Description - The Patuxent Research Refuge provides year round habitat for migratory waterfowl, including Canada geese, mallards and black ducks. Wood ducks, ring neck ducks, green and blue-winged teal, hooded mergansers, gadwall, American widgeon and other species use the refuge seasonally. White-tailed deer, great blue herons, egrets, pileated woodpeckers, and other wildlife are frequently observed. Bald eagles regularly nest and feed on the refuge. At the northern end, the habitat of the refuge is pine and hardwood forests and includes artificially created impoundments, marshes and wetland drainage areas. At the southern end, the refuge is a mixture of lakes, ponds, wooded areas and mowed fields.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
- A visitor center is located 1.8 miles east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway along Powder Mill Road (Rt. 211). In addition to viewing the exhibits in the center, visitors can participate in wildlife observation, environmental education activities, hiking, bicycling, fishing (no boats), and hunting. White-tailed deer, small game, and waterfowl are the harvests. The southern tract is open to foot traffic while the northern tract is open to both foot and bike traffic. Pets are permitted as long as they are leashed.
Note: The Central Tract research area is not available for recreational activities.
Recreation - Visitors to Patuxent Research Refuge will find the following recreations: auto touring, biking, educational programs, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, wildlife viewing opportunities, along with a visitor center.
Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.
South Tract / National Wildlife Visitor Center: Take Baltimore/Washington Parkway (295) to Powder Mill Road exit, south of Laurel. Go east onto Powder Mill Road and go approximately 1.5 miles. Main gate is on right side (Scarlet Tanager Loop). Follow entrance road to visitor center parking area.
North Tract: Take Baltimore/Washington Parkway (295) to Route 198/ Ft. Meade exit; go east on Route 198 for approximately 2 miles. Turn right on Bald Eagle Drive and go to Visitor Contact Station, 1 mile on left side. All visitors must check in for an access pass and check out before leaving area.
Central Tract is closed to public.