Take Mac (and Cheese) to Fleetwood Pond

It’s not just rumours. Fleetwood Pond in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, located just north of the crowded beach areas, really rocks.

There are many wonderful spots in Prime Hook, but Fleetwood Pond hits just the right note. Grab some mac (and cheese) and take Route 1 to Broadkill Road (adjacent to The Rookery Golf Course), turn left on Turkle Pond Road, and follow the signs.

Next to the parking area is a short walkway to a boardwalk pier with a viewing area and benches. This would be the perfect spot to decompress and enjoy your mac and cheese. Watch for painted turtles—they love to bask in the sun, and if a good log comes along, they may well pile on top of each other as a sort of turtle Jenga game.

I’m told there are bass, bluegills, and pickerel in the pond (all state fishing regulations apply on the refuge) and there’s a place to launch small boats. A few folding chairs would do you well if you plan to fish, and there’s an area perfect for any children who want to fish.

When you’ve finished your mac and cheese (and, of course, picked up after yourself), head back to the parking area and look for the Pine Grove Trail, an easy 0.8-mile loop that winds through a pine and hardwood forest adjacent to Turkle Pond and Fleetwood Pond. A spur off the trail leads to a viewing platform overlooking the marsh.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge hosts a wide range of birds (300 species have been spotted), and you may even glimpse North America’s largest rodent — the endangered Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel. It’s the one who missed several orthodontist appointments, but then said “Dam! I can gnaw through branches and build a dam!”

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