Description - Established in December 1962, the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is a 2,285-acre island that serves as a major feeding and nesting ground for thousands of migratory and wintering waterfowl especially black duck. The refuge is also home to the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel and the threatened bald eagle. Management for the fox squirrel includes forest and cropland management, running a cooperative farming program and keeping the deer in check.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Canadian Geese preen themselves at sunrise
The topography is flat to gently rolling with elevation ranging from sea level to about 20 feet above sea level. Habitat is varied, ranging from croplands and woodlots to brackish tidal marsh and freshwater ponds. Eastern Neck, strategically located at the confluence of river and bay, was first settled in 1650.
Waterfowl management programs include maintenance of several "green-tree" reservoirs, planting of rye grass cover and maintenance of wood duck nest boxes. The refuge has nearly 6 miles of roads and several wildlife hiking trails which are open to visitors the year round.
- Nearly six miles of roads and trails are open to visitors most of the year. Four wildlife trails and a handicapped accessible boardwalk and observation tower are available for those wishing to observe the varied habitats of the refuge.
Kent County operates the Ingleside Recreation Area and Bogle's 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). Additionally, fishing opportunities are available at the refuge entrance from the bridge that spans the Eastern Neck Narrows.
Pets are permitted but must be leashed. The use of bug repellent is highly recommended.
Recreation - Viewing birdlife and in particular migrations, is by far the major attraction of Eastern Neck. Roads and trails are open for exploration on foot or bike (roads only). Boating, fishing, and crabbing are permitted. Several picnic tables are available.
Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.
The Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is located at the mouth of the Chester River in Kent County, Maryland.