Nearly nine miles of roads and trails are open to visitors much of the year. Seven hiking trails and boardwalks are available for those wishing to observe the varied habitats and wildlife of the refuge. In order to protect wildlife and their habitats, visitors must stay on designated trails or roads. Please be aware that ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes are abundant, especially during the summer months.
This 1/2-mile loop trail begins and ends at a trailhead on the main refuge road. The trail never leaves the forest, although it passes close to wetlands in several places. Songbirds are plentiful along this wooded trail, particularly during fall and spring migrations.
From the parking area on Bogle's Wharf Rd., this trail begins in a wooded area dominated by loblolly pine and bordered by marshes, where evidence of previous prescribed fires is visible. This section of the trail is a good place to see migrating warblers and other songbirds in the spring. The trail then moves into a field of tall grasses and open marsh. Finally, the trail moves through an area of scattered loblolly pine and deciduous trees before terminating at the bank of the Chester River. Waterfowl may be visible here during late fall, winter, and early spring. The trail is one mile round-trip.
Park at the Tubby Cove parking area and walk back a short distance along the main road toward the entrance bridge. This broad trail begins along the border between the forest and marsh. The trail then bends to reveal an agricultural field on the right, where migratory Canada geese often gather in the fall and winter. From there the trail enters a forest of mixed evergreen and deciduous trees with a very open understory. The forest fades to marsh as the trail nears its terminus at Boxes Point. Waterfowl, including tundra swans, are often visible here in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Bald eagle sightings can be common from this point, particularly in the spring and early summer. The trail is 1.1 miles round-trip.NOTE: Boxes Point Trail may be closed seasonally due to bald eagle nesting activity.
From the Tubby Cove kiosk and parking area, this wooden boardwalk extends over a healthy and diverse marsh to a wooded "island." Once on the island, the boardwalk passes through a stand of loblolly trees to two viewing platforms. The main path leads to an accessible viewing blind. A roughly-defined trail from the main path extends to an elevated viewing platform providing a look out over the Bay and into Calfpasture Cove and Tubby Cove. The boardwalk is less than 1/4-mile round-trip.Note: The wooden surface of the boardwalk is old and has some uneven portions. Please be careful!
Located behind the Headquarters/Visitor Center, this accessible boardwalk offers visitors a chance to meander through a native meadow to a photo blind overlooking the Chester River. In early morning, look for waterfowl and other water birds starting out their day in the pond just beyond the photo blind.
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