Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Facility Rules and Policies

The wildlife drive and trails are open from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset with an entrance pass.

The refuge is open for nature photography, wildlife observation, hunting, environmental education and interpretation. To protect the natural resources of the refuge and to provide all visitors with a safe and enjoyable wildlife experience please observe all refuge signs and regulations in handouts and brochures.

Rules and Regulations

Permitted Activities

  • Driving, biking and walking on the wildlife drive in accordance with state law.
  • Hiking on designated trails.
  • Hunting in accordance with refuge specific and state regulations. 
  • Nature photography, wildlife observation, and nature study.
  • Dogs on a leash no more than 10ft in length. All dog waste must be collected and disposed of properly.

Prohibited Activities

  • Feeding, capturing or releasing animals.
  • Collecting, removing, disturbing, injuring, or destroying plants, animals, or objects of antiquity or any other natural object alive or dead.
  • The use of mechanical or electronic devices to lure or attract wildlife.
  • Unmanned aircraft systems (Drones).
  • Unleashed pets and other domestic animals including horses.
  • Fishing or crabbing from refuge roads, trails, or lands.
  • Fires, fireworks, camping, overnight stays.
  • Off road vehicles, blocking traffic on roads and at gates.
  • Swimming; water skiing; kayaking and canoeing in impoundments.
  • Geochaching or digging, burying or disturbing the ground.
  • The use or possession of unauthorized weapons. Target shooting. Firearms are prohibited in all federal buildings.
  • Entering or remaining on the refuge while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances or consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Soliciting, advertising, or conducting a commercial enterprise.
  • Recreational Trapping.
  • Littering.
Covid-19 Responce FAQs

What is open/accessible?

The refuge is open daily from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. This includes the wildlife drive and five designated trails. The visitor center is currently closed.

Where can I get information about the refuge?

Information about the refuge is available on the refuge website and pamphlets are available in the visitor center foyer.

Are restrooms available?

There are two accessible portable toilets available. They are owned and regularly serviced by a local company. One is located in the parking lot of the visitor center and the other at the parking lot for Bear Swamp Trail.

When will the visitor center resume normal operations?

The Service is monitoring COVID-19 status and guidance provided by the State of Delaware in determining the reopening of the visitor center.

Where can I obtain passes? (Senior Lifetime, Senior Annual, Interagency Annual, Access and Military Passes)

The listed passes are available on the United States Geological Survey website (USGS) at:

What can I expect to see when I visit?

Large numbers of Canada geese have arrived. Snow geese are starting to appear. Duck numbers have increased as pintail, mallard and black ducks begin their fall migration. There are also coots, grebes and tundra swans Avocets and other shorebirds are here in good numbers. Common species include Canada geese, snow geese, gadwall, mallard, black duck, pintail, America widgeon, wood duck, northern shoveler, blue-winged and green-winged teal, scaup, bufflehead, ruddy duck, red-breasted and hooded merganser.