Visitor Activities

  • Hunting

    Hunter with his catch - USFWS.

    Hunting has a deep history and tradition on the refuge. Visitors can participate in hunting big and small game, waterfowl and other migratory birds. Portions of the refuge are open to hunting in accordance with federal and state regulations with the most restrictive regulations applying on the refuge. The refuge provides accessible hunting stands for both our waterfowl hunts and deer hunting.

    The refuge also offers hunting opportunities for youth during the State of Delaware’s youth deer hunt and youth waterfowl hunts.

    Learn more on our hunting page.

  • Fishing

    Young child fishing - USFWS.

    Fishing and crabbing are popular on the refuge. Anglers predominately hook largemouth bass, pickerel, white perch, and crappie. Portions of the refuge are open to both freshwater and saltwater fishing in accordance with federal and state regulations with the most restrictive regulations applying on the refuge. An accessible fishing pier on Fleetwood Pond provides angling opportunities to those with disabilities.

    The refuge partners with a local fishing club, the Lower Sussex Bassmasters, to promote fishing for anglers up through age 15 during an annual youth fishing tournament on the first Saturday in June on the upper Broadkill River in Milton Memorial Park. The tournament features fishing, activities, and prizes.

    - Fishing regulations (pdf)
    - Fishing map (pdf)
    - Fish consumption advisories (Includes Prime Hook & Slaughter Creek)
    - State of Delaware fishing information

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Birders on the refuge - USFWS.

    The refuge is home to a wide diversity of wildlife throughout the year including 308 species of birds, 51 species of fish, 45 species of reptiles and amphibians, 37 species of mammals, and an array of insect and plant species.

    There are observation decks, pull-offs, and canoe and hiking trails to help you observe these natural wonders of the refuge. The refuge maintains six miles of hiking trails for opportunities to observe wildlife. They include the Blue Goose Trail, Photography Blind Trail, Dike Trail, Black Farm Trail, Pine Grove Trail, and Boardwalk Trail. The seven-mile Prime Hook Creek provides canoeing and kayaking opportunities.

    On these trails, you will discover the diversity of wildlife and the habitats they depend on through the different landscapes including vernal pools, emergent marshes, shrublands, upland forests, and forested wetlands.

    Refuge staff, volunteers and partners provide viewing opportunities through bird walks, trail hikes, and guided canoe trips.

    - Bird brochure (pdf)
    - Canoe Trail brochure (pdf)
    Seasons of Wildlife 

  • Interpretation

    Boardwalk - USFWS.

    The refuge provides opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided hikes and staff-led programs help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitats behind the landscapes. A variety of public programs are offered throughout the year. Most programs and events are free, geared for youth and adults and provide a range of opportunities for individuals to learn about wildlife and habitat conservation. P.R.I.M.E. time (Preschoolers Reading Initiative to Magnify the Environment), S.N.A.P. it! (Shutterbugs for Nature and Photography), Refuge Summer Readers Program, Family Fun Archery Shoot, An Evening at the Hook Lecture Series, birding field trips, Nature Photography Contest, and Horseshoe Crab-Shorebird Festival are just a few examples of the refuge’s interpretive programs.

    For current programs, visit the Events Calendar.

  • Environmental Education

    Environmental education on the refuge - USFWS.

    Environmental education at the refuge provides a way for students to connect with the natural environment, develop skills to understand complex environmental issues, and foster attitudes that help them appreciate the connection between, people, wildlife, and habitat.

    The refuge provides a living classroom for students of all ages and teachers are encouraged to use the refuge as an educational resource. An insect program meeting state curriculum standards is currently available to second grade students. Programs can also be tailored to fit these standards. Contact the refuge for details.

  • Photography

    Photo blind - USFWS.

    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on National Wildlife Refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. That’s not surprising when you consider the popularity of digital cameras and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities. The number of nature photographers has grown at a rapid rate. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    The network of state roads bisecting the refuge affords photographers of all skill levels excellent opportunities to photograph wildlife. Many beginners focus their lens on the charismatic great blue heron in the summer, flocks of ducks or snow geese in winter, or shorebirds and horseshoe crabs in spring. More seasoned photographers often venture beyond the roads to capture images of plants, insects, and landscapes bathed in a wide spectrum of light conditions along the refuge’s hiking or canoeing trails.

    The Friends of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge sponsors an annual Nature Photography Contest, which highlights the unique and beautiful landscapes and wildlife of Delmarva, ranging from soaring ospreys to majestic herons and sun-dappled wildflowers.