As one of Maryland’s designated scenic rivers, Patuxent River showcases the region’s natural beauty and provides hours of experiences, both open air and cultural.
After enjoying a hearty breakfast at Wayside Inn, outdoors enthusiasts should consider hiking in nearby Patuxent River State Park. Or for nature mixed with history, a visit to the downriver Patuxent River Park could easily fill a day.
For people with an off-the-beaten path passion, Patuxent River State Park is the perfect day-trip location. Visitors can enjoy mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking on unsigned and untended trails. Even hunters can enjoy Patuxent River State Park, where seasonal forest game, upland game, dove and deer hunting is an option (with bow, muzzle-loader and shotgun). Standard hunting laws apply.
Note: Patuxent River State Park is opened from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, CLOSED Monday and Tuesday
At the more southeastern Patuxent River Park, you can still experience the panorama of Maryland’s natural beauty, and you can also experience some of the Patuxent River area history.
Coinciding with the 7th Annual American Indian Festival (October 17, 10am-4pm) the American Indian Village at Patuxent River Park will open this October.
The village will replicate an eastern woodland village that the indigenous peoples of modern-day Prince George’s County and surrounding areas would have lived in. This new interactive exhibit will provide a more accurate picture of the area’s history, alongside the existing Patuxent Rural Life Museums and Mount Calvert Historical and Archaeological Park.
Since the 1960s, the Patuxent River has been protected as an important watershed and a scenic river. You can experience some of this unsullied beauty with the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Tour, a four-mile bike, hike or drive (the roadway is only open to vehicles on Sundays). The route connects Jug Bay Natural Area (which is home to Patuxent River Park’s headquarters)and Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Fran Uhler Natural Area is another option at Patuxent River Park, featuring five miles of hiking, biking and nature study between Bowie State University and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
There are plenty of places to kick back and enjoy some fishing at the park. Cedar Haven Fishing Area and Queen Anne Fishing Area are both open daily (but since the river is tidal, a Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license is required for anglers age 16 and older).
With canoe and kayak rentals at the Clyde Watson Boating Area, you needn’t bring your own boating equipment to enjoy the Patuxent River. The Queen Anne Canoe Launch is restricted access, so call the park office ahead of time to gain admittance (301-627-6074). For more casual access, including a small beach area and picnic tables, the Clyde Watson Boating Area is the place to go.
When you visit Patuxent River, you’re sure to experience some of the area’s most celebrated landscapes.
For more info, check out our FREE VACATION GUIDE here.