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You are here: Home - Sanctuaries - Overnight Facilities - Irish Grove


Somerset County

This sanctuary was acquired in September, 1967 with an initial purchase of 1410 acres. With an additional small purchase and a generous donation the total acreage is now 1570 acres. It is our largest sanctuary. The land itself is 75-80% marsh, dissected by tidal streams, and is less than 5 ft. above sea level. There are several fresh and salt water ponds surrounded by Loblolly Pines and about 10 acres of fields.

View Photos from the April 9-11, 2010 Spring Work Weekend

Birding is best in spring, fall and winter. Some of the breeding birds include: herons, Glossy Ibis, American Black Duck, Osprey, rails, Willet, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Marsh Wren, Pine Warbler, Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, and Boat-tailed Grackle. Eighty to ninety species are known to winter there, including waterfowl, sparrows, hawks and owls. Approximately 250 species have been recorded in the sanctuary. You can find them on the species list.

Reptiles and amphibians such as salamanders, frogs, toads, snakes, and turtles are plentiful and there is a good variety of typical mammals, including red fox, one of which has a den not far from the buildings.

Insects abound during the months of June through September. There are deer flies, green heads, mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, and punkies by the thousands. Visitors during the summer and early fall are advised to take head nets, long-sleeved tops, long pants and several cans of repellents and salves.

Buildings include a house with four bedrooms, living room, museum/library room, dining room, kitchen, bath and screened porch; tool and storage sheds; a pole barn with one half screened in for an outdoor dining area; and a double latrine. The plumbing in the house is winterized from November to April. Winter visitors must bring their own water and refrain from using the drains in the sinks. There is a telephone in the house.

Birding is usually done by foot on "dry"and marsh trails. The "dry" trails follow roads and dikes near the house. Please note that the "dry" trails often have wet spots of standing water. Marsh trails are marked by poles in the marsh that show a relatively safe route across the marsh. Knee-high waterproof boots are recommended on the marsh trails. There are three observation towers - one on Round Pond, one on Canal Road and one in the marsh on the shore of East Creek. Birding is good along Rumbly Point Road all the way to the boat launch at the end. Good tidal canoeing is possible. Visitors need to bring their own canoes, which at high tide only may be launched in the canal that that goes into East Creek at the end of Canal Road. At other times the boat launch at the end of Rumbly Point Road may be used.

From Salisbury go south on US 13 to Route 413     
Go south on Route 413 to Marion"     6 miles
Go East (Left) onto Tull's Corner to a "T"     1.2 miles
Turn left on Whittington Road to Quindocqua Road     0.3 miles
Turn right on Quindocqua Road to Rumbly Point Road (a "T")     1 mile
Turn right on Rumbly Point Road to the sanctuary (last house on right)     1.1 miles