Approximately eight miles due south of Osprey Point lies a peaceful, uninhabited, and undeniably beautiful island chockful of natural wonder and potential adventure. Maryland’s Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge spans nearly 2,300 acres at the mouth of the Chester River. This dead-end island is one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most alluring hiking, kayaking, and birding destinations. And, as you might expect, it’s a popular mid-day distraction for those docking at Osprey Point Marina or staying on our secluded, 30-acre haven.
Bayside Natural Beauty and Head-Turning Wildlife
While Osprey Point itself acts as a vessel to nearly a dozen outdoor pursuits and aquatic adventures, the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge remains an idyllic sanctuary for reflection, aerobics, and social distancing. Park entrance is entirely free, even for out-of-state visitors. The park itself is known for its lengthy boardwalk, which meanders through a tidal saltmarsh that provides awe-inspiring vantage points of the vast Chesapeake Bay and forking Chester River. During the summer months, the pristine sandy beaches attract families with young children.
Meanwhile, summer’s wildflowers burst onto the scene, providing a kaleidoscope of color to the landscape. However, the “main event” remains the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge’s wildlife, primarily the 250-plus bird species that call this isle home at various intervals. Other commonly-spotted critters include red foxes, white-tailed deer, beavers, diamondback terrapins, and vibrant insects (mainly butterflies).
Ways to Explore the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge
By now, it should come as no surprise that birding is the preferred method of exploration at the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Birders flock to the isle to observe migrating tundra swans, eastern screech owls, legions of bald eagles, sea ducks, great blue herons, colorful tanagers, and, yes, massive osprey. Birders, hikers, and casual travelers alike utilize the park’s seven trails, which zigzag through the serene topography. Nature photographers frequent the island during peak migratory seasons, such as the post-Thanksgiving tundra swan season, where more than 4,000 pearly beauties find a new home until the Arctic once again defrosts. Paddlers (via kayak, canoe, or paddleboard) utilize the aquatic acreage near the island’s edge to spot sea birds and busy beavers, as well as explore the Chester River defining features.
The Quintessential Chesapeake Bay Inn: Osprey Point
As our inn’s name suggests, we have an affinity for the region’s birdlife. Thankfully, the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge provides a safe haven for thousands upon thousands of migratory birds. Not only does Osprey Point boast its own Chesapeake Bay marina, but visitors will also discover a romantic indoor and outdoor dining experience, known for its seafood delights, wine list, and casual elegance. Guests (and slip holders) also have exclusive access to complimentary bicycles, kayaks, and paddleboards. Meanwhile, the town of Rock Hill is home to many reputable sailboats, fishing charters, and hunting guides. To book an extended romantic escape to our bayside paradise, please check availability online (or call us directly at 410-639-2194).