Information on:

Patuxent Research Refuge

10901 Scarlet Tanager Ct

Patuxent Research Refuge is one of over 540 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s largest network of lands and waters dedicated to protecting wildlife and their habitat. 

Established in 1936 by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Patuxent Research Refuge is the Nation's only National Wildlife Refuge established to support wildlife research. Today most of the research on the refuge is conducted by the US Geological Survey (USGS) through the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 

With land surrounding the Patuxent and Little Patuxent Rivers between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, the Refuge has grown from the original 2,670 acres to its present size of 12,841 acres and encompasses land formerly managed by the Departments of Agriculture and Defense. Throughout decades of change, Patuxent's mission of conserving and protecting the nation's wildlife and habitat through research and wildlife management techniques has remained virtually unchanged.

Patuxent Research Refuge is divided into three areas: 1) North Tract, which offers hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, trails, and many interpretive programs; 2) Central Tract, where the offices and study sites of the many research biologists are located at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; and 3) South Tract, where the National Wildlife Visitor Center and its trails are located. The National Wildlife Visitor Center and North Tract are the only areas open for visitor activities.


Jackson Autrey

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
A gorgeous natural preserve with numerous excellent walking trails. A bit of warning to any would-be hikers (especially those with dogs): if you plan to walk through any of the forest trails, wear appropriate clothing and bug spray to minimize the risk of ticks! I found two on me and four on my dog after our hike. I had been wearing shorts and a t-shirt and will not make that mistake twice!

Mike Lynch

Monday, April 23, 2018
A nice place for a walk in the woods. Bring the dog (has to be on leash) and take a leasurely stroll. Birdwatching is pretty good here. Honestly, I only go here because of the location close to home. It tends to be crowded and is highly "managed". For a more Wildlife, less people experience go to the North Tract of the Refuge. Or one of many other less managed and less crowded parks.

Bryce Carpenter

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
A small park. It has a visitor center, but the majority of the space is not designed for public use. There are a small number of trails around a small lake with a large amount of waterfowl. The visitor center has some nice displays, but they haven't been updated in many years. I would say the highlight is if you manage to catch one of the times the small birds of prey are being displayed. As for the trails. They are mostly flight and easy, nothing to challenge a hiker. But if you are looking for a quiet walk, it is a welcome quiet refuge close to DC.

Celeste Behsmann

Saturday, May 19, 2018
What a beautiful place to ride. It has got to be the best way to get to see nature. We've been a couple times and each time we enjoy ourselves. The trails are well marked and the roads are well kept and well marked.

Barbara Burr

Friday, May 4, 2018
Wonderful Visitor Center. Many super exhibits. Enjoyed looking for the animals for the game of Bingo. Great place to come if it is sunny or raining. Make sure you save time to take a walk around the lake.

Patuxent Research Refuge is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media