Rock Hall to Eastern Neck Island is a mostly-flat ride past scenic farm fields backed up to water, then wetlands, and finally a small bridge onto an island that’s a national wildlife refuge with beautiful water views.

Downside: you have to ride along a highway with no shoulders. 

The Ride

Short – 6 miles | Long – 22 miles

Difficulty

Easy – very flat

The Payoff

Riding way off the beaten path, through Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge

Highlights

  • Start in Rock Hall & turnaround at Eastern Neck Island
  • Add a few miles by riding on the island
  • Chance to see lots of wildlife
  • Can get off the bike and walk a trail in the refuge 

Short Route

Longer Route

Rock Hall to Eastern Neck: Bike Route Overview

Main street in Rock Hall, Maryland

This is about a 12-miles, round trip, from Rock Hall to the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge.  If you include the refuge, you add nearly six more miles and can make it a two-hour ride up the island’s two paved roads and back.

The refuge hosts over 240 species of birds, but is known for its bald eagles that soar and chirp above as you cycle through. You can see hundreds of butterflies during the season. During winter, tundra swan visits the surrounding waterways.

The pay-off if you do the entire route is a little history stop on one leg of the island, and beautiful water views on the other leg.

There’s not much along the route except for farm fields and natural land. So bring water and snacks because there’s no place to stop for provisions once you leave Rock Hall. You can picnic at the refuge.

Rock Hall to Eastern Neck: Bike Route Details

Bogles Wharf at Eastern Neck Island, Maryland

Parking in Rock Hall: There’s a city parking lot behind a cluster of tiny shops called Rock Hall Village where you turn down Main Street and near the municipal hall (5585 Main Street). There’s also street parking.

Cycle south down Main Street, away from the town’s only traffic light. Once you get out of town, keep going straight.

After about six miles, you’ll come to the Eastern Neck Narrows bridge. Route 445 turns into Eastern Neck Island Road.

You can stop just across the bridge to have a picnic and turnaround for a nice, easy one-hour, 12-mile ride or continue on into the wildlife refuge for a mostly flat, albeit a bit bumpy, two-hour, 22-mile ride.

Pavement on Route 445 is generally smooth and good for road bikes, but be aware there is no shoulder.

There’s not much along the route except for farm fields and natural land. So bring water and snacks because there’s no place to stop for provisions once you leave Rock Hall.

The first half of the ride is along farmland. Then the peninsula starts to narrow and you’ll get a peek at some water off in the distance on the other side of the fields. Farmland gives over to marshland.

After six miles, you’ll come to a waterman’s house and boat rental. When you look up, you’ll see the Eastern Neck Narrows, the narrow waterway that the Chester River squeezes through between the island and mainland.

The island road is a bit rougher on the seat, but still doable on a road bike.

You’ll pass several boardwalks, hiking paths, and gravel roads. Off-road biking is allowed.

The road spits about mid-island. This route includes both ways. In other words: when you come to the fork in the road, take it! 

The road that goes right ends just past the Wicke’s Historic Site, the former homestead of the Wicke family. 

The left fork, Bogle Wharf Road, is the ‘money ride’. You end at Bogles Wharf where the Chester River curves around the island. You notice eagles soaring above.