Accessible Fun at Prime Hook

A Wheelchair-Friendly Trail for All Ages

If you are looking for an outdoor activity that will work for young children, older folks, or people with limited physical capabilities, check this out.

The Dike Trail at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (near Milton) is a 0.5-mile, one-way trail to an observation platform overlooking a marsh. Both the path and the platform are wheelchair accessible, and there is a bench to rest on the way for those who tire easily. Parking is conveniently located near the trailhead and adjacent to the visitor center, which has ADA-compliant restrooms that are open and accessible even when the center is closed.

If the center is open, pop in and check out the exhibits, including taxidermy specimens of the wildlife you might spot while visiting the refuge. There are some great hats, tee shirts, and other items for sale to help support the refuge. This is also the place to pick up a map showing all the trails.

Once you’re on the wide, firm-surface Dike Trail, you’ll have views of marsh areas and forest edge brimming with wildlife, especially birds. Children will enjoy playing “I Spy” and trying to guess what birds are singing which songs.

When you reach the observation platform you can use the free viewing scope to check out a nearby osprey nest and get better views of some of the birds and other creatures. The combination of fresh and saltwater wetlands, forests, fields, and Delaware Bay shoreline is a magical mixture that attracts tens of thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as deer, fox, beaver, reptiles, turtles, and even the endangered Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel and bald eagles.

Photographers take note: the refuge boasts a photography blind trail, a 0.3-mile trail that offers opportunities to photograph wildlife from a fully enclosed blind. It’s available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Nancy Sakaduski is an award-winning writer and editor who enjoys taking walks and looking for wildlife in the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

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