Outbound Collective logo

Discover Delaware: Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Discover this haven for wildlife, birding, and breathtaking beauty.

By: Abby Shepard + Save to a List

Delaware continues to amaze me with its beauty and natural diversity. 

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest expanses of tidal salt marsh in the mid-Atlantic, and is nestled on the Eastern shores of Kent County, Delaware. The refuge is a breeding ground for migratory birds, and many other species of wildlife also call the area home.

One cloudy day in late September, I decided to venture to the refuge, and absolutely loved it! If you enjoy hiking, birding, photography, wildlife, beautiful scenery, truly unique habitat or all of the above, I highly recommend a visit!

There is a 12 mile driving loop the takes you throughout the refuge with places you can stop, hike, or climb the multiple observation towers to get a better view of the landscape and pools. I spent about 2.5 hours touring the loop, and felt that it gave me a good overview of the refuge. Make sure to bring plenty of bug spray!

My first stop was the boardwalk trail, which offered beautiful views over the marshes. 

While driving past Shearness Pool, I stopped to admire this giant flock of American Avocets. 

Next, I stopped a the Parson's Point trail. There wasn't much to see on this trail, so if you are tight on time, I would recommend skipping this one. I did find this lone white mushroom in the forest, and thought its color offered a nice contrast. 

The short trail to the Bear Swamp Pool Observation Tower may have been my favorite part of the trip. I am a huge reptile fan, and there were 2 northern water snakes basking in the sun on the platform next to the tower. Aren't they beautiful? The view from the top was also incredible.

Look out for turtles while driving! This guy was slowly making his was across the road from Bear Swamp Pool, and I stopped to help him out (and photograph him of course).

Just before exiting the Park, I saw this great white egret watching me from the trees.

My trip to Bombay Hook was amazing! Stay tuned to discover more outdoor adventures in the beautiful State of Delaware!


We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


Delaware Bucket List: 100 Things to do in Delaware

Abby Shepard

How to Experience Delaware's Horseshoe Crab Phenomenon

Abby Shepard

The Best 5 Hikes for Fall Foliage in Delaware

Abby Shepard

The 6 Best Camping Spots in Delaware

Abby Shepard

The 10 Best Hikes in Delaware

Abby Shepard