Find a quieter corner of New Castle County.

Fort DuPont is bounded by state park and wildlife lands with Delaware City, a classic small town, right across the Branch Canal. The fort property has created a rare opportunity for a new mixed-use development that is part of a historic 200-year-old town, not houses in a farm field. Bicycling, walking and horseback riding are the norm and not the exception.

Fort DuPont is not a subdivision – it is a community with easy walking to the library, community center and playgrounds, restaurants on Clinton Street or Delaware City's Battery Park on the river. At the same time, it's within easy reach of shopping and urban centers in Wilmington and Philadelphia.

The whole community is laced with trails. Its location is ideal for recreational boating, fishing and birdwatching. Use the state park launch ramp, keep a boat at the marina or take a ferry ride to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island or to Fort Mott State Park in New Jersey. Travel the 14-mile Castle Trail along the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal to Chesapeake City, Md.

The Diamond State Base Ball Club plays its games – using the 1866 rulebook – at Fort DuPont, while the Reedy Point Players stage their productions in the town community center. Fort DuPont is minutes away from New Castle County's 1,790-acre Lums Pond State Park with its campsites and 200-acre fishing and canoeing-kayaking pond.

Delaware City, a traditional small town, and Fort DuPont, a modern small community, are the gateway to recreation on the Delmarva Peninsula.

With Delaware's ecologically significant tidal marshes starting just to the south, the area abounds in birdlife. Just across the modern canal from the fort, coastal marshes at the Augustine Wildlife Area and the Thousand-Acre Marsh are home to osprey and bald eagles.  Herons that roost on Pea Patch Island travel back and forth with food for their chicks. The American Birding Association has made Delaware City its North American home, operating from the restored Central Hotel.

When it's time to go to the beach, get on State Route 1 well south of the I-95 bottlenecks or take old Route 9, winding along the bay shore, and join Route 1 in Dover.