Delaware Park Closed Due to Illegal Activity - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Park Closed Due to Illegal Activity

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SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - The Delaware State Forest Service has closed a parking lot and pavilion of the Redden State Forest after years of drug deals and lewd conduct.

 The state says the area--located in the forest's Jester Track on Redden Road between Robbins Road and 593--will be closed indefinitely. During the closure, officials say they'll look at security upgrades and will renovate the historic pavilion, created by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Its picnic tables are currently scrawled with graphic messages soliciting sex. 

“We sincerely regret having to close this area to the public," says Kyle Hoyd, Delaware’s assistant state forester. "However, we do not believe we can keep the facility open in light of the ongoing illegal activity and resulting concerns about public safety,”

Anyone who is seen on the premises will now be subject to trespassing charges and other offenses if necessary. Robert Hauter lives nearby and says while the area is riddled with drugs, it's a shame it's being shut down, as the area has a popular horseback riding trail and is a place where some take a break.

"It's too bad they have to close it down and choke off the parking lot," he says. "People park there for a 10 o'clock coffee break or eat lunch."

William Bone agrees. 

"I don't use it," he says "But the horse people use it and they're not gonna have a place. That's what we are worried about."

He says he understands why the state is shutting it down for now, as he's experienced firsthand the activity the state describes.

"I've been approached-- I was with a friend of mine with horses," he tells WBOC. "A guy came up and asked if I wanted to have a good time. I said, 'I am having a good time.'"

Hoyd says there's no timetable on when they will re-open the park, but they plan to re-asses the situation in the future. 

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