2145 Key Wallace Dr
Visitor Center at Blackwater
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 beautiful Visitor Center at Blackwater Refuge consists of two floors. The first floor contains the Eagle's Nest Book and Gift Shop, a collection of wildlife exhibits, an authentic eagle's nest, and two TV monitors for watching live video from the Osprey Cam and Eagle Cam. Also on the first floor are restrooms and a meeting room, as well as an informational kiosk and a selection of brochures that will help everyone make the most of their visit to the Blackwater area.
On the second floor is a set of TV monitors for the Osprey Cam and Eagle Cam, as well as bird exhibits and a bird-watcher's observatory where visitors can use spotting scopes to view the Osprey Cam platform, the Blackwater River, and the marsh. This observatory is called the "Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways to Nature Observatory," and was made possible by a grant from the Pathways to Nature conservation fund, which is a partnership between Wild Birds Unlimited stores and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Also on the second floor is a Birding and Natural History Library where visitors can browse the Refuge book collection to learn more about the local wildlife. Access to the second floor is via a staircase or a small wheelchair-friendly elevator.
Outside the back of the building is the rapidly growing Butterfly and Beneficial Insect Garden. Visitors can walk the garden and observe the plants, flowers, birds, and insects. Visitors should also be sure to look for adult and immature bald eagles soaring over the garden and foraging in the nearby marsh.
Visitor Center hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.