Brandywine Creek State Park is divided by grey stone walls that were built of local stone in the late 1800s, when the property was a dairy farm owned by the du Pont family. Three nature preserves are located within the park, including: Tulip Tree Woods, a majestic stand of 190-year-old tulip poplar, and Freshwater Marsh, the first nature preserve in Delaware. The area became a state park in 1965.
Anglers can fish for small mouth bass, bluegill, and crappie in Brandywine Creek, and for trout in Wilson’s Run (fishing license and trout stamp required). Canoeing, kayaking and tubing are also popular ways to experience the Brandywine. Canoeing is offered through the park's interpretive programs, and local outfitters rent canoes, kayaks and tubes.
The park maintains trails for fitness, wildlife observation, and photography; try the Rocky Run Trail or the Brandywine Trail that winds along the creek.
The open meadows are excellent for picnics, kite flying, and disc golf, and in the winter, for sledding and cross-country skiing.
An extensive meadow management program, active bluebird population program, and variety of habitats make Brandywine Creek State Park an outstanding place to see wildflowers, songbirds, deer, and other flora and fauna. Many species of hawks can be seen migrating over the valley from mid-September to mid-November.
Tulip Tree Woods Nature Preserve – surrounded by a three-foot stone wall this nature preserve contains old growth Tulip Poplar. This forest canopy also includes American Beech, Red Oak, Black Oak, and White Oak. The forest floor is carpeted with spring ephemeral wildflowers including Nodding Trillium, and Blood Root.
Amenities: Loop Trail (pedestrian only), parking at Nature Center parking lot, bathrooms in Nature Center
Acreage: 24 acres
Flint Woods Nature Preserve – The Flint Woods Nature Preserve protects over 40 acres of mature Piedmont hardwood forest. The Preserve contains a Golden Saxifrage Forested Seep Community, of which there are fewer than six known to occur in the state. It serves as an anchor, along with Brandywine Creek State Park to the south, for more than 2,000 acres of protected lands (including 1100 acres of Conservation Easements and private Nature Preserves) creating a corridor between Brandywine Creek State Park and open space in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Brandywine Creek watershed. Six first order streams that ultimately flow to Brandywine Creek originate on the Flint Woods Nature Preserve. Two of these flow northward into Pennsylvania.
Amenities: Loop Trail (pedestrian only), parking along Rt. 52 in Centreville, DE
Acreage: 138 acres