The refuge is open everyday of the year from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
The Headquarters area is closed 2 days each year for limited deer hunting. Those dates are: November 16th, 2023 and January 18th, 2024.
Our administrative office is open Monday through Friday from 8am-4:00pm. The refuge does not charge an entrance fee; however you many obtain Federal Duck Stamps during administrative office hours.
The visitor center is open daily year round from 9:00am to 4:00pm, weather and volunteer dependent. The visitor center is wheelchair accessible and has educational displays and videos. The visitor center features taxidermy mounts, an auditorium where visitors can view nature films, information on things to do and places to see, and the Friends Store at Prime Hook gift shop (operated by the Friends of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge).
The refuge offers a memorable experience for everyone. Avid photographers can enjoy the beauty of wildlife from a photography blind and wheel-chair accessible observation platform. Visitors can connect with nature by strolling down six miles of walking trails or from their vehicles along the four State roads crossing through the refuge. Hunters flock to Prime Hook for deer, waterfowl, upland game birds, and other small game. Two ponds and our seven-mile Prime Hook Creek offer fishing and canoeing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enhance their understanding of natural resources through festivals, lecture & environmental education programs, and interpretive displays and activities.
About the Trails...
Blue Goose Trail: Designated for foot traffic. Includes arduous hiking over stumps & exposed roots. This 1.4 mile trail features upland fields, forest, freshwater marsh and several wildlife observation areas.
Dike Trail: Designated for foot traffic (wheelchair accessible). This 0.5 mile one-way trail features a wheelchair accessible observation platform overlooking the marsh and opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.
Pine Grove Trail: Designated for foot traffic. This 0.8 mile loop winds through a pine and hardwood forest adjacent to Turkle and Fleetwood Ponds and features a viewing platform overlooking the marsh.
Photography Blind Trail: Designated for foot traffic. This 0.3 mile trail offers visitors opportunities to photograph wildlife from a fully enclosed photography blind that is open on a first- come, first-serve basis.
Boardwalk Trail: Designated for foot traffic (wheelchair accessible). This 0.5 mile loop meanders through uplands, forested wetlands, and across 600 feet of freshwater marsh, offering visitors opportunities for wildlife observation, photography, and environmental interpretation.
Black Farm Trail: Designated for foot traffic. This 1.6 mile trail meanders through wooded uplands adjacent to agricultural lands and freshwater marshes.
Canoe Trail: Designated for canoes, kayaks, and motorboats (<25HP). This 7.0 mile trail (one- way) leads canoeing and fishing enthusiasts into a red maple swamp and cattail marsh along Prime Hook Creek.
Mosquitoes, ticks, and biting fly populations can be very high from June through September. Proper preventive care, including tucking your pant legs into your socks and applying insect repellent, can assist visitors in warding off ticks and mosquitoes. Please use caution to avoid poison ivy shrubs and vines because it can cause a serious skin rash in humans.
Maps and Resources:
Rules and Policies
The refuge is open 1⁄2-hour before sunrise until 1⁄2-hour after sunset. This is a carry-in, carry-out facility. Please take all trash with you. Please do not abandon wild or domestic animals on the refuge. Abandoned animals can introduce disease into refuge wildlife populations or prey on native species.
Remember this is your. Disturbing, destroying or removing vegetation, wildlife or facilities is a crime. Enjoy your visit here. Please respect the land, the wildlife and other visitors. Remember — take only memories or photographs, and leave only footprints.
The refuge lies within two hours driving time from metropolitan Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Wilmington, Delaware; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 22 miles southeast of the State capital of Dover.
From Route 1, take Route 16 east for 1.1 miles toward Broadkill Beach; turn left onto Turkle Pond Road and travel 1.6 miles to the refuge office, visitor center, and Friends Store at Prime Hook.