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Delaware State Parks

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Wilmington State Park
Campfire and Hotdogs ©
Roasting hot dogs over an open fire.
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Gone fishin.
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1021 West 18th Street
Wilmington, Delaware   19802

Phone: 302-577-7020
Email: park email button icon
Find recreation, education, and sports and community events right in the heart of Wilmington. Connected by trails, these parks are the perfect place to relax, hike, picnic, or just enjoy the beauty of the Brandywine River.

The main areas of Wilmington State Parks are:

* Brandywine Park (including Baynard Stadium) * Brandywine Zoo * H. Fletcher Brown Park * Rockford Park

While certain portions of Wilmington State Parks are owned by the City of Wilmington, Delaware State Park rules and regulations apply to all areas.Pets

Pets are welcome in the parks as long as they are on a leash and under the control of their owner. Please clean up after your pet.

Three areas within Wilmington State Parks are managed as "off leash" areas for dogs. Two are located in Brandywine Park and one in Rockford Park. Dogs must be on a leash until reaching the boundaries of the off-leash area. Rules are posted in each area. Please contact the park office at (302) 577-7020 for more information.
History of the Area
Located in Wilmington, Delaware, the park was established in 1956. It spans over 345 acres and includes Brandywine Park.

The land for this urban oasis was donated by William Poole Bancroft during the late nineteenth century.

Bancroft's vision of a city with ample green space led to creation of an area now known as "Park Drive".

In addition to natural beauty, it houses cultural attractions like Baynard Stadium and Josephine Fountain.

Over time, more features were added including hiking trails along Brandywine Creek and Rockford Tower - a popular observation spot.

Today it offers recreational activities such as fishing & canoeing while hosting events at Sugar Bowl Pavilion.
Anglers can enjoy fishing in the Brandywine River, offering catches like trout during spring and shad runs in late April. Other species include smallmouth bass, carp, catfish, and panfish. A valid Delaware fishing license is required for those aged 16 or older. Fishing spots are accessible from various points along park trails with scenic views of the riverbanks.

Wilmington State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables and grills along the Brandywine River. Pavilions available for rent.
Explore the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, a scenic route for cyclists winding through parkland and historical sites. Brandywine Park's paths offer leisurely rides with picturesque views of the river. Connect to Jack A. Markell Trail for an extensive ride from Wilmington to New Castle on this paved path that includes boardwalks over wetlands.
- Brandywine Park Trail: A 2.9-mile loop trail featuring a river, suitable for all skill levels and primarily used for walking, running, nature trips.

- Northern Delaware Greenway Trail: This is an extensive 10.4 miles long trail that extends from Bellevue State Park to the Wilmington Riverfront; it's perfect for hiking or biking with beautiful views of natural landscapes along the way.

- Alapocas Run State Park Trails: These trails are located near Wilmington offering several activity options including rock climbing on designated cliffs within park boundaries; distance varies depending upon chosen path but ranges between one to three miles in length.

- Rockford Tower Loop via Northern Delaware Greenway West Side Connector: An easy-rated hike spanning approximately two miles round trip through scenic wooded areas leading up to historic Rockford Tower lookout point.

- Adkins Waterfall Area - Eastside Hiking Route (Wilmington): It's about four-miles-long route which offers hikers stunning waterfall view during certain seasons when water flow is high enough.

-Pawpaws Woods Nature Preserve Walking Path - Located just outside of downtown Wilmington this short half mile walk takes you into dense woods filled with PawPaw trees native only here providing unique flora experience

-Delaware Art Museum Outdoor Sculpture Garden Walk- Though not technically a "hike" per se at less than quarter mile around museum grounds its worth mentioning due its collection outdoor sculptures set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens
Birding enthusiasts can explore diverse habitats including woodlands, meadows, and the Brandywine River. Common sightings include warblers, woodpeckers, and hawks. Migratory birds add variety in spring and fall seasons. Waterfowl are often spotted along riverbanks throughout the year. The park offers guided bird walks for educational opportunities.
Area Attractions
Brandywine Park

Enjoy a stroll or jog along the river, picnic lunch, and other activities among the monuments, formal gardens, and natural areas in this picturesque park that runs along either side of the Brandywine River. Brandywine Park is home to the Brandywine Zoo, Baynard Stadium and the Josephine Fountain.Baynard Stadium

Ticket booths, press boxes, locker rooms, a concession stand, restrooms, and lights for night games make this athletic stadium perfect for football, soccer, and track & field events. Contact the park office for information on stadium use.

Brandywine Zoo Information

Open since 1905, Delaware's only zoo is located a few steps from the Brandywine River. The 12-acre zoo features a Siberian tiger, river otters, and other animals native to the Americas and the temperate areas of Asia. A new state-of-the-art Andean Condor exhibit features a 110,000-cubic-foot flight cage.

Not far from the bustle of the city is a serene, yet wild place. Set in beautiful Brandywine Park, Brandywine Zoo offers a convenient escape that feels worlds away.

The Brandywine Zoo is managed by Delaware State Parks with the support of the Delaware Zoological Society. This quaint facility is home to a variety of species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. At Brandywine Zoo, visitors return again and again to see our animals in natural settings. Come see our exotic Siberian tigers, Golden Lion Tamarins, playful river otters, Andean condors, Florida bobcat, binturongs, sandhill crane, burrowing owls, pygmy goats, llama, rhea and the world's largest rodent, the capybara.

Learn about wild and exotic animals right in your community! Brandywine Zoo offers educational programs for enthusiasts of all ages, from toddlers to adult. Contact the Zoo Education Department for more information at (302) 571-7788, Ext. 208 or 209.

Rockford Park

The 100-year-old Rockford Tower is the centerpiece of this park. The historic stone water tower is located amid rolling hills and vistas offering beautiful views of the city. Rockford Park boasts large open spaces surrounded by beautiful wooded areas, making it the perfect spot for picnics, jogging, flying kites, playing ball, tennis, and hiking.

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Nearby Hotels

- If you are in the north, head south towards Wilmington.
- From Philadelphia: Take I95 South to Delaware Avenue exit (Exit 7).
- After exiting: Turn right onto North Adams Street.

From Baltimore:
- Head northeast on I395 N
- Continue onto I95 N
- Use Exit 6 for Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard toward Downtown/Maryland Ave

Once in Wilmington:
- Follow signs for State Parks/Wilmington Park Drive.

If coming from Newark or points west of Wilmington:

- Get on DE-4 E/Christiana Parkway from S College Ave and Elkton Rd

- Follow DE-273 W and US-13 BUS N/N Dupont Hwy to Thomas J Hatem Memorial Bridge/Rte 40 E

For those traveling by public transportation:

- The park is accessible via DART First State bus routes #2, #10, and #28.

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Delaware State Parks