Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve and Slaughter Beach

Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve is a 108.91-acre tract of beautiful tidal saltmarsh with an accessible boardwalk. It is located west of the Town of Slaughter Beach and near Abbott’s Mill Nature Center. This open landscape is a natural green buffer for the beach community.

Saltmarsh Wildlife

Because of this preserve, a diversity of wildlife can thrive! The marsh is home to fiddler crabs, blue crabs, grass shrimp, and many species of mollusks and insects. In summer, the sounds of Marsh Wrens, Seaside Sparrows, and Clapper Rails fill the air. Great Egrets, Northern Harriers, and Osprey search for prey.  Our constructed nest platform gives opportunities to view an active Osprey nest.

Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve is an excellent example of the large expanses of saltmarshes that form much of Delaware’s Bayshore.

Marvel Scenic Byway Boardwalk

DelNature and the Town of Slaughter Beach designed and built Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve an accessible boardwalk. This Marvel Scenic Byway Boardwalk opened to the public in 2019.

The 4-year effort enhanced access and educational activities for students and public visitors. Previously, the marshlands were only accessed through a small collection of muddy roadside wooden pallets!

Landscape Architectural Services, LLC designed the boardwalk. It was built by Mumford & Miller Concrete with funding from DelDOT, DNREC, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Delaware Ornithological Society, and Milford Lions Club 22-D.

Because of this effort, over 10,000 people have visited the new Marvel Scenic Byway Boardwalk since its grand opening*, with another 4,000 projected in June 2020 alone.

* According to foot traffic data collected in partnership with TRAFx Research Ltd.

Come On By!

See open hours and map below. Visitors may access it and the shores of Slaughter Beach via Marvel Drive, a public beach access road just off Bay Ave/Rt. 36. Because of the public bike fix-it station installed at this location, this boardwalk is very cycling-friendly.


Marvel Drive
Slaughter Beach, DE

Grounds Hours

The Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve and Scenic Byway Boardwalk are open to pedestrians and bicycles year-round from dawn - dusk.


Check our calendar for activities at Marvel Saltmarsh

Entry Fees





Managing Land for Biodiversity


  • Accessible Trails

  • Bike Fix-it Station Icon

    Bike Fix-it Station

  • Scenic Views Icon

    Scenic Views