Refuge Status


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is following federal, state, and local public health authority guidance to implement a phased approach to increase public access to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Based on this guidance and in accordance with the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the refuge is beginning to safely increase access.

As of September 28, 2020, access to the refuge is as follows:

Visitor Center: Open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Wildlife Drive and Refuge Trails: Open daily sunrise to sunset.

There are now portable toilets available; one is located at the entrance of Wildlife Drive, and one is in the parking lot of the Woods Trail.

We are excited to welcome you back but do ask that you follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. Staff are working to maintain clean, safe, and healthy facilities in accordance with federal, state and local guidance.

Please report any public safety concerns to the refuge email .  

CDC tips for reducing the spread of and exposure to germs.

Weather Related Closures

The Blackwater NWR Visitor Center and/or Wildlife Drive may be closed during and after severe weather and winter storms for safety purposes.  To check the status of the refuge, please call 410-228-2677 and enter extension 7620 (if no one answers the phone).  The refuge status can also be checked at the Blackwater NWR Facebook page.

Scheduled Closures

A majority of the Wildlife Drive will be closed on the following dates for deer management hunts. The west end of the Wildlife Drive around Pool 5 will remain open free of charge. The Wildlife Drive exit on Key Wallace Drive west of the Visitor Center will serve as the temporary entrance during these days.

December 4, 2020

January 8, 2021

The Key Wallace Trail will be closed on the following dates for deer management hunts: 

November 30, 2020

December 4 and 5, 2020

December 11 and 12, 2020

December 24 - 26, 2020

January 1 and 2, 2021

January 8 and 9, 2021

January 23, 2021