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Alapocas Run State Park


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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.

Bancroft Bridge Update

After historic floods from the remnants of Hurricane Ida during the last week of August in 2021, the Bancroft Bridge was struct with high flood water and heavy debris causing severe damage. The Division closed the bridge and performed structural analysis to determine the impact of the damage. The Division has a written report and recorded a presentation of the findings and alternative solutions evaluated to fix or replace the bridge.

View the video presentation from the October 27, 2022 meeting.

View the video presentation from the February 10, 2022 meeting.

Available are also the follwoing presentations:

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: Medicinal Plants

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

6:30 PM

Join Roger Mustalish and Chief Dennis Coker for a disussion on Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Healthcare: Health and Healing Traditions of the Lenape-Then and Now. The Lenape people of Delaware and the surrounding region developed complex, rich and sophisticated health and healing traditions with the use of native medicinal plants at their core. This program will explore these traditions in two parts. The first part of the program will introduce the plants through a -virtual plant walk- that formed the basis for Lenape healing traditions, with a focus on plant diversity, the part of the plant that was used, how it was prepared, and for what conditions it was used. The second part of the program will include a hands-on portion during which contemporary medicinal plant preparations will be presented and experienced. A major take away from this presentation will be that while the health and healing traditions of the Lenape people go back millennia, they also exist today, and the contributions of the Lenape people have been well integrated into our mainstream approach to holistic health and wellness.

Add to Calendar 2/15/2023 6:30:00 PM 2/15/2023 8:00:00 PM America/New_York Winter Tavern Tales: Medicinal Plants Join Roger Mustalish and Chief Dennis Coker for a disussion on Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Healthcare: Health and Healing Traditions of the Lenape-Then and Now. The Lenape people of Delaware and the surrounding region developed complex, rich and sophisticated health and healing traditions with the use of native medicinal plants at their core. This program will explore these traditions in two parts. The first part of the program will introduce the plants through a -virtual plant walk- that formed the basis for Lenape healing traditions, with a focus on plant diversity, the part of the plant that was used, how it was prepared, and for what conditions it was used. The second part of the program will include a hands-on portion during which contemporary medicinal plant preparations will be presented and experienced. A major take away from this presentation will be that while the health and healing traditions of the Lenape people go back millennia, they also exist today, and the contributions of the Lenape people have been well integrated into our mainstream approach to holistic health and wellness. Alapocas Run

Advanced Basket Weaving

Saturday, February 18, 2023

9:00 AM

Shaker cheese basket – Students MUST have prior basket weaving experience. This six-sided weaving was invented by the Shakers in the 1700s. The cheese basket is used as a type of colander in which the curds and whey would be poured into a fabric lined basket and the whey would run through leaving the cheese curds. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, February 15. $60 per person, register online. For more details please call 302-577-7020.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/18/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/18/2023 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Advanced Basket Weaving Shaker cheese basket – Students MUST have prior basket weaving experience. This six-sided weaving was invented by the Shakers in the 1700s. The cheese basket is used as a type of colander in which the curds and whey would be poured into a fabric lined basket and the whey would run through leaving the cheese curds. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, February 15. $60 per person, register online. For more details please call 302-577-7020. Alapocas Run

Introduction to Seat Weaving

Saturday, March 4, 2023

9:00 AM

This class will discuss the history of the chair and the various types of traditional seat weaving: rushing, Shaker tape, splinting, paper splinting, hand caning, pressed caning and French Continental caning. Students will construct a sampler of traditional hand caning. Attendance in this class is REQUIRED in order to qualify for Advanced Caning and Advanced ladderback seating (rushing, splinting etc.) that will be offered later in the year. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, March 1. $50 per person, register online. For more details please call 302-577-7020.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 3/4/2023 9:00:00 AM 3/4/2023 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Introduction to Seat Weaving This class will discuss the history of the chair and the various types of traditional seat weaving: rushing, Shaker tape, splinting, paper splinting, hand caning, pressed caning and French Continental caning. Students will construct a sampler of traditional hand caning. Attendance in this class is REQUIRED in order to qualify for Advanced Caning and Advanced ladderback seating (rushing, splinting etc.) that will be offered later in the year. Pre-registration and payment required by noon, March 1. $50 per person, register online. For more details please call 302-577-7020. Alapocas Run