The North Tract of Patuxent Research Refuge encompasses over 8,000 acres that
were formerly a military training area. It is located off Route 198, just
1.4 miles east of the Baltimore/Washington Parkway. The land was transferred
from the Department of Defense to the Refuge in 1991, and it is open for
public use activities that are compatible with research and wildlife management
objectives. North Tract Map here (270
KB PDF file).
The Visitor Contact Station is located at the entrance to the North Tract
facility. All visitors must check in at the Station and receive an access
The North Tract Visitor Contact Station and grounds are open every day 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. except
for federal holidays. (Federal Holidays here)
Hunting is permitted only during established hunting seasons
(September-January) and on selective days in April and May during the Spring Wild Turkey Hunt. The hunting program is administered by the Meade
Natural Heritage Association (a cooperating association). A valid Maryland state
hunting license, verification of completion of a hunter safety course,
and a Maryland State Shooters Qualification card are required. An information
announcement can be reached by calling 301-317-3825. You may also call
301-317-3819 for more information during hunting season.
More information about Refuge hunting here
Visitors can fish at Lake Allen, New Marsh, Cattail Pond, Rieve's Pond,
Bailey Bridge Marsh, and the Little Patuxent River. All regulations, maps,
and access passes are available at the Visitor Contact Station. These
areas support predominantly bluegill, smallmouth and largemouth bass,
catfish, black crappie, pickerel, trout, shad, chub, carp, suckers, striped
bass, and yellow perch. A Maryland state fishing license is required for
ages 16 and older.
More information about Refuge fishing here
There are approximately 20 miles of trails for hiking, bicycling, and
horseback riding. There are also many opportunities to observe wildlife
at North Tract. Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E) has contributed
to the creation of a wetland and Wildlife Viewing Area where visitors
may see waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds in an area that
was formerly an artillery testing range.
More information for North Tract Trails here (400
KB PDF file).
North Tract offers guided bird and nature walks as well as environmental
education programs throughout the year. Announcements of upcoming programs
are posted on this web site (see Public Programs)
as well as at the Visitor Contact Station, National Wildlife Visitor Center,
and in local newspapers and libraries.