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Difficulty III
Length 8 Miles
Gauge Brandywine Creek at Chadds Ford, PA
Flow Range 2.00 - 4.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 2.88 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 12/12/2005 10:50 pm

River Description

The Brandywine drops over the fall line on this very historic stretch. Unfortunately, the vibe is spoiled by 12 dams, many of which need to be portaged.

Put in at the Brandywine State Park access on Rockland Rd. The first 1.5 miles are attractive flatwater with the Brandywine State Park on your right and Woodlawn Conservancy property on your left.

As you approach Rockland, there is a jagged sloping dam which can be run. I'd say it's about a 5 foot drop. There used to be a polluted paper mill here that has been rehabilitated into condos. You can also put in here.

After Rockland, you enter the Hagley Museum property, birthplace of the Dupont company. An incredible display of 19th century hydropower surrounds you, including dams, spillways, canals, the remains of gunpowder mills, and waterwheels and turbines that are still operational. Unfortunately the Hagley people are pretty paranoid so pull over in these beautiful surroundings at your own risk.

Continue into Wilmington and take out at Market St. downtown. About half of the dams on this section are sloping and runnable, the rest are vertical and dangerous. Maryland and Delaware Canoe Trails, Ed Gertler can give you further information about this reach.

Rapid Descriptions


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7 years ago

/ Hi travelers..I just want to say a big Hello from Athens!!..I hope you are in a good shape and in a good mood..Aki,my nfeird..Yes,you seem to be pessimistic..!!Don't do that please!!!I know it's difficult to get used in a different style of life after a world around trip..But you must feel blessed for that,and for all these moments of traveling..Every day it's a new day my nfeird..My proposal is to start writing a book for your journey around the world with Voula..!!Yes !!We want that..!!With more personal feelings and thoughts from your life trip..Think about it!!I just finished reading Hlias Vroxidis book..Great trip and great writing..!!Aki And Voula I send my love from mother Greece and i wish you the best!!You are Rock!!:))))LeonidasAthens,GreeceP.S Aki your best wild picture is unbelievable men!!!!What a moment!!!

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10 years ago

Another paddler lost his kayak minutes after this picture was taken. The wave-hole behind the big wave was very sticky and unpredictable. As a fellow kayaker, I ran most of the dams and have no intention of running the dams at any level in the future. Trashy, full of rebar , and very dangerous to say the least. If you do decide to run them, scout them first and be ready for the unexpected.

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Tom Halladay
11 years ago

The surf wave featured on the front page is NOT a realistic photo of what this creek is typically like. Normally the water level is not even high enough to run the dams. A word of caution, some of us WTC folks ran the Brandywine dams November 2008, even at just 2.75, some of the bigger dams' boil lines were out 4+ feet, making them pretty dangerous. I would not recommend running the dams without someone who has been through them, and strongly suggest foot scoutting the bigger dams from shore first.

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tucker deloach
11 years ago

That looks like an epic surf wave! Can somebody tell me about it?

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11 years ago

This river is in my backyard, and I have run it numerous times. 3 ft. note Chadds Ford is a good level for a run. The main Theme is the numerous dams: all of which are runnable at 3 ft. if you know how to run them. Not a major destination but fun for locals. Ed. R.

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15 years ago

Ran this on Saturday March 26, 2005. Level was 2.6. This run is pretty much flatwater & dams. We ran all of the dams but three at this level. One more might have gone, but piton potential was pretty high. Between the dams are perhaps 4 class 2 rock gardens. Scenery is a mix of pretty & urban industrial. We took out at the zoo just above the listed takeout. This cut out one last dam and another class 2 boulder garden. Many of the dams are pretty shallow - a flip would rip your head off. Having done the run once, I'm in no hurry to do it again.

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Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190252 12/12/05 n/a n/a