Wildlife Viewing in Delaware’s State Wildlife Areas

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) provides numerous outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands, including elevated wildlife-viewing structures on several state wildlife areas managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Most of the wildlife-viewing facilities listed here offer access to all visitors, regardless of any physical limitations. All feature spectacular views of Delaware’s woods and wetlands.

Unless otherwise noted, these locations require a Conservation Access Pass.

Augustine Wildlife Area

Ashton Tract

The Ashton Tract in the Augustine Wildlife Area offers a 700-foot wheelchair-accessible trail and observation deck overlooking the Thousand Acre Marsh.

A side view of a wooden observation deck next to a wetland area.

Accessible parking and an ADA-complaint portable toilet are available near the trailhead kiosk.

Benches are available along the trail.

This is a great location for wintering waterfowl, bald eagles, wading birds and migrating songbirds in spring and fall.

Port Penn Tract

The Port Penn Tract offers a 550-foot wheelchair-accessible trail, including a 140-foot wetlands boardwalk, leading to an accessible observation deck overlooking the Lang Marsh.

a view out over a wetland area from an observation deck.

Accessible parking is available near the trailhead kiosk.

A bench is available along the trail as well as on the observation deck.

This location provides views of both the wetland and the Delaware River and is a great spot for gulls, herons, egrets and resident songbirds.

Woodland Beach Wildlife Area

Saltmarsh Boardwalk and Trail

The Saltmarsh Boardwalk and Trail of the Aquatic Resources Education Center in the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area is a half-mile long accessible nature trail. It features a 940-foot elevated boardwalk loop offering views of the coastal salt marsh and its residents like muskrats, herons, waterfowl and fiddler crabs.

An aerial view of a wetlands boardwalk.

Accessible parking is available along Route 9 opposite the Woodland Beach Check Station. A Conservation Access Pass is not required.

Benches are located on the boardwalk.

Taylors Gut Observation Tower

The Taylors Gut Observation Tower, located on Route 9, is an older fire-tower style facility that offers elevated views of the salt marsh and the Taylors Gut impoundment.

A metal observation tower next to a waterway, seen from above.

This site is not accessible for folks with physical limitations.

Parking is available in a small lot along Route 9.

Look for nesting osprey in summer, wintering waterfowl, and shorebirds in spring and fall. Snow geese can be especially abundant in early spring.

Little Creek Wildlife Area

A wooden two-deck observation tower.

David Small Wildlife Viewing Boardwalk and Tower

The David Small Wildlife Viewing Boardwalk and Tower in the Little Creek Wildlife Area is a 400-foot elevated boardwalk and observation tower that offer unparalleled views of the Little Creek impoundment.

The boardwalk and the first level of the tower (at 16 feet) are fully wheelchair accessible. A second level, at 26-feet, is reached by a short set of steps.

Interpretive panels offer information and tips for identifying local wildlife and other resources.

Accessible parking is available near the trailhead kiosk.

This location is great for migrating shorebirds and abundant waterfowl.

Mispillion Harbor Reserve

DuPont Nature Center

The DuPont Nature Center at the Mispillion Harbor Reserve is only open during the summer season, but it has an observation deck that is open year-round.

A building with a deck overlooking the water.

During the spring, the deck offers views of the thousands of horseshoe crabs coming to shore to spawn and the shorebirds that use the harbor to feast on horseshoe crab eggs.

The deck is wheelchair-accessible and provides an ADA-compliant telescope to view the harbor.

The center offers accessible parking. A Conservation Access Pass is not required.

There are benches and portable toilets are available when the center is not in operation.

Look for shorebirds, gulls, eagles and marshbirds at any time of year, but don’t miss the spring spectacle.

Assawoman Wildlife Area

Assawoman Tower

The Assawoman Tower in the Assawoman Wildlife Area is a fire tower-styled structure that stands nearly 40 feet tall and offers views of Mulberry Pond and Sixty-five Acre Pond.

A metal tower with stairs and a deck on top stands by open water in a coastal landscape.

Parking is limited to two or three vehicles.

The structure is not accessible to visitors with physical disabilities.

This location is great to view wintering waterfowl.