Wildlife Refuges & Sanctuaries

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Visitor’s Center

The 10,000 acre refuge is considered to have one of the best existing wetland habitat areas along the Atlantic Coast. The refuge provides nature trails, bird and wildlife watching, and ponds for canoeing and boating. Hunters and anglers find hours of quiet solitude in season. The Refuge is open daily, 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, year round. The Visitor’s Center is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, free of charge. Located on Route 16, just east of Milton. Call 302.684.8419 or visit www.primehook.fws.gov

James Farm Ecological Preserve

Managed by the Center for the Inland Bays, this land is preserved for exploration and educational purposes. Hiking trails, boardwalk trails and observation platforms yield peaceful views of the bay, salt marsh, a pond and the flora and fauna native to the area. Located on Cedar Neck Road, Route 257, Ocean View. Call 302.645.7325 or visit www.inlandbays.org

The Great Cypress Swamp

The most dominant geological feature on the central Delmarva Peninsula, the Swamp is owned by a private non-profit conservation organization. Access is limited, but a drive through the area yields amazing views of the large bald cypress trees and provides a feeling of wild remoteness. Located on Route 54 west of Route 113 near Selbyville.

Assawoman Wildlife Refuge

One of the best kept secrets along the Delaware-Maryland Coast. The preserve was created from nine farms, ranging in size from 30 to 325 acres. All were lost during the Great Depression and purchased by the U.S. Forest Service. Assawoman has been managed as a wildlife area since 1943. Most recently purchased was the Hickman Tract in 1989.  This tract contains a rare plant site and is home to the protected Delmarva fox squirrel.  The area contains 3 parts:  Miller Neck (1,335 acres), Muddy Neck (284 acres) and The Beach (76 acres). The Assawoman Wildlife Area is managed for migrating and wintering waterfowl, white-tailed deer and bobwhite quail. Also protected are the Canada Goose, black and mallard ducks, amphibians and reptiles.