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

Winter Tavern Tales: African Americans in the Civil War

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

6:30 PM

Join historian Kathy Trusty for a presentation on free and enslaved Black men and women and their role in the Civil War. It puts a face to Black soldiers who fought for the Union cause and freedom as well as civilians who assisted the Union efforts. It examines the challenges that African Americans faced and looks at the role of Delaware in the war. Free

Add to Calendar 1/12/2022 6:30:00 PM 1/12/2022 8:30:00 PM America/New_York Winter Tavern Tales: African Americans in the Civil War Join historian Kathy Trusty for a presentation on free and enslaved Black men and women and their role in the Civil War. It puts a face to Black soldiers who fought for the Union cause and freedom as well as civilians who assisted the Union efforts. It examines the challenges that African Americans faced and looks at the role of Delaware in the war. Free Alapocas Run State Park

Winter Tavern Tales: The Delaware Continentals

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

6:30 PM

Join Ryan Schwartz from First State Heritage Park and discover how the tiny Delaware State was born amidst the fires of Revolution. Its legacy in the conflict was forged by the soldiers of the Delaware Regiment. Trace this distinguished regiment’s saga of courage and sacrifice and discover why their memory has left such a lasting impact on the First State today. Free

Add to Calendar 2/16/2022 6:30:00 PM 2/16/2022 8:30:00 PM America/New_York Winter Tavern Tales: The Delaware Continentals Join Ryan Schwartz from First State Heritage Park and discover how the tiny Delaware State was born amidst the fires of Revolution. Its legacy in the conflict was forged by the soldiers of the Delaware Regiment. Trace this distinguished regiment’s saga of courage and sacrifice and discover why their memory has left such a lasting impact on the First State today. Free Alapocas Run State Park

Basket Weaving

Saturday, February 19, 2022

9:00 AM

Learn traditional weaving techniques with master basket weaver Joan Betzold. It is February and in honor of that, this spectacular heart shaped basket was designed by the Shakers. It looks much more challenging than it is and is quite sturdy, despite its delicate appearance. It is a show-stopper hung on the wall or to serve goodies in!! Basket materials are provided and an additional supply list will be sent upon registration. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, February 16. $60 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/19/2022 9:00:00 AM 2/19/2022 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Basket Weaving Learn traditional weaving techniques with master basket weaver Joan Betzold. It is February and in honor of that, this spectacular heart shaped basket was designed by the Shakers. It looks much more challenging than it is and is quite sturdy, despite its delicate appearance. It is a show-stopper hung on the wall or to serve goodies in!! Basket materials are provided and an additional supply list will be sent upon registration. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, February 16. $60 per person Alapocas Run State Park

Art in Action

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

6:00 PM

Postage Stamp Sized Plein Air: Join local artist and naturalist Becca Roberts for a miniature lesson on plein air painting! Using delicate watercolor techniques and an observative eye; create a tiny impression of the Brandywine Valley landscape. Supplies provided. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, February 21. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/23/2022 6:00:00 PM 2/23/2022 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Art in Action Postage Stamp Sized Plein Air: Join local artist and naturalist Becca Roberts for a miniature lesson on plein air painting! Using delicate watercolor techniques and an observative eye; create a tiny impression of the Brandywine Valley landscape. Supplies provided. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, February 21. $5 per person Alapocas Run State Park