Rackliffe House Open For Tours
Thanks to the restoration efforts of the Rackliffe House Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Rackliffe House is open for tours May through October.
During house openings, Docents will interpret life on the 18th-century coastal plantation through artifacts on display in the kitchen, spinning room, children’s room, and original milk house. Rackliffe House is hosting an exhibition, "Early Interactions of Native Americans and Europeans on the Lower Eastern Shore,” which examines – through images and first-hand accounts -- how Native Americans lived and worked at the time of first contact with Europeans in our region. It also looks specifically at the Rackliffes and the Assateague tribe. This exhibition is drawn from one developed by Salisbury University's Nabb Center for Delmarva History and Culture.
Children will enjoy several age-appropriate activities inside the house and outdoor 18th century games on the lawn. All children's activities have been created and are coordinated by the Rackliffe House Docents.
Rackliffe House will open for guided tours of the house and grounds in honor of International Museum Day on May 18th, 2017. Admission is free for the day.
Beginning May 23, 2017, Rackliffe House will be open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. through October for guided tours of the house and grounds. Beginning in June, tours will also be available on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. through September. The last house tour begins at 3:15 p.m.
To enter Rackliffe House and tour the exhibitions, visitors must pay an entrance fee of $5/adult and $2/child ages 4 through 12 (age 3 and under are admitted for free). Visitors with a valid military I.D. must pay an entrance fee of $3.00.
Entrance fees are critical in continuing the preservation of this historic property.
Birding and Wildlife on the Rackliffe House Nature Trails
It's a good idea to bring a pair of binoculars when you visit Rackliffe House. Visitors will discover a beautiful nature trail teeming with wildlife that connects Rackliffe House to the Assateague Island Visitor Center and a coastal forest located on Assateague State Park's mainland campus.
One half-mile of the nature trail will lead you through a successional forest of young Loblolly Pines and Bayberry along Sinepuxent Bay. During a spring and early summer hike, you'll hear the sounds of gulls, terns and Ospreys over the bay, and Indigo Buntings singing from the branches. In the fall and winter, waterfowl take over the bay, and Yellow-rumped Warblers can be seen flitting back and forth between the open path and the shelter of the trees.
Throughout the year, Rackliffe's open lawn is frequented by White-tailed Deer, Eastern Cottontails and Wild Turkeys. If you're hiking to Rackliffe House from the trail, approach the lawn quietly to catch a glimpse of the deer, turkey and rabbits before they seek cover in the trees.
The trail from Rackliffe House through the State Park runs along a mature hardwood forest that is home to woodpeckers and owls year-round, and migrant songbirds in the spring and summer.
If you want to review a list of the bird species tallied along the Rackliffe House nature trails, check out the eBird.org HotSpot
Private Group Tours
On house opening days, visitors may drive 1/2-mile down Tom Patton Lane and park in the designated area near Rackliffe House.
On non-opening days, visitors are invited to park at the Assateague Island Visitor Center and hike or bike to the site along the nature trail or along Tom Patton Lane. The grounds are open every day from dawn to dusk, and all activities outside of Rackliffe House are free.