The Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary section of the Critical Area Driving Tour (CADT) is closed to all visitors until March 2023. Pedestrians and bikers can continue to use the Jug Bay Natural Area side of the CADT, but motor vehicles are not permitted.
The Patuxent River is considered one of the most beautiful sites in Prince George's County and the State of Maryland. But it is not just a stunning site, it is also a valuable natural resource. The Patuxent River Watershed Act of 1961 recognized this and that the river is worthy of protection.
In 1968, the river was designated one of Maryland's scenic rivers. It is home to a wide variety of plants and animal. The river tell us great stories of the past, it is part of a vital ecosystem, and it is full of adventure for you to discover.
About Patuxent River Park
Established in 1962, Patuxent River Park comprises over 7,800 acres of riverside parkland in Prince George’s County that protects the land’s natural resources and preserves the scenic character of the park.
The different properties that comprise Patuxent River Park offer a variety of amenities and outdoor activities including:
A visitors center
Canoe & kayak rentals and launches
Observation tower with elevator
Trails, and more.
Jug Bay Natural Area is the headquarters for Patuxent River Park. Programs for educators and the general public includes environmental and historical education programs, guided canoe and kayak trips, and pontoon boat tours.