Picture of Alapocas Run State Park

Alapocas Run State Park


Rock-Climbing Open

The rock-climbing wall is open; download our COVID Precautions: Rock Climbing flyer for information about climbing safely. For other information about other current safety measures in Delaware State Parks, please visit our COVID-19 page.

Find Your Adventure at Alapocas Run State Park

Alapocas Woods offers a short but scenic trail at Alapocas Run State Park.

Explore Alapocas Woods

Enjoy a leisure 0.7-mile-long hike through mature woodlands in the middle of the city. Look for native pawpaw trees and take in the sights and sounds of nature.

The blue rock cliffs at Alapocas Run State Park.

Observe the Blue Granite Cliffs

The cliffs, made of blue rock gneiss, offer a glimpse into the park’s quarrying past. These rocks were once used to help build the city of Wilmington!

The Blue Ball Barn at Alpocas Run State Park is the home of the Delaware Folk Art Museum

Discover the Blue Ball Barn

Step back in time at the Blue Ball Barn. Learn about the rich history of the area while touring The Delaware Folk Art Collection.

 

The Northern Delaware Greenway runs through Alpocas Run State Park

Ride the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail

Hike or bike through the natural and cultural history of Wilmington! Stop at historic overlooks to learn about the textile mills that once thrived throughout the region.

The Can-Do Playground at Alapocas Run State Park

Have Fun at the Can-Do Playground

Kids of all abilities can go for a swing, or play in the sand at Delaware's first "boundless playground." You can also read a new story on the Storybook Trail.

Rock-climbing at Alapocas Run State Park

Superintendent’s Pick: Climb the Rock Wall

Climb Delaware’s only natural rock climbing wall! Our staff offer top-rope climbing programs — with some basic tips and equipment, rock climbing can be a unique way to experience the park.

About the Park

Around Delaware’s beautiful Blue Rock cliff, formerly quarried and now home to the state’s only natural rock-climbing wall, natural resources like mature woodlands and the Brandywine River meet a rich industrial and cultural history at Alapocas Run State Park. The Blue Ball Barn, now a popular event space named for the Blue Ball Tavern that once served travelers in the area, was built in the 1900s as a dairy barn that supported A.I. DuPont’s Nemours estate. It now houses the Delaware Folk Art Collection and tells the park’s history in story form. Pawpaw trees, North America’s largest native fruit-bearing tree, grows in the forest understory. Delaware’s only venomous snake, the non-aggressive Northern Copperhead, occurs here. A Storybook Trail winds around the Can-do Playground, designed to be accessible to every child. Alapocas Run is also home to the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, a National Recreation Trail.

Park History

The land that became Alapocas Run State Park was donated to the city of Wilmington in the early 1900s by local industrialist William Bancroft. It eventually came to include the Blue Ball Barn, built in 1914 by Bancroft's neighbor, Alfred I. DuPont, who named the barn after an inn and meeting house that was once located near the property. Alapocas Run became a state park in 2002.

Blue Ball Barn

This extraordinary barn, progressive in its environmental design, is the current home of the Delaware Folk Art Collection. Renovations have created a multifunctional conference, special event and gallery space for events, weddings and conferences, featuring meeting rooms, a large banquet room and a secluded courtyard. The Blue Ball Barn was the first public building in Delaware to become a LEED-certified building, meaning it meets stringent environmentally-friendly building design standards.

Learn more about the Blue Ball Barn, including how to host your event here.

The Delaware Folk Art Collection

The collection currently contains over 120 works from Delaware artists, reflecting the diverse cultural backgrounds that make up the First State. Visitors are able to tour the exhibits in person at the Barn or take a virtual tour. The Blue Ball Barn is a Frommer’s recommended attraction.

Can-Do Playground

can do playground

The 27,000 square foot Can-Do Playground, is the first Boundless Playground™ in Delaware. Designed to be accessible to every child, regardless of physical, mental and sensory abilities, the playground was made possible with the help of six Wilmington-area Rotary Clubs. For more information about boundless playgrounds, visit the Can-Do Playground website.

Athletic Fields

Is your club, league, or group looking for a well-maintained area for games or other activities? Three versatile fields in the East Park section of Alapocas Run State Park offer a variety of opportunities for organized sports.

Sports Accommodated:

Fields 1 and 2: Soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, flag football, Ultimate Frisbee®, kickball

Field 3: Field hockey, flag football, Ultimate Frisbee®, rugby, youth soccer, youth lacrosse

The athletic field permit application available under Maps + Downloads on this page contains field reservation information and rates.

Rock Climbing and Rappelling

Alapocas Run State Park offers top-rope climbing and rappelling. In top roping, the rope is run from the climber through an anchor at the top of the climb, then back down to attach to the belayer. The belayer is able to stop a falling climber immediately, which makes top-rope climbing one of the safest forms of climbing. Rappelling is a controlled descent on a rope from an anchor on the top of a rock or cliff face. Like top-rope climbing, rappelling requires a mechanical device that can lock the rope, preventing an uncontrolled descent. The park offers climbing programs and camps.

More info can be found on our Rock Climbing page

A climbing permit is required to use the park’s rock wall; the application is available on this page under Maps + Downloads.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday Night Workshops: Basket Weaving

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

6:00 PM

Join us for a hands-on basket weaving workshop led by artist Joan Betzold. The history of basket making and prominent design styles will be discussed with the participants while they create an original Joan Betzold design. Registration required by September 15. Call 302-577-1164. Supply list will be provided upon registration. Limit 10 people, ages 13 and up. Free

Add to Calendar 9/29/2021 6:00:00 PM 9/29/2021 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Wednesday Night Workshops: Basket Weaving Join us for a hands-on basket weaving workshop led by artist Joan Betzold. The history of basket making and prominent design styles will be discussed with the participants while they create an original Joan Betzold design. Registration required by September 15. Call 302-577-1164. Supply list will be provided upon registration. Limit 10 people, ages 13 and up. Free Alapocas Run State Park

Introduction to Top Rope Rock Climbing

Saturday, October 2, 2021

9:30 AM

Discover the basics of outdoor top rope climbing. Get harnessed up and climb on our natural rock wall, after a brief introduction of equipment, climbing and safety. Helmets, harness and ropes provided. Park staff will instruct, guide and belay all climbers. Ages 8 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. Pre-registration with full payment required by noon Friday, the day before the program date. Register online; call 302-577-7020 with any questions. $26 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 10/2/2021 9:30:00 AM 10/2/2021 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Introduction to Top Rope Rock Climbing Discover the basics of outdoor top rope climbing. Get harnessed up and climb on our natural rock wall, after a brief introduction of equipment, climbing and safety. Helmets, harness and ropes provided. Park staff will instruct, guide and belay all climbers. Ages 8 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. Pre-registration with full payment required by noon Friday, the day before the program date. Register online; call 302-577-7020 with any questions. $26 per person Alapocas Run State Park

Twilight HIke

Saturday, October 9, 2021

6:30 PM

Join us on this family-friendly hike as we tread carefully into the twilight. Discover the story behind things that go bump in the night. Pre-register by Wednesday, October 6 at 302-577-1164. Free

Add to Calendar 10/9/2021 6:30:00 PM 10/9/2021 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Twilight HIke Join us on this family-friendly hike as we tread carefully into the twilight. Discover the story behind things that go bump in the night. Pre-register by Wednesday, October 6 at 302-577-1164. Free Alapocas Run State Park

Twilight HIke

Saturday, October 9, 2021

6:30 PM

Join us on this family-friendly hike as we tread carefully into the twilight. Discover the story behind things that go bump in the night. Pre-register by Wednesday, October 6 at 302-577-1164. Free

Add to Calendar 10/9/2021 6:30:00 PM 10/9/2021 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Twilight HIke Join us on this family-friendly hike as we tread carefully into the twilight. Discover the story behind things that go bump in the night. Pre-register by Wednesday, October 6 at 302-577-1164. Free Alapocas Run State Park

Eric Zippe Exhibit

Monday, October 11, 2021

8:00 AM

Multi-media artist, Eric Zippe will showcase a selection of works inspired by the mundane and often ignored parts of everyday Delaware environments. Through his experimental abstract and photographic realism, Zippe brings these moments forward and adds to their complexity with layers of mixed media. Exhibit runs through October 31. Park entrance fees in effect

Add to Calendar 10/11/2021 8:00:00 AM 10/11/2021 4:00:00 PM America/New_York Eric Zippe Exhibit Multi-media artist, Eric Zippe will showcase a selection of works inspired by the mundane and often ignored parts of everyday Delaware environments. Through his experimental abstract and photographic realism, Zippe brings these moments forward and adds to their complexity with layers of mixed media. Exhibit runs through October 31. Park entrance fees in effect Alapocas Run State Park

Introduction to Top Rope Rock Climbing

Saturday, October 16, 2021

9:30 AM

Discover the basics of outdoor top rope climbing. Get harnessed up and climb on our natural rock wall, after a brief introduction of equipment, climbing and safety. Helmets, harness and ropes provided. Park staff will instruct, guide and belay all climbers. Ages 8 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. Pre-registration with full payment required by noon Friday, the day before the program date. Register online; call 302-577-7020 with any questions. $26 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 10/16/2021 9:30:00 AM 10/16/2021 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Introduction to Top Rope Rock Climbing Discover the basics of outdoor top rope climbing. Get harnessed up and climb on our natural rock wall, after a brief introduction of equipment, climbing and safety. Helmets, harness and ropes provided. Park staff will instruct, guide and belay all climbers. Ages 8 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. Pre-registration with full payment required by noon Friday, the day before the program date. Register online; call 302-577-7020 with any questions. $26 per person Alapocas Run State Park

Basket Weaving

Saturday, October 23, 2021

9:00 AM

Learn traditional weaving techniques with master basket weaver Joan Betzold. The sled basket is appfoximately 5"" wide x 12"" long x 4 1/2 "" high. It can be used for candy or greens or filled with goodies or other small gifts for someone special! It has lots of interesting techniques incorporated.The student can choose to weave it in red, green, blues or plain. Online registration ends three days before the program. Call 302-577-7020 with any questions. $50 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 10/23/2021 9:00:00 AM 10/23/2021 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Basket Weaving Learn traditional weaving techniques with master basket weaver Joan Betzold. The sled basket is appfoximately 5"" wide x 12"" long x 4 1/2 "" high. It can be used for candy or greens or filled with goodies or other small gifts for someone special! It has lots of interesting techniques incorporated.The student can choose to weave it in red, green, blues or plain. Online registration ends three days before the program. Call 302-577-7020 with any questions. $50 per person Alapocas Run State Park