Top Beach Nature Walks For Family and Pets
Marian R. Okie Memorial Wildlife Preserve at Poplar Thicket
Just a few miles from Massey’s Landing off Route 23 (long Neck Road) beholds the Okie Wildlife Preserve. Purchased by L.P. Faucett In 1918 it remained a large piece of undeveloped land all the way until his grandson “Austin Okie” donated it to the state in 2007. Now open to the public it serves as a great place to walk and enjoy nature. Perfect for dog walking adventures and beach bums who love to enjoy the sand and salt water in a peaceful quiet environment.
Location: Long Neck
Quick Fact: Poplar Thicket was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
James Farm Ecological Preserve
Two miles north from downtown Ocean View is the James Farm Ecological Preserve. The 150 acre farm was gifted to Sussex County from Mary Lighthipe under the condition that it would be used for educational and recreational activities. For decades it’s been used as an educational site for local school districts. Walking through the paths of James Farm you will notice signage educating you on various things about the preserve, you will also notice the many overlooks you can climb to observe the beaches from a higher angle.
Location: Ocean View
Quick Fact:James Farm is one of the largest horseshoe crab mating sites in the world.
Burton Island Trailhead
Right off Route 1 before the inlet bridge is the Burton Island Trailhead. This short 1.3 mile trail offers up beautiful sights, take advantage of the raised boardwalk that will take you over the bay. Burton Island is perfect for those who want a quick adventure before heading south to Ocean City.
Location: Rehoboth Beach
Quick Fact: Burton Island is the largest island separating the Rehoboth Bay from the Indian River Bay.
Gordons Pond Trail
Inside Cape Henolopen State Park is Gordon’s Pond. This 2.5 mile trail is great if you want a relaxing walk while avoiding the crowd that can be found in the main section of the park. There are two scenic overlooks to view the marshes and beaches.
Quick Fact: Gordon’s Pond Trail is technically in both Lewes and Rehoboth.
Goat Island Nature Preserve gordons pond trail
Right Inside the heart of Milford is the Goat Island Nature Preserve. In this recently opened(2014) nature preserve you will spot lot turtles, birds and rabbits. Along the trail you will notice signage educating you on the different species of wildlife and plants that reside there. Right outside Goat Island is a dog park that welcomes all sizes and breeds. There are separate areas for small and medium/large size dogs.
Quick Fact: This is the only location on this list that is in a fresh water ecosystem.