Horseshoe crab crawling back to the ocean on the beach on Delaware Bay at sunrise.

Kitts Hummock, Delaware

Also referred to as Kidd’s Hummock, Kitts Hummock is a small unincorporated community situated on the Delaware Bay in Kent County in the US State of Delaware. If you have never heard about this remote hamlet on Delaware Bay, it is time to discover its peculiar secrets. Despite Kitts Hummock’s tiny size, it has a fascinating history and unique attractions that cannot be missed.

Geography Of Kitts Hummock

This small private community is situated at the edge of Kitts Hummock Road to the southeast of the state capital, Dover. Placed approximately three miles away from Dover Air Force Base, Kitts Hummock provides public access to a small beach on Delaware Bay. Even though the beach appears to be nice and secure for swimming, closer examination reveals that the shore begins with sand but quickly turns muddy as one approaches closer to the bay, especially during low tide.

It is thus impossible for anyone to swim here due to the enormous mudflats since just a few feet of the sticky mud will trap one in, just like quicksand. So, it is better for visitors to stay on the sand-covered section of the beach. Walking along the shoreline and watching wildlife is the best option here. The area is serene and immaculate. In addition, there are evergreen trees, low-growing cacti, and dune grasses all across the shore.

History Of Kitts Hummock 

What is Kitts Hummock? How did the town get its name? “Hummock” or “hammock” is a geologic term that means a small hill or mound above ground higher than the surrounding area. About the “Kitts” part, it is a bit mysterious. To know more, let us go back to the 17th century for a moment. According to legend, the "Kitt" refers to the pirate Captain William Kidd (1645–1701), who did spend time on Delaware Bay. In the late 1600s, Kidd sailed from New York to the Caribbean, stopping at Lewes on the way. The rumors say he even buried treasure in Kitts Hummock.

In fact, this elevated area, or "hummock," served as a popular spot for recreation and fishing among European settlers as well as for the Native Americans. The first European who owned the place was Jehu Curtis. He obtained a patent in 1738 for the land he named "Kitt's Hammock." By the middle of the 1800s, the town got its first hotel. Also, the Pleasanton family constructed a tavern that was quite popular around that time. Kitts Hummock has never been a big resort but rather a place for nearby residents who wanted to move closer to the bay and escape the heat.

Wildlife Of Kitts Hummock

Horseshoe Crabs at Kitts Hummock, Delaware
Horseshoe Crabs at Kitts Hummock, Delaware.

Kitts Hummock is one of the best places in North America to see horseshoe crabs. Delaware Bay hosts the world's largest population of these amazing creatures. Visitors are welcome to observe these lovely creatures swarm the beach in May and June while they spawn. People, therefore, travel from all over the world to see these spawning crabs and the accompanying migratory shorebirds.

Several Delaware Bayshore communities, including Kitts Hummock, are horseshoe crab sanctuaries. The goal of the sanctuary is to alter how communities interact with their natural resources, a transformation that will last much longer than the regulatory process. For the sake of the bay ecosystem, the colony of horseshoe crabs must be preserved at all costs.

Tourism Of Kitts Hummock

Some know Kitts Hummock as a place of lost treasure, but the truth is this small coastal community is a real natural gem. The beach provides guests with a paradise for beachcombing with a backdrop of a live horseshoe crab sanctuary. Migrating birds come here to refuel themselves with horseshoe crab eggs, demonstrating the wonders of the food chain pyramid.

Given the abundance of local sites, a quick stop at Kitts Hummock should not take long and would be extremely educational for those who come here. There is a free rinse station close to the public access entry that should help to get rid of the mud quickly for anyone who wants to walk through the muddy spots during low tide. Many people might ignore the signs pointing to the lesser-known Kitts Hummock Beach in Kent County, but its history, nature, and significance make it worth visiting.

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