dock at the bank of a stream
Floating dock at TNC’s Edward H. McCabe Preserve. © TNC


New Dock at Edward H. McCabe Preserve

Wilmington, DE

The Nature Conservancy in Delaware hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony today for its new floating dock located on the banks of the Broadkill River at the Conservancy’s Edward H. McCabe Preserve. The publicly accessible dock is open for use by non-motorized watercraft, such as canoes and kayaks, and is located two miles downstream from the public boat launch at Milton Memorial Park. After paddling two miles down the Broadkill River from downtown Milton, visitors can explore the preserve’s three miles of trails, enjoy a picnic or just stretch their legs. 

The two-mile section of the Broadkill River located between Milton Memorial Park and the 143-acre Edward H. McCabe Preserve was dedicated as the Milton-McCabe Greenway Trail in 1998. For the past twenty years there was a wooden dock in the same spot where the new dock is located, but accessing the old dock during low tide was difficult. The new floating dock rises and falls with the tide and includes a launch ramp into the water so canoes and kayaks can easily pull their vessels up on to the dock. 

Funders for the new floating dock include Delaware Community Foundation, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Fair Play Foundation, and Marmot Foundation. The Nature Conservancy would like to especially thank Dogfish Head for their support through the Dogfish Dash and the company’s annual Beer and Benevolence Day. In April, thirty Dogfish Head employees helped with trail improvements and restoration of the land around the dock which had been impacted by the heavy equipment that was required for the installation. Dogfish staff also helped plant native trees and shrubs and picked up trash along the river bank. 

Sarah W. Cooksey, Director of Conservation Programs for The Nature Conservancy in Delaware, says every trip she takes down the Broadkill is a unique experience that changes not only with the seasons but with the daily tides. “If you have never explored the Broadkill by boat, you’ll probably be amazed at how remote it feels and how many birds you can see—bald eagles, osprey, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, snowy egrets,” says Cooksey. “The McCabe Preserve is the perfect distance from Milton for a nice half-day trip—it’s a great spot to stop for a picnic. We’ve already seen a big increase in visitors arriving by boat, and everyone loves the new design. We’re so thankful for the funders who enabled the project.” 

ribbon cutting ceremony
Ribbon cutting ceremony at Edward H. McCabe Preserve. © TNC

The Edward H. McCabe Preserve is a 143-acre nature preserve open for free public access. Visitors can also visit McCabe Preserve by car/foot/bike. The parking lot is located on Round Pole Bridge Road, .6 miles east of Cave Neck Road. For a trail map and directions to the McCabe Preserve, please visit the preserve page. Please note that the dock is a 15-minute walk from the parking lot, therefore launching a boat from the preserve is very difficult and not recommended.  

The Nature Conservancy would like to remind the public of a few rules to observe while enjoying the McCabe Preserve. The preserve is open from dawn to dusk and it is a carry-in carry-out park so please take your trash with you. Sorry, no dogs or bikes are allowed. Swimming and fishing from the dock and riverbank are prohibited. The dock is not meant for use by motorized watercraft. Smoking and alcohol are prohibited. Please stay on the trails and always remember to check for ticks after visiting. 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.