Its February, 2009 and we need to get out of town. Our house is on
the market and we're having an open house. The
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge
is an easy drive and looked
like a fun place to explore. Its south of
Rock Hall, MD
and we'd been there before. From Reston, its
a little over 2 hours to get there. You go through Annapolis, MD
on Route 50 and cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Then you take
Route 301 head into rural Maryland. The refuge is
managed by the
US Fish and Wildlife Service
. Its located where the Chester
River meets the Chesapeake Bay. There's several trails to walk and
the kayaking looks very good.
never been there in the summer so we only know about winter. I
assume its a little different but still nice. As you first come
onto the island, you come to
Boardwalk. It doesn't
amount to much of a board walk but there were a bunch of swans there.
I don't think I've seen that many swans in one place.
We headed south to the visitor's center to get oriented. We talked
to the lady that worked there and looked around. The Tidal Marsh
Overlook Trail is out back. It is short and leads to a blind.
We mainly saw Canada Geese but there was a lost Tundra Swan with them.
Maybe he thought he actually was a goose. They can't look at a
mirror after all.
From there we drove down to look at the Wicklife Historic Site. It
was cold and there weren't obvious attractions so we turned around and
headed north. As you drive, there are lots of open fields.
It wasn't clear to me what was normally in them. If I find out,
I'll add it here.
north we head. This time to the Bayview / Butterfly Trail.
Its north of the visitor's center and a short drive from the main road.
When you get there, you come to a house with a windmill and solar
panels. The garden for the butterflies was out back
and you can imagine there wasn't much going on. You walk a short
trail to the Bayview Overlook. Its kind of pretty as you look
across the Bay toward Kent Island and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Follow the path as it heads north. It stops at a
blind. It lets you watch a wood duck box and a
pretty pond beside it. Nothing there in February but it could be
interesting at the right time of year.
the street was the Wildlife Trail. Its only a half-mile and we
planned to walk it all. There's a spur that goes into the marsh and it
sounds like it might be interesting.
about half way. A
flew into the woods near us and
entertained us for more than a half hour. I had the wrong camera
lens with me and walked back to the car. When I got back, it was
still there. It flew to change trees a few times but never far.
I took a ridiculous amount of pictures and some turned out decent.
As the eagle flew, it headed back the way we came in. We just went
back and kept taking pictures. One of these days, maybe we can
walk the whole trail.
By now we're hungry. We continued north heading to Bogles Wharf.
We passed the road to the Ingleside Recreation Area. Its operated
by Kent County and is only open from May 1 to September 30. It is
the point to launch kayaks and canoes. Picnic tables are also
Wharf also has a launch for boats. A kayak can launch here for
free. If you have a boat on a trailer, you must obtain a
Kent County permit
. We ate lunch watching eagles over the Chester
River. Not too bad, I think. I watched one eagle catch a fish. You
can kind of see it in the picture in the album. The area is pretty.
Not sure they've got enough parking for a lot if kayakers / fishermen
but it would be worth a try. This area to me looked a lot nicer for
kayaking than the Bay side did. The permit isn't a problem if you're a
kayaker and that's a good thing.
Next stop was the Tubby Cove Boardwalk. It leads to a blind
letting you look over the marsh and across the Bay. There were
some swans in the distance. We got a picture of swans flying away
with the Bay Bridge in the background. You can see it in the
final walk was the Boxes Point Trail. Its a 1.2 mile round-trip
walk through an open forest that takes you to Boxes Point. You can
look across Fryingpan Cove towards the bridge you crossed coming to the
island. There wasn't a lot of action from birds other than a gull
putting on a show. Eagle sightings are supposed to be common but
we didn't see anyway. Maybe they were all at the Wildlife Loop.
Eastern Neck NWR made for a nice day. It might be nicer in the
summer when you could paddle around. Maybe we'll make it back
sometime when its warmer. The was only one problem with the day.
We looked for a Dairy Queen most of the way home and didn't find one.
Oh well. At least, it was a nice day trip.