Friday, November 18, 2016

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge - US Fish and Wildlife Service

GPS Coordinates 38.82416, -75.25431
Parking at the Black Farm Trail trailhead on Turkle Pond Road.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Walking Trail Map - US Fish and Wildlife Service
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Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge: 5 miles
   hiked together with (.7 mile drive away):
Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge - Pine Grove Trail:  1.25 miles
   hiked together with (15.7 mile drive away):
Cape Henelopen State Park - Herring Point/Gordon's Pond Trail:  3 miles
   hiked together with (.9 mile drive away):
Cape Henelopen State Park, DE - Fort Miles/Pinelands Nature Trail:  2.25 miles

Starting on the Black Farm Trail.
A short distance in, the trail splits; we turned right.
This trail is mowed paths and ...
... sandy woods roads.
Fall colors.
Flock after flock of birds flew over.
There are hunter stands everywhere.  With it being a week day, I called ahead of time and was told hunting takes place away from the hiking trails so it was OK to hike.  They close the trails on days when hunting takes place in the trail areas so if you are going during hunting season, call first.
After looping around the fields keep right where views open up to the water.
At the end of an observation area, zooming in to water birds that were really far away.
Coming up on ...
... the visitor center.
Osprey nest and cam behind the visitor center.
Also to the left behind the visitor center, the Dike Trail.
A red-bellied woodpecker.
Song Sparrow
Viewing area at the end of the Dike Trail.
Not happy that I left her tied to my backpack.
So I went back and got her and let her on the accessible portion.
A great blue heron with his head twisted so far it looks like his neck is in a knot.
Heading back.
A tattered wing but he was still flying OK.  So were the mosquitoes.  Lots and lots of Kamikaze mosquitoes with no respect for Deep Woods OFF in November!
At the end of the Dike Trail, right on to the Boardwalk Trail.
A short distance in on the left ...
... Morris Cemetary.
I put a picture of each of the legible tombstones.  Looks like three of Mary and John's children died in their late teens and one in her early twenties.
The mother's tombstone.
The father's tombstone.
On the the boardwalk.  The beginning of the Blue Goose Trail where I was heading next was on the left just before the boardwalk but had to pass that up and loop around again to get the entire Boardwalk Trail.
A large flock of sandpipers swirled overhead and landed a distance away.
Had I not seen them land, I would have never known where to zoom in to see what they were since they practically disappeared into the background when they landed.
Another Great Blue Heron.
I accidentally dropped a trekking pole and when it clanked on the boardwalk, he took off...
... and landed over by those sandpipers, maybe thinking he could camouflage right along with them.
Having looped completely around back to the beginning of the boardwalk, now turning left on the Blue Goose Trail.
Just around the bend ....
... two turkey vultures on a hunter stand. 
On the grassy woods road of the Blue Goose Trail.
The trail comes out at a gravel service road but the trail marker is blank.
I turned left, which happened to be correct, and then saw the continuation of the trail a short distance ahead on the right.
A short side trail to...
Turkle Pond
The trail continues and you can walk from the end to the Pine Grove Trail at the other side of Turkle Pond but it involves a half mile road walk on a gravel road so I figured we would save the mile for more hiking to come and drive over.
Took the spur back to the parking lot.


  1. Are you two ladies following the foliage south? You'll end up in Florida soon. :)


    1. LOL! If I could do it in a day, we'd be there :)