Great Places

Pea Patch Island Nature Preserve

39°36'11.48"N  75°35'7.92"W

Pea Patch Island
Delaware City, DE 19706

Phone: (302) 739-9220
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Pea Patch Island emerged from the depths of the Delaware River as a mud bank sometime in the early 19th Century. According to folklore, it received its name after a ship carrying peas ran aground here, spilling its contents onto the island's marshy soil. Today, however, it is home to two of Delaware's outdoor wonders, one manmade and the other natural. These are Fort Delaware State Park and Pea Patch Island Nature Preserve.

Pea Patch Island Nature Preserve provides valuable habitat for one of the largest wading-bird nesting areas on the entire East Coast. Visitors will be happy to find a hiking trail and an observation platform where they can view and photograph nine different species of herons, egrets, and ibises. But please, we ask that you not disturb the birds, and never land your boat anywhere on the island's shores. Instead, take the Delaware City-Salem Ferry out of Delaware City. Tickets cost just $11 for adults, $6 for children two to twelve, and $10 for both seniors and members of the military.

Photo by Chris Bennett of DNREC

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