Lums Pond State Park, near the town of Bear, New Castle County, in the state of Delaware, United States, is a multi-purpose recreation area of just under 1800 acres, open from 8 AM to sunset every day of the year. The park centers on the 200-acre Lums Pond, located on the northern edge of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
Centuries ago, before the pond existed, the waterway was known as St. Georges Creek, and the area was popular among native Americans for the wild game. Dammed soon after 1800, the creek became the part of the C & D Canal system that connected the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay. Water from the pond filled the canal locks of the canal and was used to generate power for a gristmill. The state of Delaware acquired the area around 1960, and Lums Pond State Park opened to the public in the summer of 1963.
Because Lums Pond is a state freshwater fishery, there are no beaches and no swimming, but the pond is open for fishing and boating. You can rent pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, and rowboats there. The native game fish found in the pond include large-mouth bass, catfish, pickerel, carp, and crappie; striped bass is stocked into the pond by the Delaware State Fish and Wildlife Division.
You can hunt wild game in Lums Pond State Park, but you will need both a hunting license from the Delaware State Division of Fish and Wildlife (which can be acquired in many ways throughout the state), and a special permit from the Delaware State Division of Parks and Recreation. You can get the special permit at the park office; ask at the park office for special game seasons, regulations, and maps.
Picnic areas are scattered all over the park, and there are three pavilions that groups can reserve in advance. For hikers, the seven-and-a-half mile Swamp Forest Trail circles the pond, allowing a walker to sample a great variety of natural habitats. There’s also over ten miles of shared trails for bicyclists, horseback riders, and hikers — in the winter, those same trails serve hikers, snowshoers, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.
Campers can stay over at Lums Pond State Park all year round. The campsite has picnic tables, outdoor grills, a modern shower facility, and a dumping station. There are 68 tenting/RV sites (six of which have electrical connections), four campsites with adjacent horse stables, and two yurts. The yurts are semi-permanent structures that have walls, a floor, and a roof, and are intended for those who not quite ready to go for the full camping tent experience — each yurt has electricity, and bunk beds and a futon for sleeping. Outside each yurt is a deck with a freshwater connection and an outdoor grill.
Sports courts and field are all over Lums Pond State Park, for every sport you can name: soccer, softball, baseball, football, tennis, badminton, shuffleboard, volleyball, basketball, disc golf, and horseshoes. And, of course, there’s the children’s playground, where youngsters can play away all day against a beautiful natural backdrop.
In addition to the facilities for boating located on the pond itself, the Summit North Marina sits nearby on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. The facility has a restaurant, 250 private boat slips; they sell both boats and fuel, provide boat storage, and have boat repair services.
The Whale Wallow Nature Center has indoor afternoon programs during the summer. Outdoor events are scheduled all year around. Take a look at the schedule online, and you’ll find winter and summer nature walks (some specializing in particular species like deer or groundhogs, and some at night), birding outings, and days for Boy Scouts to earn nature-related badges. The Nature Store, in the park offices, sells hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts, nature books, children’s books and toys.
Lums Pond State Park is two miles south of the town of Glasgow off Delaware State Route 896, with a main entrance on Howell School Road, and a campground entrance on Route 71. The phone number for Lums Pond State Park is (302) 368-6989 (for more information, call the State of Delaware Division of Parks and Recreations office headquarters in Dover at 302-739-9200).
Website for Lums Pond State Park: http://www.destateparks.com/park/lums-pond/index.asp