes. Sledders and snowboarders have long turned to the dunes to experience the sweet, sweet combination of gravity and velocity. 

It is, for many, the only alternative to the classic pick-up truck, rope and inner tube.

Too bad. DNREC says no. 

What’s more? You could face fines of up to $100 if you get caught.

“The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds residents and visitors that sledding, snowboarding and other recreational activities are not allowed on Delaware’s sand dunes,” the agency admonished in a press release.

Dunes contain fragile wildlife habitats and provide protection for the beaches and the communities they border, and activities like sledding and snowboarding threaten to compromise the animals — and people — who rely on them. 

DNREC also wants you to know that except for at marked crossings, pedestrian traffic and recreation activities are prohibited on dunes in Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore state parks.

“Dunes are a fragile resource that provide important habitat for a host of plants and animals and protect the coastline during severe storms,” reads a pamphlet on the DNREC website. 

“While dunes and the plants and animals found there usually survive storms, they are easily damaged by the harmful impact of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The dunes are protected by law, and access across is strictly limited to designated crossings. Use of the beach is strictly limited to the seaward toe of the dune down to the high tide line.”

Unfortunately, most legal alternatives are located in New Castle County where the piedmont terrain offers more variation in ground level. 

If you should find yourself up that way while the snow is still around, check out some of the following sledding locations:

  • Rockford Park — Lookout Dr, Wilmington, DE 19806
  • Monkey Hill — N Van Buren St, Wilmington, DE 19802
  • Rockwood Park — 4651 Washington Street Ext., Wilmington, DE 19809
  • Brandywine Creek State Park — 41 Adams Dam Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807
  • Glasgow Park — 2275 Pulaski Hwy, Newark, DE 19702

Keep in mind that the state has also advised residents to remain indoors and avoid driving due to slippery road conditions. 

So maybe you should just build a snowman.

Share this Post