Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
2591 Whitehall Neck Road
Smyrna, DE 19977
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to watch and photograph nature, especially the 278 species of migrating birds that feed and breed in the refuge. As a matter of fact, the Delaware Birding Trail guide describes Bombay Hook as “Unquestionably Delaware’s single best-known birding site.” And GORP.com ranked the refuge in the top 10 among scenic drives located inside national wildlife refuges.
Visitors are welcome to drive, bicycle, or walk the public tour route, a 12-mile loop that intersects many of the refuge's varied habitats. Along this road are five nature trails and three observation towers, each of which overlooks a freshwater reservoir or saltwater marsh. A popular time to travel this route is sunset, when flocks fly in to roost overnight.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge opened to the public in 1937. The name "Bombay Hook" is taken from the Dutch phrase "Bompies Hoeck," which means "Little Tree Point." Previous to that, Native Americans called it "Canaresse," which means "Shaggy Bushes."
Please be advised, no fishing is allowed at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. There is also no public boat ramp.
Before you visit, be sure to check out our ecotour in the "Great Trips" section entitled "'Live & Play' in a Refuge Gateway."
Photo by Tim Williams and the USFWS
Click on the marker to view address and get directions