by Micaela Williamson
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, approximately 12 miles south of the town of Cambridge. Boasting over 27,000 acres rich with marsh land, ponds, and forests, the refuge is a great place to check out wildlife and enjoy serene natural scenery.
Blackwater is also host to one of the largest breeding populations of American bald eagles on the east coast, and contains the largest remaining natural population of the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel. During certain times of the year, it is a haven for migration of geese, ducks, and the peregrine falcon.
We started our visit at the beautiful Visitor Center, where we were able to get maps and information from Blackwater staff. Then we continued down to the Wildlife Drive, which is about a 7-mile loop and takes visitors in cars, on bicycles, or on foot past some of the most scenic marshes, forests, and fields at Blackwater. During the drive, we stopped our car many times to take short hikes on trails and view wildlife.
On our journey, we were able to spot a some American bald eagles, the Delmarva fox squirrel, an osprey nest, turkey vultures, and common ducks, frogs, and geese.
Check out our gallery below, and click on the images to enlarge:
Besides the Wildlife Drive and hiking, visitors can also find three paddling trails, miles of cycling roads, hunting/fishing/crabbing opportunities, and adventures and programs in environmental education. For more specific details, visit the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge FAQ page. Information about boating trails & rentals can be found here.
Where to eat?
While the refuge hosts a few picnic areas, we opted to try the local gem Old Salty's, located about 20 minutes from the refuge on the traditional Chesapeake waterman community of Hooper's Island. Old Salty's This is a no-frills, old school seafood restaurant with beautiful views and honestly some of the most delicious seafood and crab dishes we have ever tasted. More info at: www.oldsaltys.com.
Where to stay?
The most beautiful, luxurious Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is a short distance away. The hotel is in the historic town of Cambridge, MD and boasts many amenities and attractions. Check out my review of the resort in this blog post here.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
2145 Key Wallace Drive
Cambridge, Maryland 21613
I received a free stay at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay for my family in return for writing articles that highlight the beautiful Eastern Shore Region. No additional compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
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