Patuxent Research Refuge

Directory Manager

Listed in Wildlife Refuges

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Location: Prince Georges County
Type of Animal Served: Wildlife, Birds, Fish
Hours of Operation:
North Tract Hours

Visitor Contact Center & Grounds Open Daily 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Closed on Federal Holidays

South Tract Hours

Vistor Center Building
Open Daily 9:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Closed on Thursdays
Closed on Federal Holidays

Wildlife Images Bookstore
Open Daily 11:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Closed on Thursdays
Closed on Federal Holidays

Trails and Grounds
Open Daily Sunrise - Sunset
Closed on Federal Holidays

Cash Lake
Fishing - April 1 – October 11, 2015 (Sunrise - Sunset)
Closed on Federal Holidays

Dog Walking:

Leash is required and must no more than 10 feet in length.

Pet must be under control of the owner at all times.

Pets are not allowed in refuge ponds or waterways.

Dog waste must be collected and removed from the refuge.

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 U.S. 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.

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