Refuge Status


The Wildlife Drive will close at 6:00 p.m. on  Monday, August 3, and remain closed on Tuesday, August 4, due to Tropical Storm Isaias. Expected high winds and heavy rainfall may cause hazardous conditions, including falling trees. The Drive will reopen once the storm has passed and conditions have been assessed. Check back for updates on conditions, or see Blackwater's Facebook page.


The Blackwater NWR Visitor Center has suspended operations until further notice in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The suspension of operations is supported by the State of Maryland. All trails and the Wildlife Drive remain open daily dawn through dusk. All refuge paddling trails and launches are open, but be advised that staff has not been able to perform annual maintenance on these trails.

There are now 2 portable toilets available; one is located at the entrance of Wildlife Drive, and one in the parking lot of the Woods Trail.

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.

October 22 and 23, 2020

December 4, 2020

January 8, 2021

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

October 22 - 24, 2020

October 30 and 31, 2020

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