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North Tract

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 pass.

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

Wildlife Observation
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).

Educational Programs
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.

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