Brandywine River

All posts tagged Brandywine River

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.

Launching onto the Brandywine River.

Launching onto the Brandywine River.

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.

Floating past age-old industrial sites.

Floating past age-old industrial sites.

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.

This bridge once rotated to let tall ships sail up the Brandywine River.  Can you see the large gear?

This bridge once rotated to let tall ships sail up the Brandywine River. Can you see the large gear?

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.

A beautiful scene on the lower Brandywine River.

A beautiful scene on the lower Brandywine River.

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?)

Here we are at the end of our trip at the old Up the Creek Restaurant.

Here we are at the end of our trip at the old Up the Creek Restaurant.

Hope to see more of you on this trip next year!