12 Parks in Smyrna, Delaware

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Smyrna is a quaint town in northern Delaware known for its rich history, small town charm, and abundance of parks and outdoor recreation areas.

From scenic nature preserves to community parks with playgrounds and ball fields, Smyrna offers residents and visitors alike plenty of options for getting outdoors and active or just relaxing in beautiful, natural settings.

With over a dozen parks scattered throughout the Smyrna area, it can be hard to choose which ones to visit. This article will highlight 12 of the top parks in Smyrna, giving you an overview of the amenities, scenery, and activities offered at each one to help you decide which spots sound most appealing for your next outdoor adventure.

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Spanning over 16,000 acres in Kent County, the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is one of the top birding destinations on the East Coast during spring and fall migrations. Over 280 different species of birds have been recorded here throughout the years. The refuge features various habitats including freshwater impoundments, tidal salt marshes, meadows, and woodlands that attract a wide diversity of birds.

There are five walking trails ranging from .75 miles up to 12 miles for hiking and bird watching. The refuge also offers excellent opportunities for viewing waterfowl, white-tailed deer, frogs, turtles and other wildlife native to the Delaware River Estuaries. With scenic views and incredible biodiversity, the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit park for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts in the Smyrna area.

Ashton Park

Nestled along the banks of the beautiful Ashton Canal, Ashton Park is a popular spot among Smyrna locals. The focal point of the park is the Ashton Canal and Lock, which connects the Appoquinimink River to Silver Lake. Visitors can fish from the lock or walk along the canal while enjoying abundant views of waterfowl and other wildlife native to the area.

Ashton Park’s amenities include picnic shelters with grills for hosting get-togethors, open green spaces and playground equipment for recreation. An interpretive Wildlife Walk lines the perimeter of the park, acting as an outdoor educational exhibit on local flora and fauna. Birdwatchers flock here during migrations to spot herons, Canada geese, egrets and more. With its unique canal setting and abundant natural beauty, Ashton Park offers a scenic backdrop for outdoor fun.

Smyrna Memorial Park

Honoring Smyrna’s veterans, this quaint community park may be small in size but packs a patriotic punch. It contains memorial walls and monuments listing the names of local veterans who served from the Civil War through modern day military conflicts. The focal point is the prominent Veterans Monument featuring lighted flags from every military branch.

On Veterans Day and Memorial Day, the park hosts ceremonies filled with speeches and military music as the community comes together to honor heroes. Other amenities include picnic facilities, walking paths and an open field that hosts community events. Families can also let kids burn off some energy at the colorful playground. With its patriotic landmarks and event space, Smyrna Memorial Park is clearly the go-to spot to celebrate our freedom and those who protect it.

Woodland Beach Wildlife Area

Encompassing over 900 acres of protected coastal habitats, the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area contains pristine beaches, freshwater ponds, brackish tidal marshes and a maritime forest. It’s part of the state’s Coastal Zone Management Program, intended to conserve sensitive coastal ecosystems while still allowing public access. Hiking trails wind through the diversity of habitats, with the beach trail running for 1.5 miles along the Delaware Bay shoreline.

As a designated wildlife viewing area, the park contains multiple observation decks and platforms for spotting the nearly 300 species of resident and migratory birds. Hardy visitors willing to brave the cold will find the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area transforms into a prime locale for bald eagle viewing in winter. With critical habitats hosting rare plants and wildlife, this state-managed gem offers nature lovers a vibrant ecological experience throughout all seasons.

Lombardi Park

Named after NFL coaching legend Vince Lombardi who lived in Smyrna as a child, Lombardi Park offers amenities for sports and recreation. Athletic fields accommodate seasonal leagues for baseball, softball, soccer and football, often buzzing with youth practices and games. Two playground areas give younger kids a place to expend energy, with standard swings and slides as well as challenging climbing structures.

An expansive parking lot leaves room for food trucks to set up shop so fans can grab refreshments during sporting events. Sheltered picnic areas provide space for the whole family to gather for potluck tournament parties or just a sunny Saturday cookout. Whether you come to play on one of the fields, cheer on a home team from the bleachers or let kids romp on the playground, Lombardi Park is a recreation hub for Smyrna residents.

Smyrna Riverfront Park

Running along the banks of the scenic Smyrna River, this quaint waterfront park delivers small town charm. It contains plenty of green space accented by ornamental trees, with a walking path that meanders beside the river. A prominent statue commemorating Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano anchors the southern end of the park near town center while a large skate park on the northern end appeals to local teens.

Various annual festivals take advantage of the park’s space and ambient natural beauty – from September’s Riverfest celebration to holiday light displays in winter. Visitors can also access the Smyrna River Walk, a two mile linear path that follows the river through downtown. With its riverside trails, cultural landmarks and community event space, the Smyrna Riverfront Park encapsulates the ambience of this historic northern Delaware town.

Silver Lake Park

Offering over 100 acres of woodlands surrounding the 64-acre Silver Lake reservoir, this Kent County park delivers ample access to nature just outside downtown Smyrna. It contains nearly three miles of multi-use trails that circumnavigate the lake, allowing visitors to hike, jog or pedal through mixed forest and wetland environments teeming with native plants and wildlife.

Benches along the trails encourage stopping to admire scenic views across glistening water. The park also features playgrounds, fishing areas, a large picnic pavilion and multiple sports fields. A boat launch provides access to Silver Lake for kayaking and catch-and-release fishing. With plentiful amenities and natural beauty, Silver Lake Park is the perfect setting for an active outdoor adventure or just relaxing outdoors with a nourishing dose of nature.

Banning Park

Honoring Revolutionary War hero Colonel John Banning, this park contains several unique attractions. It houses the historic Banning Garrison Cemetery next to an old carriage house featuring historical exhibits about the Banning family and Smyrna history. The cemetery’s earliest grave dates back to the 17th century.

Park amenities include playgrounds, walking trails through meadows filled with wildflowers and a wooden 592-seat amphitheater used for concerts, performances and movie nights during warmer months. Visitors can also access the park’s Storybook Trail, which has signs displaying pages from children’s literature posted along the wooded path. With its blend of Smyrna heritage and family-friendly recreation, Banning Park offers an enriching experience for history buffs and families alike.

Breasure Park

Nestled along scenic Brant Street, Breasure Park delivers a charming neighborhood recreation area. Its most prominent feature is a historic one room schoolhouse that now serves as a local history museum filled with exhibits giving visitors a glimpse into Smyrna’s past. The schoolhouse porch makes an idyllic backdrop for selfies and family photos.

Other amenities include a playground with standard slides and swings plus a splash pad to help kids stay cool in summer, lighted basketball courts, baseball fields, picnic shelters and a skate spot. Throughout the year, various community events take place here, including movie nights, festivals and holiday celebrations. Offering cultural history augmented by family recreation amenities, Breasure Park captures the small town community spirit of Smyrna.

Prioleau Park

Named for Sergeant M. Waldo Prioleau who died in France during World War II, this community park honors his legacy of service. The central monument gives details on Prioleau’s military accomplishments and untimely death at only 25 years old. Flanked by memorial markers, the prominent centerpiece monument ensures Prioleau’s youthful sacrifice is both commemorated and visually impactful.

Along with playgrounds, picnic areas and open green space, amenities include multiple athletic fields used by local recreational leagues. Behind the ball fields sits a skate park with ramps and grind rails tucked back away from the main park. The wooded perimeter also houses a disc golf course with baskets peeking out from the trees. Blending area history with recreation amenities, Prioleau Park offers well-rounded opportunities for play, reflection and healthy outdoor fun.

Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village

Providing an authentic look at 19th century farm life in Delaware, the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village immerses visitors in local history. The park centers around Allee House, an 1832 farm manager’s home furnished with antiques and historical relics. Outbuildings like smokehouses, barns and sheds display preserved tractors, wagon carriages and early planting and harvesting equipment, bringing Delawarean agricultural evolution to life.

Costumed interpreters demonstrate heritage skills from blacksmithing to quilting, breathing nostalgic charm into true past cultural practices. Special events like Harvest Day and the Summer Steam Show celebrate traditional farming methods and artisan trades through hands-on activities. By engaging multiple generations in bygone ways of rural life, the Delaware Agricultural Museum sustains and honors the First State’s agrarian roots.

Fenwick Island State Park

Boasting three miles of pristine beach landscape along the Delaware Bay shoreline, Fenwick Island State Park offers quintessential coastal scenery with opportunities for fun in the surf. Lifeguards actively patrol the swim area from late May through Labor Day. The adjacent beach welcomes swimmers, surfers, sunbathers, sand castle architects and all varieties of beachcombers the rest of the year.

Nature trails and boardwalks traverse fragile dunes and maritime forests, delivering prime vantage points for spotting local fauna like herons, horseshoe crabs in summer and migrating birds in spring and fall. Complementing the tranquil beach is a 114-site oceanside campground featuring full hookups, plus bathhouses with hot showers and a seasonal store for supplies. For quintessential seashore experiences alongside vacation-style camping amenities, Fenwick Island State Park lures visitors looking for sun, sand, surf and natural splendor.

Conclusion


Whether you want a recreational community park, an educational cultural experience focused on heritage and history or a scenic natural getaway, Smyrna’s parks have something for everyone. As one of Delaware’s most charming small towns, Smyrna takes pride in preserving important landmarks while also investing in public green spaces that promote resident quality of life.

The parks system here offers well-maintained amenities for gatherings and recreation plus immersion in distinctive ecological landscapes – from tidal wetlands to maritime forests to the riparian Smyrna River habitat. Visitors can learn about the area’s rich history and culture while children play at innovative playgrounds and families forge lasting memories over a picnic or camping excursion.

If you’re planning a trip to northern Delaware, be sure to spend some time exploring Smyrna’s natural gems found throughout its diverse public parks system.

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