Whether walking trails or fishing pond, the sounds and sights of the eastern woods give serenity to the soul.
Our Two Entrances:
South Tract,also known as the Dan Ashe Division, hosts 5 miles of walking trails and two scenic lakes. It is also the site of the National Wildlife Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – closed on federal holidays. The grounds are open sunrise to sunset every day. Fishing and hunting is available seasonally.
North Tract offers 25 miles of trail for walking, biking, and horseback riding. With less visitation than South Tract, North Tract offers a quiet atmosphere for those seeking solitude. The grounds and Visitor Information Station are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. on Sundays only and are closed for federal holidays and occasionally for scheduled hunts.
- Please note: starting on March 14, North Tract public hours will be expanded
to include Thursdays through Sundays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
In addition, extended hours will be offered on the third Thursday of every month.
Third Thursday hours will be the following:
March 21 and April 18 - 8:00 am to sunset.
May 16, June 20, and July 18 - 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
August 15 and September 19 - 8:00 am to sunset.
Location and Contact Information
Patuxent Research Refuge was established in 1936 by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and is the only wildlife refuge established to support wildlife research. Today the U.S. Geological Survey’s Eastern Ecological Science Center carries on the refuge’s rich tradition in scientific investigation.
Biologically, the refuge is of regional importance in that it is home to many deep-forest song birds such as the Scarlet Tanager. Patuxent’s large areas of unbroken tree cover, rare in central Maryland, allows these birds to hide from predators.
Currently, the refuge welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year and seeks to nourish their spirits as well as the wildlife of the area.
What We Do
Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service managed lands and waters, from the purposes for which a is established, to the recreational activities offered, to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.
Refuge Our Organization (Programs)
As an organization dedicated to conserving wildlife and habitats, there are many ways for you to be involved. This could be as a volunteer, member of Friends of Patuxent, an intern, or working with the Youth Conservation Corp.
Projects and Research
The work that we conduct at the refuge focuses on understanding the needs of endangered species; developing strategies to combatimpacts; and habitat management for a variety of species, including migratory birds.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is evaluating creation of a new national wildlife refuge to conserve currently unprotected, high priority fish and wildlife habitats across southern Maryland.
In collaboration with landowners, outdoor enthusiasts, conservation partners, and local communities, the Service proposes to identify lands for protection as part of the...