The Brandywine Conservancy, in partnership with the Chester County Planning Commission, is excited to announce the completion of the Brandywine Creek Water Trail feasibility study. A part of the Brandywine Creek Greenway initiative, this study outlines recommendations for a formalized route along the Brandywine Creek for recreational use, enhanced by connections to land trails.
Focusing on the east and west branches of the Brandywine, the Water Trail project encompasses Coatesville and Downingtown in Pennsylvania, stretching to the Brandywine Creek State Park in Delaware. Recommendations include improving safe public access and put-in locations with proper amenities; creating wayfinding signage and a water trail map; and establishing an online presence to promote the Water Trail, including sharing important updates or safety concerns with users, good stewardship practices, and reminders to respect and avoid privately owned property unless formal permission is granted by landowners. The final report containing a complete list of recommendations can be found at: www.brandywine.org/water-trail
“We are truly grateful to our partners at the Chester County Planning Commission and the many institutions who lent their expertise and guidance on this project,” noted Ellen Ferretti, Director of the Brandywine Conservancy. “Working together, we look forward to the next phase of implementing key aspects of the Brandywine Creek Water Trail to provide safe and sustainable access to the creek; identification of issues related to privately owned property versus public access along the creek; and sound guidance for creek users.”
“A partnership between the Chester County Planning Commission and the Brandywine Conservancy made perfect sense for this project,” said Brian O’Leary, Executive Director of the Chester County Planning Commission. “The Brandywine Creek is a wonderful resource for many of our local residents, and we want to continue to enhance stewardship and promote proper use of our waterways.”
Once complete, the Brandywine Creek Water Trail will be a 22-mile water route that connects communities to the creek in Pennsylvania and Delaware, improving access to the waterway for responsible recreational and educational use, while also protecting and enhancing the natural, scenic, cultural and historic resources along the river.
“We applaud the Brandywine Conservancy and the Chester County Planning Commission for their hard work in preparing this Water Trail feasibility study for Brandywine Creek,” said Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “Our agency’s mission is enhanced by the collaborative effort of these key partners and the implementation of the study’s recommendations over the coming years. The Brandywine is a cherished aquatic recreational resource in southeastern Pennsylvania, and this study will help lay the foundation upon which to sustain that for future generations of users.”
This project was financed in part by funding from the William Penn Foundation to the Brandywine Creek Greenway. The Chester County Planning Commission also contributed in-kind staff time for this project. The project was guided by a Study Advisory Committee that included representatives from a variety of institutions and partners, including municipal employees and officials; local non-profit scientific institutions and land trusts; County Emergency Services; natural resource based State agencies from both Pennsylvania and Delaware; the National Park Service; and local canoeing and kayaking outfitters. Two open houses and an online survey were conducted to gather public feedback on current routes that are in use; areas that are unsafe and need improvement; sites where additional access would be helpful; and opportunities for stewardship and education.