This 933-acre park is divided by grey stone walls built of local stone in the late 1800's. At that time the property was a dairy farm owned by the du Pont family. This unique area became a state park in 1965, one of the first parks in the nation to be purchased with Land and Water Conservation Funds.
I hiked my own path and had an amazing time next to the water and up in the hills where there are creek beds and some elevation changes. The actual stone gravel trail is no fun. There is a trail by the creek and one called 'Rocky Run' which is up in the hill. Definitely going back and searching other side trails!
Parking and access to the trail is available in Brandywine Creek State Park (fee).There are bathrooms at the Nature Center. The trail begins behind the Nature Center. The trail descends gradually on rocky terrain before leveling off on a grassy surface as it reaches the Brandywine River. The trail follows the river before turning left and ascending moderately over rocky terrain. The trail levels off at the top of the hill and follows a gradual grade through forests and fields back to an open field north of the Nature Center.
The Indian Springs Trail also connects with the Hidden Pond Trail. The pond was dry today. Both trails are well marked and well maintained, and are in mostly wooded areas. There is also 3.1 mile cross country trail which is more exposed to the sun.
My rating is based almost entirely on the many optional side trails you can take from this main trail, which itself is basically a straight line, following Brandywine Creek from Montchanin Mills to Ramsey Farm and back again. Honestly I would rate this particular trail as easy rather than moderate as it is basically flat after the first 1/4 mile or so. Don't be afraid to head up the hill on either side of Rocky Run, where you will enter Woodlawn Wildlife Preserve and First State National Monument areas. Here the more moderate hiking options will present themselves. You encounter a much more varied topography, including several elevation changes, passing horse farms, woodlands, open meadows, and broad vistas here and there, including some dramatic views across the Brandywine Valley; basically some of the most beautiful areas in Northern Delaware and extreme southeastern Pennsylvania. Many trails are open to horses and bikes, while others are only suitable to hiking. You can walk for a couple of miles, or keep taking side trails and go for 10 miles or more, it's all up to you.
The Creek Road Tail (or the Brandywine Trail) is an improved trail (mostly crushed stone) that runs parallel to the Brandywine Creek (east side) in Brandywine Creek State Park. The trail is about 2.6 mile from the parking area (fee) off of Rockland Road to Ramsey Road. There are several other marked trails (like the Rocky Run Trail) that connect to this trail. The Brandywine Trail is mostly flat and easy. There are bathrooms (no running water) at the Thompson's Bridge parking area.
The Rocky Run Trail loops (about 2 miles) up and around the Rocky Run. I'd call this trail moderate; it's unimproved and has some areas of roots and loose rocks on the trail. There is also a shorter version of the loop called the Rocky Run Cutoff. And there is also a connector (about 1 mile long) between the Brandywine Trail and the Rocky Run Trail. The top of the Rocky Run Trail is accessible from Garden of Eden Road (no fee).
A nice stop to stretch our legs on a long drive. Bathrooms available. There is a fee for entry (4 Delaware, $8 out of state), but we found it well maintained and a nice spot for a picnic lunch. Took our dog for a swim in the creek- good for a quick walk & fresh air!
only reason i Didnt give it a five star was because of the poor maintenance of the trails. few trees down on the fire trails, the big wide ones everyone keeps talking about that are "boring." if u want a nice chalenge take the few off trails. for your conveinence i would park by the Jewish community center off of garden of Eden street off of concord pike. start there and its all down hill till you get to the fire trails. there are some more than moderate areas. no reason you shouldnt have a good time long as you take plenty of side trails.
I'm not sure if this is supposed to be for Rocky Run trail, which fits the last review and description of "Creek Road", or if it's for the Hidden Pond trail, which matches the 2.8 miles...both at Brandywine Creek. I looped the two of these together, so they'll both get reviewed here.
The Rocky Run trail started with a slow and steady incline (turning left before the bridge), then involved a rock crossing over the creek (easy on this day as we're in a drought...not sure what it's like in rainy season), followed by a steep and long climb before levelling off for a bit and making a nice easy walk back down the hill at the end. The fact that this trail had some nice elevation changes, was wide and maintained earned it 4 stars for me.
The Hidden Pond trail wasn't anything special. It was wide and maintained, but to be honest, boring. No wildlife (except for the bugs flying around) and poor markings that caused me to miss the turnoff to see Hidden Pond (kind of the point of calling the trail "Hidden Pond"...you'd think it'd be marked). Walking along the creek at the bottom of the hill was nice, but there were few spots to stop and relax to enjoy the view. 3 stars for this one. If you loop it with Indian Springs/Rocky Run, you can get a nice 6 mile trail with good elevation changes.
Ehh. There wasn't anything here that made me think I'd want to travel here to hike this trail. It's wide and features the river a bit at the bottom, but there wasn't a lot of wildlife and it was a bit rocky, which took away my hiking rhythm since most of the trail is either uphill or downhill. I enjoyed the variety of nearby White Clay's trails better.
On the bright side, I connected this with the Hidden Pond and Rocky Run trails to make a hilly figure 8 trail that was roughly 6 miles.
This trail is pretty mild, but a nice lop with some inclines. Trail is relatively wide & well maintained. There are also plenty of alternative routes and unmarked trails. You can easily wander in these woods for several hours, and it's fairly easy to maintain your orientation due to being on a hill & the river at the bottom of the valley. I'm still getting into shape, so given the incline I placed this as a moderate for myself, but it's easy for seasoned or in shape hikers. I go to these woods fairly regularly because they're very convenient to go to & there's plenty of parking. Lots of options for difficulty level, either easy on the main path or more intense up some seriously steep inclines. Lots of Mountain Bikers year round.
I've never been on a weekend, but on weekdays & after work it's been completely empty, maybe 20 people on the trails at a time. It's also very close to civilization which makes it easy to get to. There are permit required parking lots ($3 for in state, $6 for out of state) Or you can get a yearly pass ($27 for in state $54 out of state). Yearly passes are good for any state park in DE, including some of the beaches! Free lots are available, but parking is limited & you have to drive around a bit to find them (they are usually on top of the hills).
I hike all my trails with my three year old and an umbrella stroller. It was rocky in places and we got lost once, though if you have the map there's plenty of places to correct yourself. We went in the afternoon on a weekday and there was very few people. It was starting to pick up around 4. The old wall and fallen trees were beautiful. We saw a really big frog. The paths were clear and maintained and the office staff was really nice. There were parts of the trail over looking the river. We even ate lunch at a park bench they had set up overlooking the river. I saw a few people with dogs but never saw any dog poop (I can't stand trails where ppl don't pick up). We will definitely do this trail again.