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 January 1, 2022, access to the refuge is as follows:

Visitor Center: The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, and is closed on Mondays and observed Federal holidays (any deviations will be noted with a Facebook announcement). 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.

NOTE: Portions of the Visitor Center are currently undergoing renovations to windows and offices. Some of the public areas of the Visitor Center and surrounding grounds (including the upstairs observation area) are closed for safety purposes while this construction takes place. Please obey all closed area signs while at the Visitor Center.

Wildlife Drive and Refuge Trails: Open daily, dawn to dusk (see scheduled closures below).

Refuge Hunts: Continue as scheduled.

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

There are two outdoor restrooms currently available; a vault toilet at the first parking area past the Wildlife Drive pay kiosk and a portable toilet at 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 .

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 to limit disturbance to nesting bald eagles and great blue herons.

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

January 22, 2022

Download a one-page summary of scheduled closures.