Thursday, January 29, 2015

Brandywine Creek State Park, DE

Brandywine Creek State Park - Delaware State Parks
 From what I could find online it appears that there are only two hunting days in December.

GPS Coordinates 39.797987, -75.573318

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Rockland Parking Lot

Brandywine Creek State Park Trail Map - Delaware State Parks
Although there are a few old, faded blazes, trails aren't actually blazed that there are posts with markers at most intersections.
Brandywine Creek State Park, DE at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.8 miles

A couple of discrepancies - the map says the Rocky Run Bridge is closed and will be reopening Spring 2015, this sign says the bridge is closed and there is no way through to Thompsons Bridge.
This sign says there is a temporary bridge open. Didn't matter to us since my plan was to go up along Rocky Run and cross over upstream but it was a mystery I wanted to solve.
The hike starts on the wide crushed stone Brandywine Trail with the Longwall Trail leaving to the right.
A little farther along the a trail to the left leads to a bench and an interpretive sign ...
... where you can take a footpath to the left of boulders ...
... to the Creekside Trail along Brandywine Creek.
Brandywine Creek
There are a couple of small side stream crossings.
A male common merganser.
A female common merganser.
Meeting of the mallards and the mergansers, and there was quite a bit of quacking in passing.
Ah ha!  The open temporary bridge - so one can get through to Thompsons Bridge crossing here.
The closed bridge which will reopen later this year right next to the temporary bridge.
But we turned right and crossed over the Brandywine Trail to the Rocky Run Trail.
After a few steps a 3-way split and no trail markers.  I think the far right is the Rocky Run Trail but wanting to stay closer to the water, we went left on unmarked.
Rocky Run
The unmarked trail eventually runs back into the Rocky Run Trail.
Not happy with where the Rocky Run Trail crossed the Rocky Run so continued along Rocky Run on an unmarked trail.
Ruins in the woods.
A better crossing a way upstream ...
... to return on the other side of Rocky Run.
Meeting back up with the Rocky Run Trail where it crossed over.
Back at Rocky Run Bridge.  We crossed over and continued on the Creekside Trail.
Female Hooded Merganser
Coming up on Thompsons Bridge.
Why would you want to eat ANY after reading this sign?
And after some Googling, the reason why.
Parking lot at Thompsons Bridge.
Brandywine Creek from Thompsons Bridge.
At the end of the guardrail, left to the Hidden Pond Trail.
Hidden Pond
Taking a break along Brandywine Creek.
So much carving on the trees!
Looks like this huge old tree was spared.
Coming up on Pennington Bridge.
After crossing the bridge, a left leads back to the parking lot.
An old dam in Brandywine Creek from the Pennington Bridge.

[  0.00]  Start on the wide gravel Brandywine Trail
[  0.20]  Keep left at T-intersection
[  0.35]  Keep left at fork towards interpretive sign and bench; turn left before interpretive sign, descend to Creekside Trail, turn right on Creekside Trail
[  1.40]  Turn right at Rocky Run Bridge, cross over the Brandywine Trail to Rocky Run Trail, at 3-way fork keep left on unmarked along Rocky Run
[  2.00]  Left on Rocky Run Trail
[  2.10]  Where the Rocky Run Trail crosses Rocky Run, turn right and continue along Rocky Run on unmarked
[  2.50]  Cross Rocky Run to the left at stone ruins, left on other side of Rocky Run
[  2.75]  Continue straight when Rocky Run Trail comes in from the left
[  3.30]  Cross Brandywine Trail, continue to Brandywine Creek, turn right on Creekside Trail
[  3.80]  Turn left on Route 92 and cross Thompsons Bridge
[  3.95]  Left on Hidden Pond Trail just after guardrail
[  4.05]  Left at T-intersection on Hidden Pond Trail
[  4.45]  Turn right on Hidden Pond when Indian Springs goes straight
[  5.00]  Left on Hidden Pond when Indian Springs goes right
[  5.10]  Left on Indian Springs when Hidden Pond goes right towards Nature Center
[  5.25]  Left on Indian Springs when unmarked goes right
[  5.55]  Right on unmarked along Brandywine Creek when yellow continues straight (no marker)
[  6.65]  Left on Adams Dam Road across Pennington Bridge, left after bridge
[  6.80]  Back at parking