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Parks on the Eastern Shore
Descriptions - (mostly) courtesy of Department of Natural Resources

  • Assateague State Park
    7307 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811 (410) 641-2120 (756 acres. In Worcester County, 8 miles south of Ocean City Inlet, accessible by Route 50 via MD Route 611.) Maryland's only ocean park has 2 miles of Atlantic Ocean frontage plus marshes on Sinepuxent Bay. Two miles of ocean beaches offer guarded swimming areas as well as beachcombing, sunbathing, fishing, and surfing. The bayside offers canoeing to secluded coves to view a variety of wildlife including wild horses. Assateague was selected by National Geographic Traveler in 1994 as one of the 10 best state parks in the United States.
  • Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
    Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 27,000 acres on Maryland's beautiful Eastern Shore and has been designated a "Wetlands of International Importance" by the Ramsar Convention.
       As a major stop on the Atlantic Flyway, Blackwater is a vital haven for waterfowl, as well as a sanctuary for the threatened American bald eagle, the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel, and the recently delisted peregrine falcon.
       The Friends of Blackwater invite you to come explore the refuge "Time" magazine once called "nature on the throne of her glory." Come see what all the fuss is about
  • Cedar Island WMA
    Because of its nearly 3,000 acres of tidal marsh, ponds and creeks, black ducks flock to the island located in Tangier Sound near the town of Crisfield. Other tidal wetland wildlife species are also attracted to the area, but its attraction for black ducks is legendary. In the 1960s, wildlife biologists became concerned about the black duck, which seemed to be declining in numbers. Loss of habitat was thought to be the primary cause. Today, black duck populations are on the mend and Cedar Island WMA is one of Maryland's best winter habitats for these beautiful birds.
  • Choptank River Fishing Pier
    29761 Bolingbroke Point Drive, Trappe, MD 21673 (410) 820-1668. The piers are located adjacent to the Frederick C. Malkus Bridge in Cambridge on the Eastern Shore. The Talbot County side offers 25 acres of land extending upriver from the pier and there is a walking path along the Choptank River and Bolingbroke Creek. The piers are lighted and offer night fishing. The pier is popular for the variety of fish caught including, pearch, striped bass, hard head, sea trout, and catfish. The piers are also a favorite spot for catching Maryland blue crabs.
  • Deal Island WMA
    Expanses of tidal marsh, frequently broken by open water, characterize most of the habitat of this WMA. The 13,000 acre property also contains forested wetlands and a 2,800-acre man-made pond or "impoundment." The water insects and crustaceans, as well as the abundance of wigeongrass, horned pondweed and other favorite waterfowl foods makes Deal Island one of the best places in Maryland to watch, photograph and hunt ducks and geese.
  • E.A. Vaughn WMA
    From the 1940s to the 1960s, E.A. Vaughn WMA was a game farm where a number of pheasant species were raised and released. It was also an area where wildlife biologists experimented with plants and planting arrangements which would most benefit wildlife. Today, its 1,751 acres of forests, fields and marshes attract and support a multitude of wildlife species. Outdoor recreationists have also enjoyed the diversity of activities available to them here.
  • Ellis Bay WMA
    Mostly marsh and forested wetland, Ellis Bay is a 3,000-acre wet wonderland. It is perfect habitat for ducks and wading birds, like herons and egrets. White-tailed deer and many other wildlife species also use the area. To protect Chesapeake Bay wetlands, this area was purchased by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in 1957 and has been offering outdoor and nature enthusiasts recreational opportunities ever since.
  • Fairmount WMA
    Typical of river habitat on the Chesapeake Bay, Fairmount WMA's 4,000 acres are mostly marshlands. It is located between the Manokin and Annemessex Rivers in Somerset County. Forested wetlands occupy a small portion of the area. Two man-made ponds, or "impoundments," have been created. This habitat, as well as the lush wetland plants, including wigeongrass, horned pondweed and saltmarsh bulrush and a dense population of invertebrates make Fairmount attractive to many species of waterfowl.
  • Fishing Bay WMA
    Representing the largest parcel of publicly owned tidal wetlands in Maryland, Fishing Bay is also the state's largest wildlife management area. Large expanses of tidal marshes in this 21,000- acre area are punctuated by small islands of loblolly pine. Adjacent to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Fishing Bay contributes to one of the largest parcels of land set aside for wildlife in Maryland. Historically, Guinea and Chance's Islands, within Fishing Bay, were sites of early Native American settlements. The Nause-Waiwash tribe members still make annual visits to their ancestral homeland here.
  • Idylwild WMA
    The scenic Marshyhope Creek, which winds through the quaint turn-of-the-century town of Federalsburg, forms the western boundary of this 3,000-acre area in Caroline County. The freshwater marshes of the creek, the forests and forested wetlands set a visual canvas for glimpses of the forest and wetland wildlife and flowers that thrive here.
  • Isle of Wight WMA
    Most of this scenic island, located in one of Maryland's most beautiful coastal bays, is dedicated to wildlife conservation. Its 200 acres of marsh and forests attract waterfowl and marsh birds. Located in Assawoman Bay, Isle of Wight is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by the same coastal barrier island that supports Ocean City. Its landscape is little changed from the days of early settlers, 300 years ago.
  • Janes Island State Park
    Route 2, 40 Alfred Lawson Dr., Crisfield, MD 21817 (410) 968-1565 (3,147 ares. In Somerset County, reached by U.S. Route 13 to MD Route 413. Continue about 12 miles to Plantation Road then make a right into the park.) Janes Island State Park is nearly surrounded by the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its inlets. It has rental cabins, camping and miles of isolated shoreline and marsh areas.
  • Johnson WMA
    A 115-acre pocket of forest and fields in southern Wicomico County, Johnson WMA was purchased by the state in 1926, when the United States was in the first throws of Environmental awareness. It was originally called Johnson Schoolhouse Game Refuge and was used to raise game animals for release into the wild. Today, Johnson WMA is a favorite spot for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy eastern Maryland's bountiful wildlife.
  • LeCompte WMA
    Listed as an endangered species in 1967, the Delmarva fox squirrel has been steadily increasing in numbers in Maryland. LeCompte's 500 acres of mature oak and loblolly pine forests were set aside to provide a refuge for this native squirrel. From the productive population of Delmarva fox squirrels on LeCompte, wildlife biologists have trapped and relocated squirrels to likely habitats in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, thereby helping to re-establish their populations. Lecompte also boasts model agricultural fields maintained by wildlife biologists for the benefit of numerous wildlife species.
  • Linkwood WMA
    A remnant of a larger forest ecosystem, Linkwood WMA is predominantly a dense mixture of oaks, maple, black gum and loblolly pine. Located in Dorchester County, it's just shooting distance from the town of Linkwood. Its 300 acres include some of the most significant forests in the county and support a wide range of forest animals.
  • Martinak State Park
    137 Deep Shore Road, Denton, MD 21657 (410) 479-1619 (107 acres. In Caroline County, 2 miles south of Denton, off MD Route 404.) Native Americans once inhabited the area around this park, which has hardwood and pine forests on the Choptank River and Watts Creek. Modern campsites and boating access are available.
  • Maryland Marine Properties WMA
    Although not a marina as it name might imply, the Maryland Marine Properties WMA happens to be a great place to watch boats go by. Fishing, crabbing and other work boats, as well as recreational craft sail in and out of the adjacent Pocomoke River. Mostly marshlands with forests, forested wetlands and fields, this 1,000 acre area has been set aside as a valuable representative of the ecology which exists at the mouth of a great river, the Pocomoke, on the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Millington WMA
    From protecting several endangered species of plants and animals to providing hunting and outdoor recreation to demonstrating wildlife management techniques, Millington fulfills several roles. This 3,800-acre parcel is located in eastern Kent County and is mostly forested. The land in Millington has a rich history and was once the home of the Lenni Lenape Indians. Collections of artifacts from this period are on display at the area office.
  • Nanticoke WMA
    The Nanticoke River, like the Pocomoke, is one of the Eastern Shore Rivers that drains into the Chesapeake Bay. In 1993, the Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Fund and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation assisted the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in purchasing this 1,700-acre tract along the Nanticoke to help conserve the wildlife habitats found along this mostly tidal river.
  • Pocomoke River State Park
    3461 Worcester Highway, Snow Hill, MD 21863 (410) 632-2566 The Shad Landing and Milburn Landing Areas are located in the Pocomoke State Forest and Park along the Pocomoke River. The surrounding creeks, tributaries and marshlands are inviting for many outdoor activities. Hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, camping, bike riding, ORV trails and a swimming pool are popular.
  • Pocomoke Sound WMA
    Similar to the nearby Cedar Island WMA, Pocomoke Sound is mostly tidal marsh with a few acres of forest. This habitat is excellent for ducks, wading birds and shorebirds. Pocomoke Sound's 900 acres offer outdoor sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts many opportunities to enjoy the animals native to this unique habitat.
  • Pocomoke State Forest
    c/o Pocomoke River State Park, 3461 Worcester Highway, Snow Hill, MD 21863 (410) 632-2566 (14,753 acres. In Worcester County, between Snow Hill and Pocomoke City.) The forest is famous for its stand of loblolly pine trees. Cypress swamps border the Pocomoke River and the nearby waters provide good fishing. Three areas in the forest, including the swamp, are designated Wildlands Areas.
  • Sinepuxent Bay WMA
    Home to many sea birds, the islands of Sinepuxent Bay WMA are the product of Chesapeake Bay dredging dating back to the 1930s. Originally, 29 dredge spoil islands dotted the coast from Coffin's Point to Tingle's Island. Thirteen of these were designated for wildlife protection in 1964. Because of erosion, only four remain. Two additional islands, called Heron and Skimmer Islands, in the Isle of Wight Bay were added to this WMA in 1993. These islands serve as breeding habitat for birds which nest together in large colonies.
  • South Marsh Island WMA
    On South Marsh Island, the emphasis is on "marsh." This 3,000 acre island, located within the Chesapeake Bay, is entirely comprised of marshlands, punctuated by ponds and creeks. The marsh was once a convenient hiding place for "picaroons," or pirates, who harassed unprotected American ships during the Revolutionary War. In Kedges Strait, south of the island, the Maryland Navy once engaged the picaroons in a definitive battle. Today, the marshes are home to a multitude of waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.
  • Taylor's Island WMA
    The tidal marshes of Taylor's Island have been relatively untouched by the development of small towns and villages on the nearby shores. Small "islands" of loblolly pine and cedar forest dot the marsh system. This large island, comprising 1,100 acres, is a classic illustration of Chesapeake Bay tidal marsh habitat.
  • Tuckahoe State Park
    13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne, MD 21657 (410) 820-1668 (3,498 acres. In Caroline and Queen Anne's counties, 6 miles north of Queen Anne, off MD 404 via MD Route 480.) Tuckahoe Creek, a quiet country stream bordered for most of its length by wooded marshlands, runs through the length of the park. A 20-acre lake offers boating and fishing. The Adkins Arboretum, a 500-acre site in the park, propagates and displays trees, plants and shrubs indigenous to Maryland.
  • Wellington WMA
    Predominantly forest, the 400 acre Wellington WMA is located in eastern Somerset County. Wellington WMA has one of the largest forested tracts found on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
  • Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area
    632 Wye Island Road, Queenstown, MD 21658 (410) 827-7577 (2,514 acres. In Queen Anne's County, 5 miles south of U.S. Route 50 via Carmichael Road in Queenstown.) Wye Island NRMA is located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay between the Wye River and the Wye East River. The area is used mostly for agricultural and resource management. A small conference lodge is available for rental for meetings.
  • Wye Oak State Park
    c/o Tuckahoe SP, 1370 Crowse Mill Road, Queen Anne, MD 21657 (410) 820-1668 (29 acres in Talbot County, near Wye Mills, off RT 213. This park is named for its 400 year old white oak tree, which is the largest in the United States.

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