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Hike the Burton Island Trail

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

based on 5 reviews



1.5 miles

Route Type



Added by Jennifer White

This short trail around the island offers great views of the inland bays, salt marsh and wildlife.

The Burton Island trailhead and parking lot are located on the north end of the Indian River Marina inside the Delaware Seashore State Park. Burton Island is the largest island in a group of islands separating the Rehoboth Bay from the Indian River Bay. Raised boardwalks will take you over the salt marshes with open views of the bays. Keep your eyes open for horseshoe crabs, osprey and other marsh wildlife. The flat, packed earth trail passes through woods and shrub forests. This trail is best enjoyed in the fall, winter or early spring. Summer time is way too buggy on the marsh to enjoy the trail. Burton Island is a nature preserve and provides important nesting grounds to the Diamondback Terrapin, so be sure to stay on the trail so these areas are not disturbed. There are also certain times of the year when the trail is only accessible on Sundays due to hunting the rest of the week. Check destateparks.com to make sure you can access the trail before heading out. A park entrance fee is charged daily from March 1st to November 30th. Delaware residents pay $5 per day and out of state visitors $10 per day. The Delaware State Park annual pass is also accepted here.

After you walk the Burton Island Trail, be sure to check out the Indian River Inlet and beach within the same park.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby

Hike the Burton Island Trail Reviews

I have walked the Burton Island trail many times and I even wrote an article about the trail for Outdoor Delaware. It is a great place for observing nature. Jennifer White's writeup contains a few errors. It is a lollipop trail, not a loop. The trail is PARTLY packed earth, but has a large area of loose sand. I have seen people pushing strollers turn back because the loose sand makes it impossible. There are also wet and muddy areas after rains. To the best of my knowledge the trail is now open 7 days a week, but archery hunting is permitted Monday-Saturday some times during the fall. I was just there yesterday 10-24-21 and discovered that they had improved the trail by clearing 2 short side trails to give a better view of the marsh. On my most recent trip the grass had been mowed and all vegetation cut back along the sides. This isn't always the case. BUGS - No bugs or ticks encountered on this trip. Only once have I encountered a tick. Mosquitoes and deer flies can be terrible during the summer, but that has not kept me away. I will be back.

I was driving around looking for a new place to photograph a sunset and serendipitously stumbled upon this trail. I will definitely be back because the bugs won and I left! The sunset was amazing and within 10 minutes I saw blue heron, great egret, green heron, osprey, glossy ibis and horseshoe crabs. Nature lovers paradise. Wear bug spray or you will be hugely disappointed! Really cool place.

This was a beautiful place for a hike around the bay. I am a landscape and portrait photographer who likes to photograph birds as my hobby in my down time. I checked the area here while I was on a short vacation to see if there were any trails that would lead me to the birds! And this place does! Only one major downfall...... the Bugs! I know bugs are everywhere in nature and especially around water and the bay but this was on a whole new level! Within seconds on the trail once I crossed the water I was being bitting by everything. I know the reviews said to bring bug spray and they were not kidding, even a boat dock worker yelled over before I entered "hope you have bug spray!" Ugh the signs were there even a beware of tick sign was along the trail! After making it to the split where the trail loops I was completely bitten up but as a photos of the outdoors this wasn't unusual. I continued on to find great views of the bay, bird life everywhere and well maintained walking bridges. But like I said before, there is the downfall.... I had about 5 ticks on my legs right away 3 of them where microscopic! The flys had bit up my elbows and legs but I was more than half way through the loop. If I have any suggestions to visitors during the summer it's, long pants and sleeves. Use a lot of bug spray and enjoy the beauty of the nature! This also a great birding location for any local bidders, the birds did not seem to be to afraid and gave great photo opportunities.


Burton's Island is a great hike off the beaten path at Delaware Seashore State Park. The trail also offered great views of the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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