By Sally O’Byrne, Teacher Naturalist
The weather could not have been more perfect for the first ever Delaware Nature Society trip on the Lower Brandywine – a trip through the rarely experienced urban wilderness of the Brandywine on the Coastal Plain. We launched our canoes at the abandoned ‘Up the Creek’ Restaurant boat ramp at low tide. This boat ramp is almost directly on the confluence of the Brandywine and Christina Rivers. The water in the Brandywine was crystal clear, and we could see the bottom for virtually the entire trip.
Much of this trip took us past old industrial sites which are now being used for a different purposes. Canoeing at low tide allowed us to see old boat slips, docks, and foundations that gave a clue to the river’s industrial past.
We traveled under the Amtrak RR bridge, and it was obvious that this bridge was built to rotate open for tall boats – Boats that most likely traveled up to the mills at Superfine Flour Mills, which were at Market Street.
Market Street marks the head of navigation, where the Piedmont hits the Coastal Plain, and this is where we turned around. We saw the Brandywine Water Treatment facility, Superfine Land Condos, and shouted to office workers who were jealous of our day on the water.
We finished our canoeing and returned to the former Up the Creek Restaurant, with kudos to our urban explorers, including 93 year old Dr. Bob! (could he hold the title for oldest Delaware Nature Society canoeist ever?)
Hope to see more of you on this trip next year!