Brandywine Creek State Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington, DE
Hours:Grounds open 8 a.m. to sunset; office open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (open daily April through October)
Fee: Nonresidents, $6 per vehicle; residents, $3 per vehicle (March through November); pedestrians and bikes, free
Contact:, 302-577-3534

Bathrooms: In the park office, and at the Thompson Bridge and Rockland Road parking areas
Water/Snacks: None

It’s all about the Brandywine here: Discover the creek and its forested hills.

Brandywine Creek State Park
Photo by: Grenavitar

Brandywine Creek State Park is a pure nature park, extending along both sides of the Brandywine Creek and into its surrounding rocky, forested hills. You’ll find biking and hiking trails through the deep, rich woods and along the creek and its tributary streams. 

Check in at the nature center when you arrive; there you’ll find a wealth of detailed trail descriptions, and enthusiastic staff available to answer questions.

The level, hard-surface Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, reached from the Thompson Bridge or Rockland Road parking areas, parallels the creek for 2.5 miles; it’s an easy, stroller-friendly family walk or bike ride past sheer cliffs, along the winding creek. For slightly more-challenging beginner walks, follow the well-maintained loop trails—Hidden Pond and Indian Springs—that descend to the creek, starting at the park office and nature center. Bikes are not permitted on these trails. Wildlife is abundant in the woods and along the streams. Begin at the trails’ shared starting point in the Tulip Tree Woods Nature Preserve, where huge old trees tower over the trails. Follow the trail downhill to where the red-blazed Hidden Pond Trail branches off; it leads along the creek’s banks, through a floodplain, then turns uphill to skirt the small Hidden Pond that lives up to its name (take a short spur trail that bridges a stream to glimpse the pond). It then loops back uphill to the office through woods and open meadows.

A public boat launch for canoes and kayaks is at Thompson Bridge. Several dams affect flow conditions downstream of the bridge. A good way for families to get acquainted with canoeing or kayaking the Brandywine is to participate in one of the regular guided paddles sponsored by the park (fee charged; equipment is provided).

Young anglers can fish in trout-stocked Wilsons Run, parallel to Adams Dam Road, and in the Brandywine downstream of Thompson Bridge.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed.

Plan B:

Nearby Alapocas Run State Park features a playground and short trails.

Where to Eat Nearby:

It’s best to bring snacks or a picnic.


Get outdoor tips & trips
Yes, I want to receive expert advice on getting my family outside!



Marsh Creek State Park »
Playing in Brandywine Creek
675 Park Road, Downingtown, PA

Haverford College Arboretum »
Large duck pond with giant snapping turtle
1 College Lane, Haverford, PA

Wissahickon Valley Park »
Restored historical village in park's south end
300 Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia PA

Blue Marsh Lake »
Sensory trail, orienteering trail, and nature trail
1268 Palisades Drive, Leesport, PA


Nockamixon State Park »
Waterslide at the swimming pool
1542 Mountain View Drive, Quakertown, PA

Green Lane Park »
Challenging trails around reservoir's perimeter
2144 Snyder Road, Green Lane, PA

Lums Pond State Park »
Abundant birds, amphibians, and other wildlife
1068 Howell School Road, Bear, DE

© 2023 Appalachian Mountain Club | 10 City Square, Boston, MA 02129
About | Privacy Policy | Contact Us