At the mouth of Bush Mill Stream freshwater meets the saltwater of the Great Wicomico River. Fresh to brackish tidal marshes and mud flats are hidden between the steep-sided forested shores of this upper Coastal Plain stream. The quiet waters are home and resting area for an abundance of waterfowl and wading birds, including colonial nesting birds and raptors. At all times of the year, but particularly when parents are feeding their young, the marshes and adjacent tidal mud flats attract large numbers of great blue herons.
This remote reach of stream and river is an excellent example of a habitat that once was abundant in the Chesapeake Bay drainage. Several ancient oaks and large mountain laurel remain in the mostly second-growth forest of this preserve.
Access can be gained by foot or canoe. Public access facilities are open during daylight hours and include trails, a boardwalk, a wildlife viewing platform and interpretive signs.
From Kilmarnock, go north on VA 200 towards Burgess. In Wicomico Church, turn left onto VA 609. Turn right onto VA 610, and then left onto VA 642. Follow VA 642 until you see the sign for Bush Mill Stream.
Zach Bradford, Chesapeake Bay Region Steward
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Natural Heritage
Department of Conservation and Recreation Natural Heritage Program
600 E. Main St., 24th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219