Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area is located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay between the Wye River and the Wye East River. Of Wye Island's 2,800 acres, 2,450 are managed by the Maryland Park Service for resource management, recreation and agriculture. A major emphasis at Wye Island is providing suitable habitat for wintering waterfowl populations and other native wildlife. A primary resource management objective at Wye Island is the stabilization of the 30 miles of ever-eroding shoreline. These efforts are accomplished through a partnership between the department and numerous environmental advocacy groups, such as the Chesapeake Bay Trust, schools and scout groups.
Wildlife viewing and hiking are the most popular activities on Wye Island's six miles of trails. The School House Woods Nature Trail takes you through a mature hardwood forest while the Ferry Landing Trail leads beneath a canopy of Osage Orange Trees. Wye Island also houses a Holly Tree that is more than 290 years old. Follow the Holly Tree Trail to visit this long-time resident.
The topography of the island is relatively flat. From the novice to the advanced hiker, access to the trails is very easy from the main park road.
Horseback riding and bicycling are also popular but visitors 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. Please call ahead to confirm access. Equestrian Riders are prohibited on the Schoolhouse Woods Nature Trail due to the sensitive nature of the area.
The Maryland Park Service does not rent horses, and only provides the trails as a means of recreation.
Youth Group Camping
Youth Group Camping is available at Wye Island on two primitive campsites.
Dividing Creek and Solo Cove Youth Group sites each hold a maximum of 40 people.
Primitive restroom facilities (pit toilets) are available.
Fishing & Boating
Fishing is also permitted from the shoreline at Wye Island NRMA. All anglers 16 years of age and older must have a Maryland Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License and any other applicable permits required. Anglers are reminded to follow Leave No Trace (LNT) practices and reduce their personal impact on the sensitive vegetation along the shoreline.
The Wye River is a very popular destination for boaters looking for a quiet place to relax and enjoy fishing and crabbing. Kayaking and canoeing are excellent ways to explore the beautiful, ever-changing shoreline. A soft launch is located at the Granary Creek Picnic Area for non-motorized vessels only. There is limited parking at the site, with some additional parking at a small lot approximately 1/4-quarter mile away. Please note - parking is prohibited along the road.
Hunting is available at Wye Island NRMA for both Canada Goose and White Tailed Deer through managed hunts and lotteries. The white tailed deer population is specially managed through a hunting program that includes limited hunting days for Shotgun and Muzzleloader through a lottery program. Archery hunting is permitted on a posted schedule with a limited number of hunters each day. These hunts help to maintain the ecological balance between the whitetail deer herd and their habitat. Goose hunting is also limited and controlled through a lottery drawing process. Individuals who are mobility impaired are encouraged to apply for the lottery as there are blinds available that accommodate wheel chairs. Raccoon hunting and Fox chasing are also available on a limited basis by permit. Trapping is not permitted for any species on Wye Island. For more information regarding hunting opportunities/lotteries contact the facility office at 410-827-7577.
Visitors can see a variety of birds and wildlife including ducks, geese, wading birds, Bald Eagles, the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel, whitetail deer and many other species.