Patuxent Research Refuge offers many attractions – outdoors and indoors. A few of the points of interest are described below.
On North Tract, approximately 20 miles of roads and trails provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. A wetland and wildlife viewing area provides visitors the opportunity to see waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors and songbirds.
On South Tract, approximately 5 miles of trails provide hiking opportunities. Trails and the seasonal tram tours highlight wildlife habitat and management practices.
On South Tract, the National Wildlife Visitor Center features interactive exhibits which focus on global environmental issues, migratory bird studies, habitats, endangered species, and more.
Refuge regulations include:Traveling off roads, off trails and in closed areas is prohibited. The refuge speed limit is 25 mph unless posted otherwise.
Pets must be kept on a leash (no longer than 10 feet) and under control at all times. Pets are not allowed in refuge ponds or waterways.
Please do not litter. Take trash (including pet waste) with you and dispose of it properly.
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The scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea) is a medium sized song bird native to the northeast upland forest. Tanagers are often hard to spot as they frequent the highest reaches of the tree canopy. The brilliant red and black plumage of the breeding male is a treat to see. Tanagers seek out insects during the summer months and fruits during migration back to their wintering grounds in the tropics.