Serving Visitors to the Historic Brandywine Valley, where Southeastern Chester County, PA meets Northern New Castle County, DE.
Brandywine Valley Outdoors
Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, Brandywine River Museum, Hagley Museum, Nemours Mansion & Gardens and more...

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Canoeing down the Brandywine, Viking Horse riding, Air Ventures hot-air ballooning.


Outdoors... Brandywine Getaways

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN THE BRANDYWINE VALLEY
The Brandywine valley offers visitors many outdoor activities to see and to do. Choose your interest and ask your innkeeper to help you put together your intinerary for a week or a weekend. Build your visit around an event like Winterthur's Point-to-Point steeplechase races in early May, a hot air balloon trip over the scenic Chester County countryside, or a ride on the Wilmington and Western Railroad, Delaware's oldest steam tourist railroad. Tube or canoe down the Brandywine in the summer, fish for trout, go birding, golfing, biking or hiking. The valley offers that and more for outdoor enthusiasts. Check the listing below for activities and events that interest you.

Outdoors in the Brandywine Valley

Brandywine Polo Club
The Brandywine Polo Club has three tournament-sized polo fields with ample parking for spectator viewing and tailgating. Fans are encouraged to bring picnics and enjoy the family friendly atmosphere. Polo will not be played if field conditions are wet so fans are encouraged to call ahead at 610-268-8692. Polo matches are on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer and periodically on other weekdays. Check the web site for current schedule. Admission charged.

Devon Horse Show
Started in 1896, The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is now is the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed horse competition in the United States. Since it's early beginnings, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair has grown from a one-day event to a ten-day horse and carriage show with a country fair atmosphere. The Devon Horse Show is held in May at the Devon Show Grounds in Devon, PA.

Gateway Stables
Trail Rides and Riding lessons on scenic trails and meadows. Located on Mary Bell Lane (off the Old Kennett Road) about 3 miles south of Kennett Square, PA. (610) 444 1255

Willowdale Steeplechase
A day at the races! Highlights of the Willowdale Steeplechase include Jack Russell Terrier Races, Police Dog Demonstrations, Pony Races and the exciting Willowdale Steeplechase race. The course is located on the northeast corner of Routes 926 and 82, in Kennett Square, PA. The Steeplechase is a day of fun for the whole family and is held in May.

Winterthur Point to Point
A highlight of the local social calendar, Point-to-Point is an old-fashioned country race featuring horse racing, antique carriages and elegant tailgate picnicking. Family fun tent, pony rides, Washington Memorial Pipe Band, Stick Horse Races. Corporate tents dot the landscape for this colorful event. Point to point is held in May on the grounds of Winterthur Museum. Check out the web site for details. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Viking Horse
For a unique horseback riding experience visit Viking Horse in West Chester, PA. Offering trail-riding experiences on the rare Icelandic Horse. Check out the web site for details or call (610) 517-7980.

Air Ventures
Hot air balloon flights over beautiful Chester County

Wilderness Canoe Trips
Offering canoeing, kayaking and tubing on the scenic Brandywine River. A fantastic way to spend a beautiful day outdoors. Reservations are required.

Northbrook Canoe Company
Offering canoeing, kayaking, tubing and splash boat trips along the scenic Brandywine River. Located in the heart of Chester County, PA in West Chester. Reservations are required. Open April through October 7 days a week from 9AM until dusk. Life jackets are provided for your safety

West Chester Railroad
Take a scenic, 90-minute railroad tour through parts of Chester and Delaware Counties. Popular tours include the Easter Bunny Express, Summer Sunday Picnic Specials, The Great Train Robbery, The Foliage Express and Santa's Express. Admission is charged, trains depart from Market Street in West Chester. Visit web site for hours of operation and other details.

Wilmington and Western Railroad
Climb aboard the Wilmington and Western Railroad, Delaware's oldest steam tourist railroad. The train departs from Greenbank station on Route 41 in Wilmington, DE. Train rides and special tours are available frequently so check the web site for further details.

American Helicopter Museum
"Voted Best Scientific Outing for Kids" by Philadelphia Magazine. The Museum's growing exhibitions and collections include over 35 helicopters, autogiros and convertiplanes, eight of which are accessible for hands-on experiences. Displays include five helicopters on loan from the Smithsonian, a V-22 Osprey and two kit helicopters the kids can enjoy. Highlights include family helicopter rides; check the web site for current schedule. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission charged.

Area Parks & More

Brandywine Creek State Park
Brandywine Creek State Park is located three miles north of Wilmington, DE at the intersection of Delaware Routes 100 and 92. The entrance is on Adams Dam Road. The park maintains 14 miles of trails for fitness, wildlife observation, and photography; the Creek Run Trail is open for bicycle use. The open fields are excellent for picnics, kite flying, and disc golf; and in the winter, for sledding and cross-country skiing. Trout fishing is available in the Brandywine Creek. Popular seasonal events such as the Halloween Haunted Trail and the Halloween Hootenanny are held for visitors' enjoyment.

Covered Bridges - Chester County covered bridges number fourteen and there are three in Northern New Castle County, DE. Smiths Bridge, only three miles from Winterthur, is a treasure not to be missed. The bridge, completely restored and reopened in December, 2002, crosses the Brandywine just below Granogue, the home of Irenee du Pont (the largest private estate in Delaware). Mercer's Mill Bridge is located just south of Atglen and is a convenient stop enroute to Amish Country. This bridge, located just west of PA 41 on Creek Road (Bailey's Crossroads Road), is considered one of the most picturesque in Chester County.

Marsh Creek State Park
Marsh Creek Lake is especially popular with sailboaters and windsurfers who take advantage of the combination of good natural terrain and prevailing wind to enjoy their sport. Nature lovers will enjoy a pleasant walk on hiking trails or the Larkins covered Bridge located in the northeast section of the park. The park is located in North Eastern Chester County, PA near Eagle off of Route 100.

White Clay Creek Preserve
The White Clay Creek Preserve is located in Landenberg, PA and Newark, DE and is part of a larger tract of land sold to William Penn in 1683 by Lenni Lenape Chief Kekelappen. In 1984, the du Pont Company donated land to Pennsylvania and Delaware for the purpose of preserving the unique plant and animal species, and the rich cultural heritage of the area. There are several points of historical interest in the Preserve. Visitors to the preserve are welcome to use the hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails. Trout fishing is also available.

Ridley Creek State Park
Shaded equestrian, hiking and bicycling trails lace the woodlands and old meadows, providing perfect places for relaxing. Within the park is the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation that depicts a Delaware County Quaker farm prior to the American Revolution. The park is located in Delaware County, PA off of PA Route 3.

Anson B. Nixon Park - The park's natural setting includes two ponds, meandering streams, woodlands including a beech grove with specimens dating back over 250 years, and three miles of walking trails. There is also a children's playground, sand and grass volley ball courts, an entertainment pavilion, 18 holes of disk golf, two stocked fishing ponds, two tennis courts, and multi-use athletic fields. It's a great park for everyone and in the summer there are a series of concerts. Open 7AM til sunset.

Ashland Nature Center - You can explore four self-guiding nature trails on 200 acres of meadow, marsh, pond and forest. A native plant garden showcases a variety of plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife. Inside, visitors will find exhibits focusing on habitats and a children's discovery corner, and murals depicting changes in the landscape during the past four centuries. Trails are open dawn to dusk.

Bellevue State Park - 328 acres of woods and fields on a former duPont family estate, including a 1-1/8 mile fitness track circling a catch-and-release fishing pond stocked with bass, catfish, and sunfish. Nearby exercise trail. Horseback riding and eight outdoor clay tennis courts.