2145 Key Wallace Dr
Frequently Asked Questions
If you're planning a visit to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and have questions about the Refuge's services, facilities, and recreational opportunities, please refer to our list of frequently asked questions displayed on this page. If your question is not on this list, feel free to contact the management of Blackwater Refuge at:
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
From Easton, MD heading East (South):
From Salisbury, MD heading West:
For GPS users: The address of the Blackwater NWR Visitor Center is 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, Maryland, 21613.
The Refuge's outdoor facilities and Wildlife Drive are open from dawn to dusk, all year. The visitor center and gift shop are open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the weekend (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). The visitor center and/or the Wildlife Drive may be closed during hazardous weather conditions.
Visitors can purchase a daily permit at the self-pay kiosk, located at the entrance to the Wildlife Drive for the following amounts:
Private Vehicle - $3
Annual and lifetime passes are available at the Visitor Center and include either a current Federal Duck Stamp valid July 1 to June 30 ($15); a Blackwater NWR Pass ($12), valid one year from date of issue; an Interagency Annual Pass ($80), valid one year from date of issue; a lifetime Interagency Seniors Pass ($10); or a lifetime Interagency Access Pass, which is free for the blind and permanently disabled.
Please Note: Effective November 20, 2010, the Visitor Center is closed for renovation. Our gift store and information desk have been temporarily relocated to the Environmental Education building at the start of the Wildlife Drive (same hours as Visitor Center). You can learn more about the status of the renovation work on our Renovation page.
The Visitor Center offers wildlife exhibits, an authentic bald eagle's nest, our Osprey Cam and Eagle Cam TV monitors, and a second-floor "Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways to Nature Observatory" (accessible via stairs or a wheelchair-friendly elevator). In addition, visitors can pick up brochures and maps, browse The Eagle's Nest Book & Gift Shop (run by the Friends of Blackwater) or make use of the restrooms. Visitors can also enjoy our beautiful Butterfly and Beneficial Insect Garden, which is located behind the building. The garden is a peaceful and restful place to enjoy the beauty of butterflies and the plants they favor.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland enjoys four unique seasons. Many visitors come from late October through early April to avoid the mosquitoes and biting flies that invade the Refuge during the warmer months. The Eastern Shore has temperatures that range from winter lows in the 20s to summer highs in the 90s; average annual rainfall is 40 inches and average annual snowfall is 10 inches.
The Wildlife Drive is approximately 4 miles in length (or about a 7-mile loop) and takes visitors in cars, on bicycles, or on foot past some of the most scenic marshes, forests, and fields at Blackwater. The paved drive passes by two of our trails and also offers a good chance of seeing a bald eagle. In addition, there is an observation blind on the Drive that offers photographers and birdwatchers an opportunity to more closely observe the wildlife. Remember that visitors on the Drive are asked to stay on the roadway. Also pets are not allowed on trails or out of vehicles on the Wildlife Drive, even if on a leash. This policy is to protect the endangered ground-feeding Delmarva fox squirrels. Pets can be walked in the parking lot around the Visitor Center. Visit our Wildlife Drive page for more information.
Yes, Blackwater Refuge has four land trails and three paddling trails.
Pets are not allowed on trails or out of vehicles on the Wildlife Drive, even if on a leash. This policy is to protect the endangered ground-feeding Delmarva fox squirrels. Pets can be walked in the parking lot around the Visitor Center.
See the Wildlife section of this website.
Cyclists can choose to complete an approximate 4-mile or 7-mile-loop route along the paved and level Wildlife Drive. Blackwater also has 20-mile and 25-mile routes that follow county roads through the Refuge's varied habitats. Visit our Cycling page for more information.
Visit our Hunting page for more information about our deer hunts. Also visit our Fishing/Crabbing page for more information about fishing or crabbing at the Refuge. Note that visitors can fish from kayaks and canoes -- visit our Paddling page for more information about our water trails.
Visit our Education page for more information about our educational offerings.
Visit the Fire Management Program page on the Blackwater USFWS website.
See the Local Links section of this website.
Camping is not allowed on Refuge property, but lodging and campgrounds can be found in surrounding towns. Visit the Local Links section of this website to find more information. When selecting a place to stay, note that Cambridge is the closest major town to the Refuge.
See the Friends of Blackwater section of this website.