Two children looking at a herd of elk from the bed of a carriage in a snowy landscape with mountains in the background

Wildlife Watching

With four walking trails, three water trails and an auto tour route (Wildlife Drive), the refuge is renowned for its wildlife observation and photography opportunities. The Wildlife Drive offers excellent views of local wildlife, including waterfowl, shorebirds, turtles, bald eagles, ospreys, and the Delmarva fox squirrel. An Observation Platform can be accessed by turning left at the first fork on the Wildlife Drive. Equipped with spotting scopes which offer a 360° view of the surrounding marsh, this is a prime spot from which to view eagles as they hunt and feed nearby. 

ALERT: As of 1/4/2024, the Marsh Edge Trail has been closed to limit disturbance to nesting eagles.

Related Documents
Blackwater NWR General Brochure

Overview brochure for Blackwater NWR for visitors, highlighting refuge management, wildlife species found here, and visitor activities.

Blackwater NWR Mammals

Common mammal species that may be seen at Blackwater NWR.

Blackwater NWR Reptiles and Amphibians Brochure

Common reptile and amphibian species that may be found at Blackwater NWR.

Blackwater NWR Bird Checklist

A checklist of birds that may be found on Blackwater NWR, with a seasonal occurrence rating for each species.