Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland

4.7
#7 of 8 in Wildlife in Maryland
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, a part of the Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, is a 2286acre island located at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay. Established in 1962 as a sanctuary for migratory birds, Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge provides natural habitat for over 240 bird species — including bald eagles and transitory peregrine falcons — and is a major staging site for tundra swans.The refuge comprises the entirety of Eastern Neck Island, projecting into a bend of the Chester River. The island was one of the first settled places in Maryland, where Major Joseph Wickes was granted 800acre in 1650 and built the now-vanished "Wickliffe" mansion.HistoryThe island was visited in precolonial times by Woodland period Native Americans, who left shell middens, arrowheads and pottery behind. From 1658 to 1680, Joseph Wickes and his partner Thomas Hynson assembled the entire island under their ownership, farming the land. Captain Lambert Wickes, Joseph's great grandson and captain of the, is memorialized with a monument on the site of Wickliffe. The island was owned by the Wickes until 1902, who continued to raise a variety of crops on the land. After 1902 portions of the island became hunting preserves. In the 1920s, wealthy individuals from surrounding cities were attracted by the waterfowl concentrations and bought portions of the island for hunting retreats. The present visitor contact station was built as a hunting lodge in 1930.
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Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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  • We arrived super early at Eastern Neck NWR on a gorgeous July morning. The light on the birds was incredible, and a few even posed for photos. The Refuge officially opens at 7:30 A.M., however there a...  more »
  • In decades past, the Chesapeake was noted for the huge flocks of waterfowl (geese, swans and ducks) that came every winter to escape the ice and snow of Canada. Thanks to improving water quality and t...  more »
  • During hunting season the refuge may close for the day so check first. The boardwalk was closed when we were there in mid October. Very disappointed. There are paved and gravel roads. We walked 1/2 mi...  more »
Google
  • Seemed very cool. Wish I had more time to explore fully. Will definitely go back.
  • This park is a preserve and does not have amenities that National Parks have. It's Headquarters/Store is only open seasonally so check ahead on dates. It does present a good view of the area's wetland wildlife, to include bald eagles.
  • We visited in April and saw lots of osprey, terns, and an adult and juvenile bald eagle. Good hiking and driving .
  • Nice refuge to visit, boat launch, hiking trails, and fishing area. Also free to enter.
  • nature at its best and beutiful landscapes lots of bald eagles and other wild life

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