There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related there are probably restrictions governing this activity. Please check with the visitor services staff before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of activities at Patuxent for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun!
The refuge is open to wildlife observation, interpretation, environmental education, nature photography, fishing, hunting, and related uses. To protect the natural resources on the refuge and to provide all visitors with a safe and enjoyable wildlife experience please observe all refuge signs and regulations in handouts and brochures. It is the visitor's responsibility to respect and obey refuge regulations to ensure that wildlife has a place to grow and survive for future generations. In all cases, public access, use, or recreational activities not specifically permitted are prohibited. Please inquire at the North Tract Visitor Contact Station 301-497-5770 or the National Wildlife Visitor Center 301-497-5763 to ensure that your activity is permitted. All visitors to the refuge are expected to comply with local, state and federal laws and regulations. The speed limit is 25 mph unless posted otherwise.
Visitor safety and wildlife conservation are top priorities at the refuge. At times, sections of the refuge may be closed on short notice due to wildlife needs, safety, weather, and special projects. The refuge manager reserves the right to close all or part of the refuge to public access at any time. The refuge is also subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. To help make your visit safe and enjoyable, please call or monitor this website for current hours of operation before visiting.
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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.