Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Chesapeake Gateways written in white on a blue background.
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts
Kent County, MD
National Wildlife Refuge

Benches/Seating, Bicycle - Rack, Boat Ramp, Canoe/Kayak/Small Boat Launch, Cellular Signal, Dock/Pier, Fire Extinguisher, Gifts/Souvenirs/Books, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information - Maps Available, Parking - Auto, Parking - Boat Trailer, Picnic Table, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Wheelchair Accessible

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is in Kent County, Maryland, at the confluence of the Chester River and Chesapeake Bay, and is one of fifteen national wildlife refuges found in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The varied habitats of this 2,285-acre island, including brackish tidal marsh, forest, cropland, grassland, and open water impoundments, provide a home for a variety of wildlife species.

The site has a history of inhabitation for thousands of years, with Native American tribes using the land for hunting and gathering. English colonists used the land for farms and other agricultural practices such as logging, orchard growing and raising cattle. By the early 1900s, the island had become a popular hunting retreat. Following development pressure in the 1960s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquired the entire island to preserve the valuable wildlife habitat and natural resources. Today, the refuge serves as a major stop for migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway, with various outlooks and trails providing premium wildlife watching spots and a visitor contact station that offers information, interpretive displays, and restrooms.

Chesapeake Bay

Last updated: July 7, 2023