Outdoor Adventurer

The parks, trails, and gardens of Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley offer lots of opportunities to get outside and commune with nature. So put on your explorer hat and join us on a one-day outdoor adventure.

Start your day in Newark’s White Clay Creek State Park, where more than 37 miles of trails are waiting to be discovered. White Clay Creek, a nationally designated Wild and Scenic River, is one of Delaware’s most heavily stocked waters, so fishing aficionados should greet the dawn by casting a line here. Pro tip: If you have time for just one trail, make it Bryan’s Field Trail, which provides great wildlife viewing opportunities and is conveniently connected to areas cleared for fishing. 

Alternatively, spend the morning at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, which protects one of the largest remaining expanses of tidal salt marsh in the mid-Atlantic region. At Bombay Hook, you have a chance to spot wildlife as diverse as bald eagles, white-tailed deer, and northern diamondback terrapins. 

In this Itinerary

From White Clay Creek, Newark’s Main Street is just a 10-minute drive away.  Pack in those well-earned carbs with Italian favorites at Caffe Gelato or dig into burgers and seafood at Hamilton’s on Main. 

Another great lunch stop is Historic New Castle, where Jessop’s Tavern and Colonial Restaurant serves up American and English fare, as well as Swedish dishes inspired by some of Delaware’s earliest European settlers. (If you brought your bikes, one of New Castle County’s most scenic rides, the Jack A. Markell Trail, leads straight from New Castle’s Battery Park to the Wilmington Riverfront.)

In the afternoon, head three miles north of Wilmington to Brandywine Creek State Park. You’ll find more than 15 miles of hiking trails here, and the park’s meadowland and old-growth forest provide excellent habitat for a great variety of wildlife. The 2.9-mile Brandywine Trail runs close to the creek, offering beautiful views. If you’re getting tired, we recommend the short Tulip Tree Woods Trail — just half a mile long and connected to the park’s nature center. (The nature center’s back porch has some of the best bird watching in the state.)

More to Explore

Alternatively, stay even closer to Wilmington with an excursion to Alapocas Run State Park, which features Delaware’s only natural rock-climbing wall. Park staffers are on hand to provide tips and basic equipment to make the climb safe and enjoyable.  

Wrap up your day of outdoor exploration by grabbing dinner with a view. At Wilmington’s Riverfront, restaurants like Banks Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar or Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant serve up deliciousness with a side of waterfront vistas.

Spotlight on Wilmington