St. Jones Reserve and Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve


Parking: In the parking lot in front of the main building.

The 5,119-acre St. Jones Reserve, located along the St. Jones River and the Delaware Bay, is the headquarters for the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve and is one of 28 Reserves around the United States, protecting over 1.3 million acres of coastal estuarine habitat for long-term research, monitoring, education and stewardship. It is open to the pubic year-round and provides hiking trails (including a boardwalk linking to the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Ted Harvey Conservation Area), green construction and conservation demonstrations, a native plant nursery for restoration projects as well as a Visitor Center with hands-on interactive activities and interpretive exhibits, research laboratory, offices and meeting space. The Reserve supports ongoing research and monitoring as well as a number of programs for the community and visitors year-round.

Hours of Operation: Grounds open dawn-dusk, 7 days a week. Building open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Best Time to Visit: Fall and spring (Sundays are a great time to hike as there is no hunting on Sundays)

Best Known For: Wildlife viewing

Travel Tips: The Reserve is off of exit 91 of Del. 1, but if you are interested in a more scenic drive, we suggest taking Del. 9 - the Delaware Bayshore Byway.

Special Equipment: The Reserve is a remote location. We suggest bringing water, snacks, sunscreen and insect repellent. There are no available restrooms during the hours the building is closed.

Special Instructions: Hunting season begins Sept. 1 and runs through spring. Please note there is no hunting permitted on Sundays in Delaware.

Set out on the nature trail and look for waterfowl, wild turkey, deer and other wildlife.



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  • Hours: Grounds open dawn till dusk, 7 days a week. Building open Mon - Friday 8:00 - 4:30.
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