Forest Campsites and Redden Lodge
Delaware’s state forest campsites are now open to the public under a new online reservation system that allows for advance booking and preferred site selection. Primitive-style camping is available 365 days a year by online reservation at both Blackbird State Forest, north of Smyrna, and Redden State Forest, north of Georgetown. Also, pavilion use is available at both Blackbird and Redden State Forests, and Lodge rental is available at Redden.
State forests only allow tent camping: pickup campers, travel trailers and/or self-propelled motor homes are excluded due to access and parking limitations, unless otherwise noted. Amenities include on-site parking, BBQ grills, picnic tables, fire rings, firewood (if available), and portable toilets. No showers or bath facilities provided.
Each state forest has a total of sixteen (16) at Blackbird and eighteen (18) at Redden. All camping requires a permit and is subject to state forest rules and regulations. View both Blackbird and Redden campsite maps below.
See camping packet here for complete information, camping rules, fees and reservation links.
Camping is a great way to experience the natural wonder and majesty of Delaware’s forests. Take a hike and explore miles of wooded trails. Observe wildlife among the towering trees. Enjoy a picnic and cook a barbeque. Relax with a heartwarming campfire. Sleep under the stars.
Click here for the Forest Camping Guide to Online Reservations (BRAND NEW!)
Camping is available by online reservation only: sites are limited and permits required. Valid major credit card required.
The Reservation Confirmation is your Camping permit. Three-night maximum stay per reservation.
No formal check-in is required for tent camping, check-in begins at 1 p.m., and check-out is at 11 a.m.
ADA sites and small-medium camper van accessible sites available at a first come first serve basis.
State Forest Camping is Primitive. NO electric, NO water and NO septic hookups available at the sites. Each campsite has a charcoal grill, picnic table, fire ring and firewood (if available).
State Forests have portable toilet/s, trash dumpster, water spicket, and firewood available at designated areas. No showers or bath facilities provided.
It is $5 cash sale for firewood – no other form of payment is accepted for wood.
$25 per night fee for each site at Blackbird or Redden State Forest. There is a three night maximum stay per reservation.
A small administrative fee of $3.50 will apply at time of booking, and again if a cancellation occurs.
Blackbird Camping Map
Redden Camping Map
For questions about Blackbird State Forest, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 302-653-6505.
For questions about Redden State Forest, email email@example.com, or call 302-856-2893.
- Camping is by permit only and restricted to map-designated campsites.
- Camping permits and online registration are available using the online reservation link, or contact forest offices.
- Reservations are required before the arrival date.
- Campsites are of a primitive type and used ONLY for tent camping. Pickup campers, travel trailers, and/or self-propelled motor homes are excluded due to access and parking limitations unless otherwise noted by a state forest employee.
- Campsites are limited and equipped with tables, fire pits, and charcoal grills. Campsites are limited to a maximum number of six (6) people per site, with two (2) vehicles per site, overflow parking is provided nearby the parking areas. Camper(s) must remove their trash upon vacating their campsite and drop it off at the designated dumpster located on the camping map. Failure to adhere to these regulations will result in the camper’s removal and the assessment of fees for damage and cleanup.
- Except for animals permitted under lawful hunting regulations, all animals must be under the continuous control of the owner(s) unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Forestry Administrator. All dogs must be leashed unless covered by the exception above. State Forest visitors are responsible for the conduct and any personal or property damages caused by their animals.
- Camping is at your own risk. State Forests are a public use area with no after-hours, nighttime, or weekend security. Law enforcement is provided by the Delaware State Police and the Department of Natural Resources Police should the need arise. State Forest Rules and Regulations are to be followed.
- State forests are “multiple-use facilities,” which means other activities will continue while you camp. These activities include hiking, permitted hunting, catch-and-release fishing, horseback riding, nature study, firewood cutting (by permit only), timber harvesting and picnicking. The DFS reserves the right to limit or deny permits during times of conflicting use.
- Firewood for camp use is available for purchase onsite, and no outside firewood is permitted. Please refer to the camping map for its location. If more firewood is needed, it may be gathered locally from dead and downed trees. Standing trees or shrubs shall not be cut. Using firewood outside the office complex’s designated area is prohibited. Campfires shall be contained within established fire rings only.
- Campsites are to be left clean, and all fires must be extinguished before departing from the area.
We encourage everyone to get outdoors and enjoy nature; however, there are inherent risks. These risks include but are not limited to insects, poisonous plants and berries, uneven terrain, weather, and wildlife. While experiencing the wilderness, you cannot eliminate every risk, we urge you to take precautions to reduce the likelihood you are impacted.
- Don’t leave home without an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for reapplication times.
- When outside, wear shoes, light-colored long-sleeved shirts, and pants. Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs. Light color clothing makes ticks easier to see.
- Use permethrin (an insecticide) to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) but do not apply it to skin.
- When returning from outdoor activities, check for ticks and remove any from the skin with tweezers as soon as possible to reduce the chance of disease transmission.
The rustic Redden Forest Lodge offers a picturesque setting for family gatherings, special occasions, and group meetings.
Built around 1903, the 11-room pinewood Lodge finds its place on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lodge was designed to serve the executives of the Pennsylvania Railroad as a shooting or hunting retreat, east of Penn Central Railroad line. The executives would arrive with horses and dogs at the Carriage House (now Redden Education Center) at the Headquarters entrance.
With 11 rooms, the Lodge is available for conferences, special events, gatherings and more, as a weekday overnight ($250) and weekend rentals ($500). Special Use Permits required for events utilizing vendors.
Amenities include a basic appliance kitchen, 3 bathrooms, shower and tub, an open dining hall and sitting room, rooms for PRIMITIVE lodging, a south hall and a screened porch.
Make a reservation now for the Redden Forest Lodge.
Complete and review the Redden Lodge Application Packet.
Lodge rental is available by online reservation only. Valid major credit card required.
Lodge usage for Catering Services, Party Rentals, Music, Photography, Videography, etc. requires the completion and review of the Lodge Special Use Permit & Guidelines.
Reservations are first‐come, first‐serve basis, year‐round. No daily rental available on weekends.
Check-in begins at 1 p.m. (weekend check-in by 4 p.m. Friday), and check-out is at 11 a.m. View application packet for rental fees.
Reservation must be cancelled 31 days prior to arrival date for full refund.
Pavilions at Blackbird and Redden
Blackbird State Forest and Redden State Forest offer pavilions for multiple purposes.
O.D. Bailey Pavilion at Redden State Forest
Usage of pavilions are first‐come, first‐serve basis, year‐round.
Permit is required for groups of 10 or more. Pavilion rental is available by online reservation. Valid major credit card required.
Blackbird State Forest offers two pavilions, located at the Tybout tract and at the Blackbird Education Center.
Redden State Forest offers three pavilions – The O.D. Bailey pavilion near the Redden Education Center, and two historic pavilions, Ellendale and Jester, located along Route 113. No portable toilet/s are available at the Ellendale and Jester pavilions.