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Patuxent Research Refuge Updates and October Public Programs

  1. Cash Lake Fishing will end early this year. Patuxent Research Refuge will draw down (drain) Cash Lake from now through the end of September. The purpose of this draw down is two-fold. Refuge staff will inspect and make any necessary repairs to the dam and water control structure that maintains Cash Lake. Additionally, the draw down will cause vegetation to die off, which aids in open water maintenance to support quality fishing programs for the public. The current schedule for Cash Lake is April 1st through October 11th, sunrise to sunset. However, due to scheduled maintenance needs we anticipate that Cash Lake will close in the near future.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and remind anglers that they are still able to fish at the North Tract through the remainder of year. See details in the attached news release.
  1. Please remember to stop by the Visitor Center to see the Hollingsworth Art Gallery’s artists. September is featuring artist Jing-Jy Chen, October will feature work by artist Denny Bingaman.  For more information about the Hollingsworth Art Gallery artists visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Patuxent/visit/gallery.html
  2. The National Wildlife Visitor Center is closed to the public on Thursdays.  All entrances of Patuxent Research Refuge will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7thin observance of the Labor Day holiday.
  3. Hunting is now in session and may be occurring in various areas throughout the refuge this fall season through January 31st. Make sure to stay on marked trails at all times and find out about closed areas when visiting.
  4. Join us at the North Tract for the Monarch Festival hosted by the Friends of Patuxent on Saturday, Sept.19th from 9:00 am-3:00 pm. Learn about the monarch, enjoy family friendly activities, crafts, games and more.T
  5. Trams are now running on weekends only through the end of the tram season (November 14th).

Patuxent Research Refuge Public Programs October 2015

To register for a program at Patuxent: Please call 301-497-5887 to make your reservation. All programs are FREE, however, donations to The Friends of Patuxent are greatly appreciated! Note: These public programs are designed for individuals/families.  Programs DO require advance reservations and may be subject to changes or cancellation due to weather or low participation.

Please notify the refuge of any special needs so that you may be accommodated. Patuxent.fws.gov
Also online at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Patuxent/visit/PublicPrograms.html.

Programs Held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center

10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop

Laurel, MD 20708

The Visitor Center is located on Powder Mill Road between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Rt. 197.

Bird Walk
Wednesday, Oct. 7th8:00-10:30 am, Ages 16+
Sunday, Oct. 18th8:00-10:00 am, Ages 8+
Wednesday, Oct. 21st8:00-10:30 am, Ages 16+

Search for birds in several refuge habitats on this guided hike.  Field guides and binoculars recommended. Registration is required.

Whooping Crane Observatory Tour
Sunday, Oct. 11th1:00-2:30 pm, Ages 14+

Take a guided tour to the Whooping Crane Observatory at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to observe a pair of graceful and endangered adult whooping cranes. Find out more about the Whooping Crane population recovery program. Arrive early, as the tour will leave on time.  Space is very limited. Registration is required.

Patuxent Wildlife Festival
National Wildlife Visitor Center
Saturday, October 17th, 2015 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
No Registration Necessary

Find out about the ground-breaking research being done at Patuxent!  Activities include live animal displays, children’s crafts, tram tours, research exhibits, and behind-the-scenes tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to see endangered whooping cranes and much more!  Refreshments are available for purchase. Tours are limited; tickets are available first come first serve on the day of the event.

Forest Discovery Hike
Wednesday, Oct. 21st, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Ages 8-12
The forest is much more than just trees!  Join a refuge volunteer for a hike in the woods to discover the parts of the forest, who uses them and for what.  Please dress for the weather. Registration is required.

Specialty Kids’ Tram
Saturday, Oct. 24th10:30-11:10 am, Ages 3-9

Join a refuge volunteer for a special kids’ themed wildlife tram tour!  Visit the various habitats of the refuge.  Look, listen and learn about the plants and animals that live there.  Registration is required.

Wonderful Whoopers!
Sunday, Oct. 25th, 11:00-12:00 pm, Ages 5-7
MondayOct. 26th1:00-2:00 pm, Ages 5-7
Discover the wonderful world of Whooping Cranes! Learn why this amazing bird is endangered and how researchers are working hard to keep these birds from disappearing forever! Registration is required.

Nature Tots: Spooky Spiders
Friday, Oct. 30th10:30-11:30 am & 1:00-2:00 pm, Ages 3-4
Discover the wild webby world of the spider through songs, stories and more in this fun program. Registration is required.

Programs Held at the North Tract

230 Bald Eagle Drive

Laurel, MD 20724

The North Tract is located on Rt. 198 between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Rt. 32.

Adventure Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 9:00 am-1:00 pm, All Ages
Using clues and locations, families and groups can either drive or bike the North Tract’s Wildlife Loop and hike nearby trails to hunt for sculptured stones, mystery objects, plants and animals while learning about the history of North Tract and other recreational opportunities.  A camera or cell phone that takes pictures is highly recommended.  Arrive anytime between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm to begin your hunt and plan for 1-2 hours!  Registration is required along with approximate arrival time.  Please call 301-497-5887 to make your reservation.

Bird Walk
Sunday, Oct. 25th, 8:15 am-10:15 am, All Ages
Search for birds in several refuge habitats on this guided hike.  Field guides and binoculars are recommended.   Registration is required.

Night Hike
Sunday, Oct. 25th5:45-7:15 pm, Ages 5+
Discover the nighttime world of the refuge as you look and listen for nocturnal animals on this guided walk. Registration is required.

Riding Bicycles to Experience the North Tract
Sunday, Oct. 4th1:00-3:00 pm, Ages 10+
Enjoy a pleasant family-oriented bicycle outing on the North Tract and experience the beauty of this natural area on two wheels.  Discover local wildlife, plants and historical sites.  Learn the importance of reducing your footprint and leaving no trace on this 5-mile guided bicycle ride.  Bring your own bike (wide tire hybrid and mountain bikes only – narrow tire road bikes are not suitable for several of our trails), water bottle and helmet.  Weather dependent.  Registration is required.



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