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The largest urban park in Delaware, Brandywine Park was also the first established park in Wilmington. It is situated on the banks of Brandywine Creek, and it is known for its bucolic atmosphere. This area in the heart of Wilmington is home to beautiful bridges, elegant fountains, picturesque gardens, and more.

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By Car 8 minutes
By Walk 30 minutes
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Address 1080 N Park Dr, Wilmington, DE 19802, United States

Monday - Sunday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm  

The park was notably designed by Samuel Canby and Frederick Law Olmstead, who was responsible for the design of Central Park in New York City. Olmstead is considered the father of landscape architecture—he helped make open green spaces more and more popular in the late 1800s, when public parks began to rise in prominence in Europe. Olmstead’s design philosophy centered around utilizing the naturally occurring features of an environment to enhance the overall effect; Brandywine Park is laid out with this in mind. Olmstead’s countless other creations include the Niagara Reservation in New York, the Biltmore Estate grounds in North Carolina, the landscape of the U.S. Capitol Building, and much more. 

In 1883, the Delaware legislature passed a bill providing for public parks for the use of the state’s residents, and creating a Board of Park Commissioners to oversee the construction and management of said parks. Samuel Canby was the first president of the Board, as well as chief engineer of what would become Brandywine Park. With Olmstead’s consultation, the area by Brandywine Creek was chosen for the park, and construction was completed in 1886. 

The park was originally a simple homage to Delaware’s natural country environment, but it has expanded in function and features since. The park covers 178 acres of land across both the North and South banks of Brandywine Creek. Brandywine Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, 90 years after it was established, and it is now a popular space for recreation. 


Much of the park’s 178 acres have remained untamed wilderness and open meadows, but many walking trails and paved paths wind through the area. The park is home to multiple gardens: two formal gardens, a rose garden, and a cherry blossom garden. The Brandywine Zoo also occupies part of the park. Brandywine Park’s other facilities include athletic fields, playgrounds, and a sports stadium. Its longest trail is a 2.2 mile loop that is best for biking and running. The Friends of Wilmington Parks also helped to establish a Fitness Trail in Brandywine Park, which consists of four exercise stations along a path. 

Brandywine Park is one of Wilmington’s local treasures; a park, in part, designed by the famous father of American landscape architecture. Visitors can enjoy a relaxed picnic lunch, a stroll through the formal gardens, a run along the creek, and much more during a visit to this historic park. Entry to this peaceful retreat is free. 

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