At a Glance

Hours: Daily, 24-hour access.

Cost: Free.

Tips: Waterproof boots recommended. ◾ This is an active hunting area. Be aware of hunting seasons and plan your visit accordingly. ◾ Also flies, ticks, and mosquitoes can be a nuisance. ◾ No restrooms or other facilities.

Best Seasons: Spring, summer and fall.

Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Mardela Springs SW, Mardela Spring SE, Wetipquin NW, Wetipquin NE

Local MOS Chapter: Tri-County Bird Club

Nanticoke River Wildlife Management Area – Nutter’s Neck

23330 Nutter’s Neck Road, Hebron MD 21830
(410) 376-3236

The Nutter’s Neck Tract of the Nanticoke River WMA is a 1,587 acre parcel managed by Maryland DNR.  This area offers some of the best birding in Wicomico County. There are extensive forested areas, open fields, and excellent hedge rows for birding. The area is managed for deer and dove hunting in the appropriate seasons. There are trails, unmarked, for hiking, and plenty of open areas for observation. The tract is bordered on the north by Manumsco and Rewastico Creeks, on the  south by Quantico Creek, and to the west by the Nanticoke River.

The entrance to the WMA lies at its east end. The first part of the main road/trail through the WMA goes through fields, and then through a forested area. Beyond the forest to the west is an extensive marsh. One small parking area is at the end of the first forest area, and a larger lot is at the end of the entrance road (see map at the trail map link at left).

Nutter’s Neck tract in Wicomico County is the largest portion of the Nanticoke River WMA. Additional tracts of this WMA include Sharptown Dunes, also in Wicomico County, with 198 acres, and two tracts nearby in Dorchester County: Calloway Wharf with 55 acres, and Lower Marshyhope Swamp with 415 acres, bringing the total acreage of the WMA to over 2,200. Note that Calloway Wharf and Lower Marshyhope Swamp are water-access only.

Birdlife:

Over 160 species have been reported on eBird from Nutter’s Neck. Ospreys nest on the property, and eagles and other raptors are common. Northern Bobwhite (rare) nests here. Wild Turkeys are common.

The forests are home to all the regularly occurring Forest Interior Dwelling Species of the Eastern Shore. During spring and fall migrations, the hedgerows provide a feeding area for warblers; Connecticut, Blue-winged, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Magnolia and many other warblers have been reported. Several species of sparrows, especially in fall, may be found, along with migrating Bobolinks and goldfinches.

Special Features:

The Nanticoke River WMA provides a unique opportunity to explore an Atlantic white cedar swamp by small boat, kayak, or canoe. The nearest public boat launches for Nutter’s Neck Tract are in Vienna and Wetipquin. For Lower Marshyhope Swamp tract, use the Sharptown or Federalsburg public boat ramps. For Sharptown Dunes and Calloway Wharf tracts, use the Sharptown public boat ramp. See the MD Public Water Access Atlas for more details. ◾ The Nanticoke River WMA is contained within the Nanticoke Important Bird Area, as designated by the National Audubon Society. ◾ The Tri-county Bird Club is the local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, serving Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset Counties; the club offers field trips to local birding areas and meeting with informative presentations, all free and open to the public.

Parking:

Free. Two specific areas are marked for parking (see trail map at link at left), but there is also room to park along the road.

Directions:

From US Route 50 southbound between Mardela Springs and Salisbury: From US Route 50 southbound, turn right to go southwest on MD Route 347/Quantico Road for 5.4 miles to Quantico, MD. Just after a sharp bend to the left, turn right to go west on Cherry Walk Road for 1.9 miles; then turn left onto Nutter’s Neck Road. Continue about 1.1 miles to the first of two designated WMA parking areas; the second parking area is about 0.6 miles on Nutter’s Neck Road. See trail map at link at left.

If driving from Salisbury, take US Route 50 – Business Route northbound and turn left to go west on MD Route 349/Nanticoke Road for 7.1 miles. Then turn right (north) onto MD Route 347/Quantico Road and continue for 1.4 miles. Turn left to go west on Cherry Walk Road for 1.9 miles. Turn left onto Nutter’s Neck Road. Continue about 1.1 miles to the first of two designated WMA parking areas; the second parking area is about 0.6 miles on Nutter’s Neck Road. See trail map at link at left.

Nearby Sites:

Wicomico County: Cedar Hill Marina & Park, Ellis Bay Wildlife Management Area, Pemberton Historical Park, Roaring Point & Nanticoke Harbor, Tyaskin Park & Wetipquin Park, Ward Museum & Schumaker Pond

Dorchester County: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Chesapeake Forest – North Tara Road, Elliott Island Road / Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area (Eastern Section)

Somerset County: Deal Island Wildlife Management Area, Fairmount Wildlife Management Area, Irish Grove MOS Sanctuary, Janes Island State Park, Rumbley Boat Ramp

Worcester County: Pocomoke State Forest – Hickory Point Cypress Swamp Natural Area

Habitats:

ConifersHedgerows Agricultural Crop Fields or Fallow FieldsOld Fields, Shrubby Meadows Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainMud Flats (Tidal or Non-Tidal)Rivers & StreamsSalt or Brackish Marsh

Features:

Boat or Canoe/Kayak LaunchFishingFree - No Entry FeeHiking/Walking TrailsHuntingParkingPets Allowed

Type:

Audubon Important Bird AreasHunting AreasThe Rivers of the Eastern ShoreWater Trails