In the fall of 1971 the State of Delaware acquired the 250 acre Burton’s Island for a heafty price tag of $1,942,500.00. The acquisition of the property by the state has ensured that a pristine maritime environment would be preserved forever. Since the acquisition the Island has remained virtually untouched. The only structures that are on the island are three boardwalks across some marshland. The boardwalks are a total of 744 feet long. The boardwalks complete a nature trail through the forest and along the coastline that takes about 1/2 hour to walk.
The trail can be a little hard to find as it sits behind the Indian River Marina dry stack storage facility. To find it you really have to look for it. If you are looking for it you need to enter the North Side of the Indian River inlet state park area. Head back to the Marina at the end of the road. Once you get to the marina head north towards the large warehouse type building that is the drystack storage facility for boats. Go past and around the back of the drystack and continue until the road dead ends at the trail head.
Just to the north of the entrance to the trail their is a kayak launch. The Kayak launch provides you access to the Rehoboth bay and all the small estuaries that run through the marshland that runs along route 1 to Dewey Beach. If you plan on Kayaking in the fall or winter be aware that this is an active waterfowl hunting area and there may be duck hunters stationed throughout the marsh. Spring and summertime it is pretty open so you shouldn’t see anyone out there hunting. The canals are full of wildlife and fish. The area is closed to any clamming though.
The trail winds around the back side of the Indian River inlet Marina so you get some great views of the marina and the Inlet Bridge. Heading through the trail it takes you through marshy areas and wooded areas. It winds on down to a beach that opens up to a southern exposure of the Indian River Bay. Here you can see all the way west up to Vines and Pepper Creek, South towards Whites creek, and East towards the Atlantic ocean at the Indian River inlet. It’s a great view of untouched maritime property.
The island is home to hundreds of birds, turtles, and the occasional deer. Being that it is a natural environment take care when walking the trail in the summer time. It can get quite buggy. In the summertime it is probably best to try and avoid the time around dusk when the bugs can get quite thick. While the trail is nice and clear it would be adviseable to cover up a bit and use insect repellent to avoid ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes. However if you are looking for a place to get some peace and tranquility the trail is a great retreat from the packed summertime beaches!