Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is a 2286-acre island located at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay. Established in 1962 as a sanctuary for migratory birds, Eastern Neck NWR provides natural habitat for over 240 bird species - including American bald eagles and transitory peregrine falcons - and is a major staging site for tundra swans.
Eastern Neck NWR serves as a land-use model within the Chesapeake Bay watershed through its sustainable agriculture, wetland restoration, native landscaping, and renewable energy demonstration projects. An easy day-trip from the metropolitan areas of Baltimore, Philadelphia, and the nation's capital, Eastern Neck NWR is an increasingly popular nature tourism destination on Maryland's upper Eastern Shore, attracting over 70,000 visitors annually to its waterfront vistas, peaceful walking trails, and "watchable wildlife."
Kent County operates the Ingleside Recreation Area and Bogles Wharf landing within the refuge. The Ingleside Recreation Area, on the northwest side of the refuge, has facilities for crabbing and car-top boat launching from April 1 to September 30. Picnic tables are available for use during these months. Bogle's Wharf landing is located on the east side of the refuge and offers trailered boat launching facilities (county permit required - not available at the refuge office). Please visit the Boating Kent County site (http://kentcounty.com/recreation/boating/launchramps.php) for more information on how to obtain a permit.
The marshes at the refuge are a winter home for large flocks of ducks, geese and swans that visit the Chesapeake Bay as they migrate along the Atlantic Flyway. The refuge is also home to the bald eagle and many wading birds.
Fishing opportunities are available at the refuge entrance from the bridge that spans the Eastern Neck Narrows, the Tundra Swan Boardwalk, and Bogles Wharf. Crabbing is also popular.
Nearly nine miles of roads and trails are open to visitors most of the year. Seven foot trails and boardwalks, four of which are universally-accessible, are available for those who wish to observe the varied habitats of the refuge. Trails vary in length from less than 1/4 mile to nearly 1 ½ miles.
Note: Ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes are abundant, particularly in the summer. The use of a repellent is highly recommended.
Eastern Neck NWR welcomes a variety of school and youth groups throughout the year for leader-guided environmental education programs on the Chesapeake Bay, migratory birds, forested habitats, and other topic
Public hunting of white-tailed deer is permitted on Eastern Neck NWR on specific days that are annually designated by the refuge manager in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Hunters must obtain a permit to hunt at Eastern Neck NWR. The refuge also offers Wild Turkey hunting for youth hunters. Visit http://www.fws.gov/northeast/easternneck/hunting.html for more information.
Many species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects find a home on the refuge. The Bayscape Garden contains over 40 native species of wildflower. Some of the highlights include: goldenrod (solidago), columbine, rudbeckia, coreopsis, phlox and gaillardia.
The Friends of Eastern Neck, Inc.
The Friends of Eastern Neck, Inc. is a non-profit organization that supports the missions of the USFWS and Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge through financial, advocacy, and volunteer support.(410) 639-7056
From the West: T ake U.S. Route 50/301 East across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge ($2.50 toll). Continue on Route 301 North after Routes 50 and 301 split. Exit Route 301 onto Route 213 North towards Chestertown. In Chestertown, turn left from Route 213 onto Route 291. At the end of this short bypass, turn right onto Route 20. Follow Route 20 South for 12 miles into Rock Hall. At the caution light, turn left onto Route 445. Follow Route. 445 approximately seven miles from Rock Hall to the refuge entrance bridge.