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 grounds are open sunrise to sunset and closed for federal holidays. 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 are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The refuge closes for federal holidays and occasionally for scheduled hunts. (Some trail closures should be expected on Mondays and Saturdays for turkey hunting. All trails reopen May 23rd.)
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
Our projects and biological research provides invaluable aid and scientific knowledge about the numerous resident and migrant wildlife species found on the refuge.