U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Research Refuge

10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop
Laurel, MD   20708 - 4027
E-mail: Amy_Shoop@fws.gov
Phone Number: 301-497-5776
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Seasonal tram tours through the forests, meadows, and wetlands on the refuge.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
At the National Wildlife Visitor Center teacher workshops are offered to help prepare teachers for bringing their students to the refuge.

At the workshops teachers receive curicula activities that follow state standards that they can use on and off site. The visitor center has extensive hands-on exhibits dealing with endangered species and natural areas found throughout the country.

Visitors can fish at Cash Lake, Lake Allen, New Marsh, Cattail Pond, Rieves Pond, Bailey Bridge Marsh, and the Little Patuxent River.

All regulations, maps, and access passes are available at the National Wildlife Visitor Center or the Visitor Contact Station on North Tract. Common species include bluegill, largemouth bass, catfish, black crappie, pickerel, other sunfish. A Maryland state fishing license is required for those 16 and older.

A wide range of hunting opportunities await the outdoor sportsman who ventures into the woods and fields of Patuxent Research Refuge.

Hunting for upland game, waterfowl, and white-tail deer (bow, muzzleloader, and shotgun) is managed by refuge officials and the Meade Natural Heritage Association (MNHA) through a permit system. MNHA is a cooperating association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunting is permitted only during established Maryland hunting seasons (September - January). Carrying, possessing, or using weapons out of season is prohibited. A valid Maryland state hunting license, verification of completion of a hunter safety course, Maryland State Shooters Qualification Card, and MNHA permit are required.

Staff and volunteers offer guided floral and fauna walks, nature walks, and interpretive programs for all ages throughout the year. Volunteers travel off site and give presentations on a variety of wildlife related topics.

Wildlife Observation
At North Tract approximately 20 miles of roads and trails exist for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. There are wetland and wildlife viewing areas where visitors may see waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds in an area that was formerly an army training area. The National Wildlife Visitor Center features interactive exhibits which focus on global environmental issues, migratory bird studies, habitats, endangered species, and the tools and techniques used by scientists. The Visitor Center also offers hiking trails, tram tours, a seasonal fishing program, wildlife management demonstration areas, and an outdoor education site for school groups.

The National Wildlife Visitor Center is open daily 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Visitor Center grounds are open sunrise to 4:30 PM. The Visitor Center is closed on all Federal Holidays. The Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract is open daily 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM except all Federal holidays and except during firearm hunting season in the fall.

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Entrance Fees
There is no entrance fee. A daily permit is required for North Tract. It can be obtained at the North Tract Visitor Contact Station.

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