Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation
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Patuxent River Park

16000 Croom Airport Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301-627-6074; TTY 301-699-2544

Hours of Operation

Daily, 8 am-dusk (Call the park office for seasonal closing time.)
Visitors Center 8 am-4 pm


river The Patuxent River

The Patuxent River was first recognized by the State of Maryland as a valuable natural resource, worthy of protection, in the Patuxent River Watershed Act of 1961. This legislation declared that "flood prevention, land conservation, erosion control and protection from urban development within the watershed is a public benefit and conducive to the public health, safety and welfare." In 1968, the river was designated one of Maryland's scenic rivers.

In response to the legislation, M-NCPPC developed a master plan "to preserve and protect the very unique natural and historical resources... while providing compatible recreational activities for the public." The Commission embarked on a land acquisition program with funding principally from Program Open Space, Maryland's nationally-acclaimed land preservation program. In Prince George's County, the Commission owns more than 7,000 acres of parkland that protect the natural resources and preserve the scenic character of the river.

Several properties are open for public use including:

The park offers a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, canoeing, archaeology and nature study. In addition, there is the Patuxent Rural Life Museums , a collection of late 19th century and early 20th century buildings and historic structures dedicated to preserving the rural heritage of southern Prince George's County. The park provides canoe and kayak rentals , facilities for camping and picnics , guided educational programs , and special programs and events for people of all ages. Reservations are required for most activities.

Boat Ramps

  • Three public boat ramps are located on the Patuxent River in Prince George's County. Restrictions apply and parking is limited.
  • A special use permit is required for all vehicles towing trailers.
  • Permits are available on an annual or daily basis.
  • Permits can be purchased at the Visitors Center (Jug Bay Natural Area). Call 301-627-6074.
  • Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Once lots are filled, access will be denied until space becomes available.
  • No overnight use permitted.
  • Fuel facilities not available.
  • Personal watercraft (PWC) are only permitted to launch at Clyde Watson Boating Area (CWBA)

Jackson's Landing

Follow park road past Visitors Center to the bottom of the hill. Parking limitation - 12 vehicles with trailers; 12 additional vehicles.

Selby's Landing

Follow Croom Airport Road (past park entrance road) to dead end, turn left and follow road to designated area. Parking limitation - 25 vehicles including vehicles with trailers.

Clyde Watson Boating Area

Follow Croom Road about 10 miles south of Jug Bay and turn left on Magruder's Ferry Road. Entrance is on the right. Parking limitation - 15 vehicles with trailers and 25 additional vehicles. Personal watercraft are permitted to launch with limitations.

  1. Access limited to seven (7) at any time.
  2. Access south of boat ramp only
  3. PWC's prohibited along shoreline in posted area.

Upcoming Events

Make Your Own Watershed Model
Saturday-Sunday, March 29-30
10 am-4 pm
Watkins Nature Center
Attend our workshop and build a watershed model that represents the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - complete with mountains, Piedmont, and coastal plains. Create interchangeable cityscapes, farms, forests and wetlands. Students of all ages can use models to answer questions about the water cycle, streams, land use policies, pollution and much more!
Open to Educators
Fee: Free
Space is limited! Register here.

Patuxent River Park Club Opportunities

The Basket Bunch meets once a month to share ideas and learn how to collect natural materials and fashion them into beautiful and functional baskets. Members receive a monthly newsletter with details for the coming month's project. Membership fees: Residents of Prince George's and Montgomery Counties - $25/year; Non-Residents - $30/year.

2014 Basket Bunch Schedule 

February 20: Recycled Coiled Rag Basket, Patuxent River Park
March 20: Vine Hanging Basket, Patuxent River Park
April 17: Splitting Oak or Maple, Patuxent River Park
April 26: Montpelier Festival of Herbs, Teas & the Arts, Montpelier Mansion - Laurel, MD
May 15: Visit Day Basket Factory, North East, MD
June 12: Dye Day, Patuxent River Park
June 19: Tulip Poplar Bark Baskets, Patuxent River Park
July 17: Preparing Gourds with Powdered Pigment, Patuxent River Park
August 21: Modified Gretchen Border on a Handmade Ceramic Bowl, Easton, MD
September 18: Catalpa Pod Creations, Patuxent River Park
October 11: Kid's Day in the Kountry, Patuxent River Park
October 16: Visit the Pottery Studio, Make Ceramic Basket Embellishments, Charlotte Hall, MD
October 18: American Indian Festival, Patuxent River Park
November 20: Landscape Design Basket on Recycled Mold, Patuxent River Park
December 11: Holiday Brunch & Basket Swap, Patuxent River Park

Live Osprey Cam

Ospreys are fish eating migratory birds that return every year from South America to nest along the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River. The park has erected artificial nest platforms along the river and monitors their activity throughout the season.

The male returns first and begins nest building using twigs and branches. When the female returns, the mating ritual begins. The young are born in May. By August, they are ready to leave the nest, separate from their parents and begin the annual migration back to South America.

Our Osprey Cam is located at Jug Bay Natural Area near the boat ramp at Jackson's Landing. The best time for viewing is early morning or late afternoon when the osprey bring fish back to the nest.
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50th anniversary