A favorite of savvy bird watchers from around the country, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge features 47,000 acres of protected coastal wetlands, tidal salt meadow and salt marsh. The headquarters for the refuge is in Oceanville, where you’ll find the visitors’ center and the easiest public access to this massive wildlife area.
During spring and fall migrations, tens of thousands of birds stop here to rest and feed, peaking in the first two weeks of November, when more than 100,000 ducks and geese fill the ponds and marshes. The refuge provides a safe haven for several threatened or endangered bird species, including the black skimmer, least tern and piping plover.
Be sure to keep an eye out for bald eagles and peregrine falcons, celebrities of the bird world that often spend time here. The self-guided, eight-mile wildlife loop drive is the perfect way to take in the diverse bird population. It’s possible to spot birds from your car that are normally accessible only by boat. Walking trails range from one-quarter miles to five miles.