Explore Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area-#NTTW21

Explore Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area-#NTTW21

When the #PowerofTravel leads you to outdoor adventure, explore Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area, a hidden gem in Queen Anne’s County. Located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay between the Wye River and the Wye East River, Wye Island offers 2,800 acres of habitat for wintering waterfowl populations and other native wildlife.

The More You Know: Wye Island History

For over 300 years, Wye Island was privately owned and managed for agricultural use, including tobacco and wheat farming. Two of the most noteworthy owners were William Paca and John Beale Bordley. Mr. Paca, third governor of Maryland and one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, owned the island’s northern half, while Mr. Bordley, a distinguished lawyer and jurist, owned the island’s southern half. In the 1770s, Mr. Bordley gave up his law career to devote his life to farming, experimenting, and writing. Fields once devoted to tobacco now produced abundant wheat. Bordley strove to make Wye Island totally self-sufficient. Orchards and a vineyard were planted; blacksmith and carpentry shops were built, as were looms, a large windmill, and even a brewery.

Eventually the island was sold off into separate farms. The most influential owners were Glenn and Jacqueline Stewart. Owning the majority of the land, they turned Wye Island into a cattle ranch. In the mid 1970’s the encroaching threat of residential development forced the State of Maryland to purchase the island to ensure its preservation.

Your Adventure Starts Here:

Wildlife viewing, hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding are popular activities on Wye Island’s six miles of trails. With multiple trails to choose from there is sure to be something for both the novice and advanced hiker. The School House Woods Nature Trail takes you through a mature hardwood forest while the Ferry Landing/Jack-In-the-Pulpit Trails lead you beneath a canopy of Osage Orange Trees to a small sand beach along the Wye River. Follow the Holly Tree Trail to visit the 290+ year old American Holly Tree! View the Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area Trail Map here.

While adventuring around Wye Island, be on the lookout for a variety of birds and native wildlife including ducks, geese, wading birds, Bald Eagles, the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel, and whitetail deer. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!

Prefer to spend your time paddling the Wye River? Kayaking and canoeing are excellent ways to explore the beautiful, ever-changing shoreline.

Visitors wanting to horseback ride and bike are encouraged to approach these activities with respect for the environment. Horses and bicycles may be off limits in some areas during specific times of the year due to trail conditions.

There are no fees to visit Wye Island NRMA which is open year round from sunrise to sunset. Leashed dogs welcome.

Wye Island is just one of the many outdoor spaces that Queen Anne’s County has to offer! Browse all of our parks and trials here.

What will you see on your journey!?

#visitqueenannes #VisitQAC #tourismworks4md

Photo-Mike Kangas
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