Destinations » Marshes & Inland Waterways
The marshlands of Delmarva are nature's filter for all of life on the peninsula; making them a critical resource in need of protection. They are perhaps undervalued by area travelers because of the challenges of mosquito's, horse flies, and other biting insects. But for hearty individuals, who love being on the water, there is nothing like the peaceful atmosphere and special wildlife sitings to be had among them.
Enjoy Delmarva's inland waterways from a canoe or kayak and experience lush quiet beauty accented by the calls of many bird species and other wildlife. The links below are to places with public access. There are also many public boat ramps that can be found on any road map. Be sure to click on locations of interest and check local sites for more specific information.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge: Near Smyrna, Delaware this refuge is one in a chain offering habitats for migratory birds.
Port Mahon Preserve: This area on the Delaware Bay includes Bombay Hook and the Little Creek State Wildlife Area with tidal marshland, coastal dunes and beaches; and it is a great place for shorebird enthusiasts.
Holts Landing State Park: Part of Delaware State Park, this has unique pier through the marsh to the bay just for crabbing.
Killen's Pond State Park: Biking and hiking trails are available, including a 3.2 mile path around their pond. Recreational areas includ e playgrounds and a water park. Boat rentals are available.
Trap Pond State Park: These wooded freshwater wetlands boast the home of the northern most natural stand of bald cypress trees. A great birding site: look for the pileated woodpecker! Boat rentals are available.
Lums Pond: This man-made pond with St. George's creek at it's source provides a boat ramp, camping, and horse trails.
Marshes & Inland Waterways
Deal Island Wildlife Management Area: Come see this great tidal marsh which has many lagoons, cuts and ditchways. The 13,000 acre tract also has a 2,800-acre man-made pond as well as forested wetlands. Birds, crustacean, fish, and other wild life are abundant here.
Fairmount Wildlife Management Area: Home to waterfowl, marsh and shore birds, this management area also has trails for hikers and all terrain bicycles.
Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area: Thirteen thousand acres of marshland hosts the largest concentration of herons, ibis and egrets in Maryland.
South Marsh Island Management Area: Once a hiding place for pirates, this island, which is five miles across Tangier Sound is home to peregrine falcon nesting and other wetland natives.
Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (formerly Horsehead Wetlands Center): Trails take you to a variety of ponds recreated to represent different habitats from around the world. Also be sure and visit the aviary.
Janes Island State Park: Once home to the Native American Annemessex Nation, this park offers camping and cabins. Some areas are only accessible by boat.
Ellis Bay Wildlife Management Area: The waterfowl and shore birds can best seen by boat in this area, which can be found in Wicomico County.
Taylor's Island: Best seen during winter, when the insect population has diminished, Taylor's Island is a classic example of Chesapeake Bay tidal marshland. Accessible by boat it is used mostly by hunters and the most hearty wildlife enthusiasts in search waterfowl, shorebirds, whitetail and sika deer.
Pocomoke Sound Wildlife Management Area: This tidal marsh is a great place to see the glossy ibis, a variety of waterfowl and nesting barn owls.
Choptank River Fishing Piers: The bridge that used to carry heavy traffic along Route 50 has been recycled to provide a convenient place for fishing and crabbing. They are not bad spots for some birding as well.
Martinak State Park: On the Choptank River not far from Denton, Maryland, this is a park with full service camping, boat access, trails and special activities. A great place to take the family.
Idylwild Wildlife Management Area: Not far from the Victorian charm of Federalsburg this forestland is nestled along the fresh water stream and marshes of Marshyhope Creek. Trails, which are great for hikers and all terrain bicycling, yield great views of wetland forest inhabitants and wild flowers.
Maryland Marine Properties WMA: Stop by this enchanting place near Pocomoke City where you can watch osprey snatching fish from the water and dove feeding on a lovely sunflower field planted just to encourage the local wildlife.
Nanticoke Wildlife Management Area: See eagles, barn owls, and wild turkeys nesting. Or take your canoe to one of boat ramps to paddle Broad creek out to the Nanticoke River.
Pocomoke River State Park: This is actually home to two parks: Shad Landing on the east side of the river and Milburn Landing on the west side. You'll find full service camping and forest trails as well as activities and play areas for kids. Don't miss canoeing or kayaking among the Bald Cypress trees on one of the most unique waterways on the peninsula.
Eastern Shore Of Virginia & Fisherman's Island National Wildlife Refuge: Every fall you can see the amazing invasion of migratory birds and butterflies making their annual stop here.