This was a nice trip for the whole family. We were worried about the river being too low here in June, but we were informed it is actually "great" for this time of year. We were told a 4-hr trip, but it was really a 5-hr trip, so some amateurs were exhausted by the end. A 2-hr trip is also available, but I don't know the put in details.
The river was mainly a wide run, with little shade. There were a few spots a little more tricky where inexperienced people needed help navigating (2 didn't listen and went over - what a blast!).
A relaxing ride, unless it's around rainy season. From what I hear, when it rains, people love to shoot it like whitewater. I would ask more information before I tried it, though.
2 of us own LiquidLogic Tryons, which navigated well. I had my niece in a rented Tandem (Otter), and we had an easy time getting through everywhere. 5 others rented a variety of kayaks, mainly 12-14ft, and, except for the inexperience 2 suffered on the faster waters, easily ran the river.
No need to stay over, but if you have to drive to get there, there is a Days Inn at the BEAVER VALLEY RD (Rt 92) intersection. On Rt 92 east, there is a Wawa convenience store if you need drink or food for the trip.
If you want to rent kayaks, singles were running $47 for the trip as of June 2006. The takeout location is also a fee area.
Put it at Brandywine Picnic Park - from the north, I would say take 202S. You need to get off on 322W towards West Chester, and then get back around like taking a left. Just before 202 & 322 merge together, make a right on Tigue Rd. Dead end, make left on Rt 52S. 52 merges with Creek Rd and park will be on your right.
Take out, 202S across DE state lines to BEAVER VALLEY RD (Rt 92W). Follow Rt 92 W through first left onto RAMSEY RD, which, if you keep going straight on Rt 92W, will become THOMPSONS BRIDGE RD. You'll hit the park on Thompsons Bridge Rd.
Put in was at Brandywine Picnic Park, jsut below West Chester University and just west of Radley Run Country Club (I find maps.google.com to be helpful in navigating there). I hear the owner is picky on people parking there, but there are limited pull-offs with 50 yards where parking is available.
Take out was in Brandywine Creek State Park on the north side of Thompsons Bridge Road, but there is more convenient parking just south of the bridge in the park, but not really a landing dock.
Wildnerness Canoe Trips, Inc manages the trips and provides info. Wilmington, DE 302.654.2227
Only need books if you want to change the route. Everything was pretty easy to spot.