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Trip Planner Travel Guide

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge


  • 2591 Whitehall Neck Rd
  • Smyrna, DE 19977
  • Phone: (302) 653-6872
  • Fax: (302) 653-0684
  • Visit Website
  • E-Mail

Parking: Along the auto tour route there are walking trails with designated parking areas. Bird watchers stop along the auto-tour route to view birds.

The mission of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is to provide habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. The 16,000-acre refuge has a 12- mile auto-tour route providing excellent views of diverse habitats and opportunities to view birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects in their natural setting.  There are 5 short walking trail (3 trails have 30-foot-high observation towers), and a Visitor Center with information and displays. Each season brings different birds to the refuge looking for feeding, resting, or nesting areas.  Bombay Hook is known nationally as an excellent bird watching refuge along the Atlantic Coast.

Hours of Operation: Refuge Auto Tour Route: Sunrise to sunset, every day of the year.  Visitor Center: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. all year. Visitor Center: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. in spring (March-June) and fall (Sept.-Nov.)

Seasonal Hours: Visitor Center: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. in spring (March-June) and fall (Sept.-Nov.).  Closed federal holidays.  Occasional closures for weather and partial closures for 14 hunting days.

Best Time to Visit: Bird watching: Spring for songbirds and shorebirds.  Summer for heron and egrets.  Fall and winter for waterfowl and raptors.

Best Known For: Bird watching: Spring for song birds and shorebirds. Summer for heron and egrets. Fall and winter for waterfowl and raptors.

Travel Tips: Check the website for hunting closures.

Special Equipment: Bring binoculars, cameras, and wildlife field identification books. If you visit in the summer, you should bring bug spray.

Special Instructions: Wildlife recreation opportunities include: wildlife photography and observation, bird watching, environmental education and  interpretative programs, and deer and waterfowl hunting. Driving slowly, hiking and biking the refuge is an excellent way to get an up close and personal look at nature. 

Walk the Boardwalk Trail and view the salt marsh − .25 miles.
Drive the 12-mile auto tour and view migrating and wintering ducks, geese, shorebirds, and other migratory birds, including the southern bald eagle and peregrine falcon.
Bike the wildlife loop – 12 miles.

  • Hours: Everyday of the year, sunrise to sunset.
  • Disabled Access:
  • Senior Discount:
  • Disabled Access:
  • Gift Shop:
  • Disabled Access:
  • Gift Shop:
  • Senior Discount:
99 Kings Highway • Dover, DE 19901 • 1-866-284-7483
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