London Tract Road at White Clay Creek Preserve to Chadds Ford
The 18 miles of Map 10 connect the White Clay Creek Preserve to the eastern terminus in Chadds Ford. The trail begins on roadways and weaves in and out of various county and state parks and preserves.
From the London Tract Road at the White Clay Creek Preserve in Pennsylvania, the trail follows Broad Run Road for approximately .6 mile. Use caution as there is no berm or sidewalk bordering the road and cars travel at a surprisingly fast speed.
Turn left onto Buttonwood Road and, after a mile, enter the Somerset Lake neighborhood. The trail follows an asphalt sidewalk through the housing development that curves around the Somerset Lake. Follow Buttonwood Road uphill and turn left onto Southwood Road. Walk about a half mile and cross Route 7 and enter Delaware.
Turn right on Sassafrass Drive and enter the Southwood housing development. Immediately turn left onto Slashpine Circle, walk .2 mile and turn left onto an asphalt walking path between 2 homes.
Cross Valley Road and enter the Swift Memorial Park, Hockessin, Delaware. Follow the walkway around the sports fields and past the local library. Exit the park, turning left onto Old Lancaster Pike and then right onto Valley Road.
On Valley Road, pass the historic marker for St John the Evangelist Church, and continue to the Old Wilmington Road.
Turn left onto Meetinghouse Road and pass the Hockessin Friends Meeting House on the left. Continue walking .8 miles to Auburn Road, passing the Dupont Middle School at .7 miles. The school is a great place to park if hiking during evening or weekend hours.
Turn right onto Auburn Road and then .4 miles later, turn left onto Benge Road. Cross over the Red Clay Creek and follow Route 82. Be cautious here as there were confusing blue blazes indicating a right turn through the parking lot and over a walking bridge in the Auburn Valley State Park. Check out the park map for additional parking areas and trails.
Walk past the magnificent historic Marshall Mansion, built in 1897. (Tours are available by appointment. Call the State Park office at 1-302-729-4280). Cross Creek Mill Road and follow the stone path uphill toward the State Line Woods Preserve.
For 2.5 miles, weave through the grassy and wooded Preserve. Look carefully for the trail markers and blue blazes. We made several wrong turns in this region of the trail.
Exit via a pipeline right-of-way at mile 10.4. This was also confusing as there were “no trespassing” signs beside the MDTS blue markings. Walk through the grassy right-of-way and join Fassett Drive, a residential road..
Follow roadways for the next 5 miles of the trail system. At mile 10.6, turn left onto Nine Gates Road, walk .6 miles, turn right onto Old Kennett Pike and then a quick left onto Burnt Mill Road. Stay on Burnt Mill Road for .9 miles and then turn right onto Fairville Road. Walk on Fairville Road for 1.5 miles. Be cautious when crossing Route 52, as the traffic, including tractor trailer trucks, travels by quickly.
At mile 14.3, turn right onto Cossart Road, a lovely “country” road. A note on the paper map requests that hikers avoid this section during the December and January hunting months. Walk 1.4 miles and then turn left onto a grassy path (at mile 15.7).
Follow the blue blazes through the woods and floodplain toward the banks of the Brandywine Creek. At mile 17.2, walk briefly uphill to the railroad tracks, and follow them to the left for about 40 feet. Be cautious as this is a live track. Look for the blue blazes on the wood posts of the tracks, turn right, and proceed down the embankment into the woods.
The trail curves to the left, following the Brandywine Creek northbound for about .3 mile. The path then curves further to the left away from the creek, crossing the railroad tracks a second time.
At mile 17.8, cross both Fairville Road and another set of railroad tracks, passing the Chadds Ford Industrial and Business Center on the right. Return to earth trail and then connect to an asphalt path to the Eastern Terminus at Route 1 (Baltimore Pike).
The terminus is near the Brandywine River Museum and a great way to celebrate the end of the hike. Note: the museum is temporarily closed due to the September 2021 flood.
Parking options west to east
Note: mileage below is based upon the paper maps of the Mason Dixon Trail Club and not by my gps mapping in the AllTrails app. Parking is designated in the AllTrails map as a second source of information.
Mile 0 – Lot #1 of the White Clay Creek Preserve has plenty of parking spaces close to the trail
Mile 4.8 – Parking lot at the SwiftPark, off Route 41, Lancaster Pike
Mile 6.2 – Parking lot at the H. B. Dupont Middle School, available during non-school hours
Mile 7.3 – Auburn Heights State Park parking lot, Benge Road
Mile 9.1 – Small parking area on Merrybell Lane at the State Line Woods Preserve
Mile 17.6 – Parking lot at the Chadds Ford Industrial and Business Center, Fairville Road
Mile 18 – .1 mile from the Eastern Terminus, parking lot at the Chadds Ford Elementary School, available during non-school hours
Mile 18 – .4 mile from the Eastern Terminus, parking lot at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road