Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area

Quick Facts

Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area

Maryland

(410) 827-7577

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Wye Island NRMA is located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay between the Wye River and the Wye East River. Of Wye Island's 2,800 acres, 2,450 are managed by the Department of Natural Resources State Forest and Park Service for agricultural and resource management. A major emphasis at Wye Island is to provide suitable habitat for wintering waterfowl populations and other native wildlife. Wildlife viewing and hiking are the most popular activities on the approximately six miles of trails. Special managed deer hunts by permit only are held each Fall, mid October to mid December, to help maintain the ecological balance between the white tail deer herd at Wye Island and their habitat.

Map of Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area (MD)

Latitude, Longitude: 38.889430, -76.146927

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Activities

  • Boating

    The Wye River is a very popular destination for boaters looking for a quiet place to relax and enjoy fishing and crabbing. Kayaking and Canoeing are excellent ways to explore the beautiful ever changing shoreline. There are no boat launching facilities on Wye Island. The closest public launch facilities can be found in Queen Anne and Talbot Count park facilities located nearby. Information on these ramps can be found by contacting the Queen Anne County Parks and Recreation Office at 410-758-0835 (www.qac.org), or Talbot County Parks and Recreation Office at 410-822-2955 (www.talbgov.org). The coves found around Wye Island provide excellent anchorage for the night or weekend. Consult local navigational charts for details. The most popular spots are Granary Creek and Dividing Creek, located off the Wye East River and anchorages near Drum Point on the Wye River. Boaters are permitted to come ashore and explore Wye Island NRMA. When coming ashore boaters are urged to use good judgment, and pick a spot where the shoreline is gently sloped to minimize any ecological damage.

  • Bicycling

    Bicycling is popular but visitors are encouraged to approach this activity with respect for the environment. Bicycles may be off limits in some areas during specific times of the year due to trail conditions. Please call ahead to confirm access.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is also permitted from the shoreline at Wye Island NRMA. All anglers 16 years of age and older must have a Maryland Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License and any other applicable permits required. Anglers are reminded to follow Leave No Trace (LNT) practices and reduce their personal impact on the sensitive vegetation along the shoreline.

  • Hiking

    Wildlife viewing and hiking are the most popular activities on Wye Island's six miles of trails. The School House Woods Nature Trail takes you through a mature hardwood forest while the Ferry Landing Trail leads beneath a canopy of Osage Orange Trees. Wye Island also houses a Holly Tree that is more than 290 years old. Follow the Holly Tree Trail to visit this long-time resident.

  • Historic Sites

    For over 300 years, Wye Island was privately owned and managed for agricultural use, including tobacco and wheat farming. Two of the most noteworthy owners were William Paca and Charles Beale Bordley. Mr. Paca, third governor of Maryland and one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, owned half of the island north of Dividing Creek. Mr. Bordley was a distinguished lawyer and jurist who owned half of the island south of Dividing Creek. In the 1770's Mr. Bordley gave up his law career to devote his life to farming and make Wye Island totally self-sufficient. Under Mr. Bordley's control, the island prospered with its own vineyards, orchards, textile production, brick yard, and even its own brewery.

    Eventually the island was sold off into separate farms. The most influential owners were Glenn and Jacqueline Stewart. Ultimately they owned a majority of the land and turned Wye Island into a cattle ranch. The Stewart's built the hunting lodge (Duck House), which remains today on Granary Creek. In the mid 1970s the encroaching threat of residential development forced the State of Maryland to purchase the island to ensure its preservation.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is popular but visitors are encouraged to approach this activity with respect for the environment. Horses may be off limits in some areas during specific times of the year due to trail conditions. Please call ahead to confirm access. Equestrian Riders are prohibited on the Schoolhouse Woods Nature Trail due to the sensitive nature of the area.

  • Hunting

    The white tailed deer population is specially managed by permit only hunts held each Fall and Winter. These hunts help maintain the ecological balance between the whitetail deer herd and their habitat. There is also limited fox chasing and raccoon hunting available, also by permit only. For more information, contact the facility office at 410-827-7577.

    Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area (N.R.M.A.) will allow both archery and firearms deer hunting in the 2009-2010 season. As in the past, all hunts will be by permit only.

    Hunting Dog Field Trails: Each November Wye Island is the site of several field trial championships. Past field trial championships include the National German Shorthaired Pheasant Association Championship, the American Pointing Dog Championship and the Maryland Amateur Pointing Dog Championship. The general public is encouraged to watch or participate in these events. For more information on specific dates, contact Wye Island NRMA office at wye-island-nrma@dnr.state.md.us.

  • Picnicking

    During certain times of the year, the park's pavilion can be reserved for a service charge of $175 per day.

Directions

Driving

From Bay Bridge (East bound): Travel 12.5 miles eastbound on Route 50 and turn right onto Carmichael Road. Travel 5.1 miles on Carmichael Road until you cross the Wye Island Bridge and on to Wye Island. After traveling a short distance information can be found on Wye Island at an information kiosk. Parking is available at several locations along Wye Island Road.

From Easton (West bound): Travel westbound on Route 50 to the Maryland Route 213 traffic light. Continue west on Route 50 for three miles and look for sign (Wye Island NRMA). Turn left onto Carmichael Road. Travel 5.1 miles on Carmichael Road until you cross the Wye Island Bridge and on to Wye Island. After traveling a short distance information can be found on Wye Island at an information kiosk. Parking is available at several marked locations along Wye Island Road.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(410) 827-7577

Links