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Closure Notice: The Bancroft Pedestrian Bridge over Brandywine Creek in Alapocas Run State Park is closed indefinitely due to flood damage that occurred in September 2021. Please check the trail manager website for more information.
The Northern Delaware Greenway Trail is historically significant as the oldest and longest off-road trail in Delaware. Currently spanning 10.4 miles, the trail was also the impetus for the creation of the Delaware Greenways organization in the 1990s. Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail links many of Wilmington’s parks and greenways.
Though the mile markers along the trail start from its eastern end in Fox Point State Park, these first 2.7 miles of trail are currently separated from the rest of the path by I-495. A future 9-mile trail connection from Claymont to Fox Point State Park will eventually connect these two segments, but for now trail users will have to make a separate trip to Fox Point if they want to enjoy the picturesque views of the Delaware River that stretch of trail offers.
Begin your journey on the 7.7-mile portion of the trail at its eastern terminus in Bellevue State Park. As the trail goes through the park’s eastern end, it passes the Cauffiel House and Estate, a Colonial Revival–style home built in the early 1900s. (The trail technically ends at I-495, but the section past the trail sign along Cauffiel Parkway is an overgrown wooded area, so it’s recommended for hikers and bikers only.) The park offers amenities for numerous other outdoor activities, including fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, and tennis.
Continuing west, you’ll travel through Rockwood Park, home to an 1850s mansion built in the Rural Gothic Revival style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the west side of the park, you’ll travel north along Rockwood Road, which becomes Talley Road, and then head west paralleling the residential Weldin Ridge Road.
A particularly scenic, wooded stretch comes next. It runs through Alapocas Run State Park, where visitors can check out the Blue Ball Barn. The converted dairy barn is now home to the Delaware Folk Art Collection, which features works from more than 50 local artists. You can also view historical mills across Brandywine Creek with accompanying historical displays along the trail. Hiking trails provide additional opportunities to explore the wooded park on foot. The state park offers rock climbing as well, though a permit and advance reservations are required.
Much of the trail is filled with rolling curves and short drops, so leave the inline skates at home, and instead enjoy a nice stroll or a fun bike ride with family and friends. (If you do the trail in the reverse direction, note that a very steep uphill section runs from Brandywine Creek to the northeast through Alapocas Run State Park, so plan accordingly.) As the trail heads south from the state park, the segment adjacent to Park Drive, built on a former rail corridor, offers a more level grade.
At its western end, the trail connects with the Brandywine Creek Path at North Market Street and is only 1 mile northeast of the Wilmington Riverwalk, offering more access to residential communities, schools, businesses, parks, and cultural sites.
Like many urban trails, the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail is well used by commuters during the workweek. The trail is also part of the larger East Coast Greenway, a growing network of multiuse trails connecting 15 states and 450 cities and towns on a 3,000-mile route between Maine and Florida.
Parking for the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail can be found at the state parks along its route: Brandywine Park in downtown Wilmington, Alapocas Run State Park in northern Wilmington, and Bellevue State Park in eastern Wilmington (near Bellefonte). At Bellevue State Park, the park’s main parking lot is 0.6 mile south of the park entrance on Carr Road and access to the trail is at the northern end of the parking lot. Additional parking can be found at Rockwood Park (4671 Washington St), Brandywine Park (parking lot located under I-95 along N. Park Drive), Fox Point State Park on Lighthouse Rd, and Alapocas Run State Park by the Blue Ball Barn (1914 W. Park Dr).
Please note that there is a state park vehicle entrance fee.
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