Refuge Status


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is following federal, state, and local public health authority guidance to ensure safe public access to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. As of April 12, 2021, access to the refuge is as follows:

Visitor Center: The Visitor Center is open Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Those entering the Visitor Center or any other part of the refuge are required to wear a mask in accordance with the USFWS mask mandate as well as follow CDC guidelines, which include social distancing, frequent hand washing, and staying home if sick.

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 three portable toilets available; one is located at the Visitor Center, 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.

Scheduled Closures

The Marsh Edge Trail is currently closed due to nesting eagles. 

The Key Wallace Trail will be closed April 23 - 25, 2021, for a mentored turkey hunt.

The Tubman Road Trail will be closed April 23 - 25, 2021, for a mentored turkey hunt.