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Israel Marshall's Home, Auburn Heights at Auburn Valley State Park

Israel Marshall’s Home, Auburn Heights at Auburn Valley State Park. Photo: Smallbones, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Although it is often an overused phrase, Auburn Valley State Park in Delaware really does offer something for everyone.

Set within 360 acres of pristine landscape, the park is situated along Red Clay Creek, just 20 minutes from Wilmington, which provides a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy a relaxing day out.

While the park offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and kayaking, its main attraction is the Auburn Heights Mansion. This features a wonderful collection of antique automobiles and steam engines that were once used on the estate.

As well as the museum, this Delaware state park hosts a number of popular car and steam engine related events throughout the year. It is also a noted spot for picnicking, birding and photography, for those who have an interest in it.

Activities

The main drawcard of this park is the antique automobiles and steam engines that are on display at the museum.

However, park guests can also enjoy several other outdoor leisurely activities while they are there.

Outlined below is a brief overview of some of the most popular things you can see and do at Auburn Valley State Park.

Antique automobiles and steam engines at Auburn Valley State Park

If you are a lover of classic cars you will definitely want to check out the Marshall Steam Museum.

Within it you’ll find a remarkable collection of antique automobiles and steam engines that date back to the early part of the 20th century.

The museum’s mission is to preserve, interpret, and demonstrate the impact of the steam engine on American life, and visitors can see this history firsthand through the many exhibits it has on display.

The museum’s collection includes rare steam cars, tractors, and locomotives, as well as gasoline-powered automobiles that were once used on the estate. The highlight of the collection is the impressive 1916 American LaFrance fire engine, which is fully restored and operational.

In addition to the museum’s exhibits, visitors can also take a ride on the Auburn Valley Railroad – a miniature train that winds through the park’s picturesque grounds.

Events at Auburn Valley State Park

Throughout the year, Auburn Valley State Park hosts a variety of events including car shows, antique tractor and engine shows, and other special shows.

One of the most eagerly anticipated is the annual ‘Auburn Heights Invitational’ car show, which attracts car enthusiasts from all over the region to view vintage and classic automobiles in a beautiful park setting.

Additionally, the park hosts ‘Steam Engine Days’ that showcase various antique steam engines and tractors in operation, along with demonstrations and exhibits on early 20th-century farm life.

At other times, it also offers a range of educational programs, including guided tours of the Auburn Heights mansion and workshops on early automotive technology and steam engines.

Arguably the most fun time to come here is during the holiday season, when the park is transformed into a festive wonderland with holiday light displays, train rides, and even a visit from Santa Claus!

Fishing at Auburn Valley State Park

If you enjoy fishing, you will want to bring your rods and reels with you to the park as there are three ponds located within it where you can cast a line.

Each pond is stocked with a variety of fish species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. Visitors can choose to fish from the shoreline or rent a watercraft to access deeper waters.

Additionally, the park offers a fishing pier that provides an accessible fishing opportunity for visitors with disabilities.

should you want to fish at the park, you will need to secure yourself a valid fishing license if you are above the age of 16.

Trails at Auburn Valley State Park

The trails at Auburn Valley State Park are a great way to explore the natural beauty of its landscape.

Overall, the park has over 7 miles of trails that meander through the forested areas and along the scenic Red Clay Creek.

Hikers can choose to attempt several well-marked trails including the Auburn Heights Trail, which winds through the historic Auburn Heights Preserve. This offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and several excellent photographic opportunities.

Bikers can ride on the park’s paved trail or on the unpaved trails that offer more challenging terrain and showcase several species of its native flora and fauna.

Pets

Pets are welcome to join you at Auburn Valley State Park.

However, owners are expected to abide by the park’s pet policy if they choose to bring them on their visit.

These rules state that all dogs must be kept on a leash of a maximum of six feet at all times. It also decrees that pets are not permitted in certain buildings.

For a full overview of the policy it is worth contacting the staff at the main office.

Camping

As Auburn Valley State Park is a day-use park there is no camping available onsite. However, there are several campgrounds in the surrounding area that visitors can use as a base to explore the park and the wider region.

One of the most popular options is Lums Pond State Park, which is located just a short drive from Auburn Valley. Lums Pond offers a range of camping options, including tent sites, RV sites, and cabins. The park also features opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, and horseback riding.

Another solid nearby option is Killens Pond State Park. This is situated around 20 miles south of Auburn Valley and features campsites for tents and RVs, as well as yurts and cabins.

In addition to hiking, fishing, kayaking, if you stay here you’ll get to enjoy a water park.

Park Location

Auburn Valley State Park
3000 Creek Rd,
Hockessin, DE 19707
Phone: 302.729.4280

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Auburn Valley State Park: