First State National Historic Park is Delaware’s first national park, designated under the Antiquities Act by President Barack Obama in 2013. The park includes six individual sites spread throughout the state of Delaware: New Castle Court House, Green, and Sheriff’s House, Dover Green, Fort Christina, Old Swedes’ Church, John Dickinson Plantation, and the Brandywine Valley. Our project site, the Brandywine Valley, is perhaps the NPS’s most unique park, including more than 1,300 acres of rolling agricultural fields, pastures, forested hills, and streams. Our team helped the National Park Service inventory and map all the existing trails on site – nearly 30 miles!
Now, we’re challenged with shaping the park’s future. This includes developing and implementing a long-range strategy and comprehensive trails plan for the park that will: accommodate diverse user groups including hikers, equestrians, and cyclists; highlight cultural and natural resources; provide trailhead access in key areas; recommend removal or restoration of visitor-created trails and unsustainable trail routes; and consider trail reroutes and new trails where appropriate. The trails plan is expected to be adopted in 2024.