Refuge Status


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to follow federal, state, and local public health authority guidance to ensure safe public access to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. As of August 3, 2021, access to the refuge is as follows:

Visitor Center: The Visitor Center has resumed full-time operation with a new schedule.  The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, and will be closed on Federal holidays. Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older) who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces. Because the local area currently has a high rate of COVID transmission, masks must be worn in the Visitor Center by everyone, and in any other part of the refuge when social distancing cannot be achieved.

Wildlife Drive and Refuge Trails: Open daily, dawn to dusk.

Refuge Hunts: Continue as scheduled.

Please check back here for updates, or see our Facebook page.

There are two portable toilets available; one is located at the entrance of Wildlife Drive and one is in the parking lot of the Woods Trail. Though we do our best to keep these toilets stocked, we suggest that you always come prepared with your own TP.

We ask that you continue to 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.

2021 Waterfowl hunt advisory for the Green Paddling Trail.

Scheduled Closures

The Wildlife Drive will be closed on the following dates for deer management hunts (the Pool 5 loop on the west end of the Drive will remain open free-of-charge):

October 21 & 22, 2021

December 3, 2021

January 7, 2022

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

October 21 -23, 2021

October 29 & 30, 2021

November 29, 2021

December 3 & 4, 2021

December 10 & 11, 2021

December 23 - 25, 2021

December 31, 2021 - January 1, 2022

January 7 & 8, 2022

January 22, 2022

The Tubman Road Trail will be closed on October 29 & 30 for a mentored deer hunt.

Download a one-page summary of scheduled closures.