Thanks to an adventurous friend, I recently discovered several beautiful parks near Wilmington Delaware.
I found irony in it, though. For the past two decades we ventured to that area, south of Pennsylvania, for the girls’ appointments at DuPont Hospital for Children. The drive is about an hour for us. We typically high-tailed it home after doctor appointments. We found it funny to willingly head south along I-95 for Wilmington, Delaware.
Nevertheless, on an overcast day we set off to check out Alapocas State Park and the Can Do Playground. We planned lunch along the Christina River and a stop at the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge. *I should note that this was during Covid-19 precautions.
Immediately the forest at Alapocas beckoned us in. Just as quickly, we also found ourselves a bit lost!
The most stressful part of our day was, in fact, finding parking at an accessible entrance to the Alapocas Park trails. We started by heading to the Can Do Playground completely underestimating the size of this state park. Fortunately, all was not lost when we found the playground closed due to the pandemic and some refurbishment. Parking there would have brought us too long a walk to get deep into the woods and along the Brandywine River trail.
We moved along, however it looked wonderful for anyone seeking an accessible playground experience. Their Facebook page suggests they are now open and boasting a new storybook trail! You can find more details on their website:
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.
After driving around for more than 30 minutes, we finally decided to park in a neighborhood. There was off street parking close to an accessible entrance.
Honestly, I still feel uncertain about our parking choice. While it was perfect for us, it felt odd. I did notice another car also park along the street and head out onto the trail. We parked on Alapocas Drive near the Friend’s School. Since that time I have come across a map on the website. I should have printed it!
We had a great time exploring some trails. We could have spent a lot longer.
The trails are beautiful paths in the woods, by the river AND along huge granite walls.
If we had never had that unfortunate experience with a zoo ostrich, we could have included a trip to the Brandywine Zoo!
However, zoos are no longer on our to-do list. The girls just won’t let it go. Ha! You may want to make it part of your day, though. We were soooo close to it in the Brandywine Park. The Brandywine Zoo comes with plenty of good reviews.
Instead, we took a quick break at the Riverfront for lunch…as a few storms rolled in.
I am pleased to say we HAVE eaten along the Riverwalk in Wilmington after a doctor’s appointment in the past. I really enjoy the vibe of sitting outside along the river. Fortunately they have both accessible bathrooms AND a covered walkway. We made use of both.
Once there was a brief break in the storms, we decided to use the River walk to get to the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge center.
When this Covid-19 craziness is over, we would also like to visit the Dupont Environmental Education Center located in the refuge! But with thunder echoing in the distance our time was limited and we just took a quick peek.
I am excited to go back again! The refuge center boasts beautiful boardwalk and paths around the area that is accessible to wheelchairs. We barely took it in before the clouds sent us scrambling for the van. But before we turned back we enjoyed the beautiful wetlands and even caught sight of a BALD EAGLE! What a treat!