Delaware State Seashore Park (DSSP)
Delaware State Seashore Park (DSSP) stretches from Dewey Beach, Delaware to North Bethany Beach, Delaware and offers a variety of outdoor activities for even the most seasoned outdoor enthusiast. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Indian River Bay and Rehoboth Bay to the west, DSSP covers 2825 acres and includes six-miles of pristine ocean side beach. The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation began operating Delaware Seashore State Park in 1965. Today, the park is a major outdoor recreation facility enjoyed by millions of visitors who relish the large variety of water-related activities available along the Delaware coast. From boating and fishing to sun bathing and swimming there is something for everyone who visits DSSP to enjoy.
Along the 6 mile stretch of DSSP ocean side, there are four named beaches. From just below the town of Dewey Beach, Delware going south they are; Tower Beach followed by Keybox, Conquest, Faithful Steward (sometimes called savages ditch) and 3R’s Beach. All of the beaches have parking facilities for walk on beach access as well as drive on access. However to drive on to any of the DNREC Park System beaches your vehicle must meet these minimum requirements; 4 wheel drive, minimum ground clearance of 7 inches, and must be displaying a Delaware surf vehicle permit. To obtain a surf permit, you may visit any of the Delaware Park Service offices. The DSSP office is located on Inlet Road near the Indian River Marina. Inlet Road is on the SOUTHBOUND side of route 1 before you cross over the Inlet bridge. All of the DSSP areas are carry-in/carry-out facilities. This means; if you have trash when leaving the beach bag it up and take it home with you. Please, keep our beaches clean and the wildlife safe from our waste.
The Delaware State Seashore Park is a popular spot for surf fishing as it offers an array of fish through every season. In the spring and early summer months striper can be found in the surf and out beyond the break and black drum are often mixed in. Summer yields perennial favorites including summer flounder, king fish, and the occasional mackerel. Mid-summer brings the blue fish which increase in size and number through the fall when finally, the cycle completes with the fall and winter run of striper. Other species are also found along the DSSP beaches. The ever present skate, smooth and spiny dogfish and a host of small and large rays are always in the mix. A steady supply of bait fish are also likely to be seen. From schooling balls of bunker and mullet to smaller sud runners like bullhead minnows. As the saying goes, find the bait, find the fish. If you are handy with a cast net we recommend catching the local bait as it is truly what the sport fish are chasing after.
3R’s – Just over the south side of Indian River Inlet is 3R’s Beach. 3R’s is accessible directly from Route 1 on the north bound (ocean side) of the highway. 3R’s has ample parking for those who do not have a Delware surf fishing vehicle tag. For those who do have a tag, access to the beach is directly through the parking lot. As always, remember to air your tires down. Once back in the parking lot, 3R’s offers several air stations to re-fill tires. Note that ALL air stations are FREE at Delaware drive on beach access areas.
Faithful Steward Beach Crossing – Faithful Steward is the first beach access road north of the Indian River Inlet. This beach is named after the famed merchant ship of the same name. Bound for Philadelphia, this Irish merchant ship ran aground during a one hundred yards off the beach. She was carrying 249 passengers, imported wares from Great Britain and barrels of British coins. To this day it is common for coins to wash up on the beach after storms and heavy tides. The area beach is known as coin beach.
Conquest Road – Conquest Road access area is approximately 2.5 miles north of Indian River inlet. As with all the ocean side beaches in Delaware State Seashore Park, a surf vehicle permit is required to drive on the beach. The vehicle beach crossing is on the right side of the parking lot beyond the air station.
Key Box – Key Box Road beach access area is located approximately one-mile south of the town limits of Dewey Beach, Delaware. This access area, like the others on the ocean side offers parking and beach crossing access for walk-on anglers as well as those who have a Delaware Surf Fishing vehicle permit. The surf fishing vehicle access is located at the far right corner of the parking area. The access crossing winds slightly to the left and up through the dune. A small air station is located at the entrance to the beach crossing.