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Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway

Byway Profile

County:

Length:

Drive Time:

New Castle

12.25 mi

About 1 hour

About the Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway

The Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway (BVNSB) extends from Rodney Square in Wilmington on Routes 52 and 100 to the Delaware – Pennsylvania State Line. 

 

  • Beginning in downtown Wilmington at Rodney Square, the Byway travels north past late 19th-century houses of worship such as Church of the Holy City (Swedenborgian), Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church; and then early 20th-century planned neighborhoods including Wawaset Park, Kentmere Parkway (designed by Frederick Law Olmstead), Bancroft Parkway, Rockford Park and the Highlands.

 

  • Leaving the City of Wilmington, the picturesque, preserved landscapes of numerous American country estates come in view. Today, these estates remain largely intact and greatly enhance the Byway travel experience. Visitors can explore rooms full of antique furnishings, discover what life was like decades ago and participate in exciting, educational activities.

 

  • Travelers can visit the grounds of du Pont family estates and gardens.  These prominent cultural institutions are listed below. 

 

  • Along the Byway corridor, landscaped gardens are a vital component of the historic landscape associated with country estates of the early 20th-century.  Noted landscape architects such as Marian Cruger Coffin (1876-1957) designed elegant formal gardens at estates such as Mt. Cuba, Winterthur and Gibraltar. Unique historic gardens are also found at Hagley, Nemours, and Goodstay Center.

 

  • The vistas at the Methodist Country House, Wilmington Country Club, Delaware Museum of Natural History and Winterthur represent the beautiful images that are typical of the Brandywine Valley landscape.

 

  • The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway includes portions of Route 52 (see map below). Inspired by the recorded movements and contacts made by Harriet Tubman in Delaware, the route includes sites and pathways associated with Tubman, as well as those associated with other documented Underground Railroad travelers and conductors. As the last slave state, Delaware was a critical leg to freedom. Harriet Tubman and other “conductors” led more than 3,000 Freedom Seekers through Delaware. 

Image Gallery

Watch the Byway Video

Download the Byway Map

Explore the Harriet Tubman Underground Railway Byway Story Map

Things to Do Along the Byway

Modeled after Versailles, Nemours is a masterpiece of design with its mansion, fountains, artwork, gilded sculpture and what is reputedly the largest formal French garden in North America.

http://nemoursestate.org/

The mission of the Delaware Art Museum is “to connect people to art, offering an inclusive and essential community resource that through its collections, exhibitions, and programs, generates creative energy that sustains, enriches, empowers, and inspires.”

https://delart.org/

Winterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860 displayed in the magnificent 175-room mansion.

https://www.winterthur.org/

The Delaware Museum of Natural History was founded in 1957 and is the oldest natural history museum in Delaware. It is known for its extensive collections of seashells, birds, and bird eggs.

https://www.delmnh.org/

Mt. Cuba Center is a “botanical garden unlike any other” and was recently selected as Best Botanical Garden in North America in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

https://mtcubacenter.org/

Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E.I. du Pont in 1802. This example of early American industry features indoor and outdoor exhibitions, including restored mills, a workers community, and the ancestral home and garden of the du Pont family.

https://www.hagley.org/

Longwood Gardens is an American botanical garden. It consists of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows and is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States

https://longwoodgardens.org/

Visit our partners’ website for additional information on the Byway:

Trails Near the Byway

Brandywine Greenway Valley Trail Picture

Brandywine Trail

Easy hiking and biking trail in Brandywine Creek State Park. View wooded landscapes, spring wildflowers, and wildlife along the trail.

Creekside Trail

Creekside Trail

Hiking and biking trail of moderate ability Brandywine Creek State Park. You will see native wildflowers and occasional beaver activity. Remnants of the Rockland Mill visible at trail exit.

NDGT GrandparentsKids

Northern Delaware Greenway Trail

The Northern Delaware Greenway Trail links Bellevue State Park and Brandywine Park and the City of Wilmington through a series of trails that travel some of the most beautiful landscapes in Delaware.

Looking for Project Plans?

Delaware Greenways is working
to preserve and protect the Byway

View Our Other Scenic Byways

Historic Lewes Byway

Miles of preserved beaches, open space, nature trails, bird sanctuaries, and settled historic districts

Delaware Bayshore Byway

Historical small towns, lush marshes and some of the best birding on the east coast.

Welcome to our Website Scavenger Hunt!

Here’s your chance to win an official Delaware Greenways t-shirt!

Find and click on the five special icons that we’ve hidden around our website. Collect all five to enter into a drawing for one of 25 t-shirts.

The scavenger hunt ends at midnight on Sunday, May 16, 2021. Good luck!

Here’s what you’re looking for:

Discover Your Path

Clue: Is this trail your "JAM?"

Projects

Clue: What kind of "Clay" do "Foxes" like?

Drive a Byway

Clue: "Bayshore" you drive, get some gas!

Join us

Clue: "Volunteer" and have some fun!

Events

Clue: Lots to "Celebrate" in April!

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