Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, operated by Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks, consists of 1,700 acres of open water, tidal freshwater marshes, forested wetlands, upland and riparian forest, creeks, meadows, pine and sand barrens, and fields along the Patuxent River.

Located in southern Anne Arundel County, 20 miles east Washington D.C. and 18 miles south of Annapolis, the Sanctuary is a designated site on the Patuxent Water Trail.

The Sanctuary is located in the tidal reaches of the Patuxent River, and its network of habitats, including its extensive tidal freshwater wetlands, provides a safe environment to a high diversity of plants, invertebrates, birds, fish, reptiles, and mammal species. The National Audubon Society has designated the Sanctuary as a Nationally Important Bird Area.

In 1990 the Sanctuary was designated as one of three components within the Maryland Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve – a research, stewardship, and education program administered jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, and Anne Arundel County. 

​Founded in 1986, the Friends of Jug Bay is a non-profit citizens’ organization that acts to preserve the Sanctuary and to support its education, stewardship, and research programs. Through financial contributions and active engagement, FOJB members provide critical support that greatly enhances Sanctuary programs and activities and its long-term protection

Enter Your Location

Related Trip Ideas

Nearby Places

Image Credit: Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary


Hours by Area:

  • Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary Proper - McCann Wetlands Center
    1361 Wrighton Road, Lothian, MD 20711
    • Wednesday 9 am - 5 pm
    • Friday 9 am - 5 pm
    • Saturday 9 am - 5 pm
    • Sunday 9 am - 5 pm (March-November only)
  • Glendening Preserve (Wrighton entrance)
    1290 Wrighton Rd, Lothian, MD 20711
    • Daily: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Glendening Preserve (Plummer entrance)
    5702 Plummer Ln, Lothian, MD 20711
    • Mon-Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Patuxent Wetland Park
    1426 Mt. Zion Marlboro Rd, Lothian, MD 20711
    • Open daily, dawn - dusk
  • Wootons Landing Wetland Park
    4550 Sands Rd, Harwood, MD 20776
    • Open daily, dawn - dusk

Holidays closings affect all above sites.

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is closed to the public on these official holidays.

  • New Year's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


Fees by Area:

  • Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary Proper - McCann Wetlands Center:
    • Vehicle Entrance Fee: 
      • $6 per vehicle
      • $5 for physically challenged
  • Glendening Nature Preserve:
    • No vehicle entrance fee
  • Patuxent Wetland Park:
    • No fees
  • Wootons Landing Wetland Park:
    • No fees

(*Free entrance for Friends of Jug Bay Members and Active Military)

Program fees are in addition to the entrance fee, unless otherwise noted in the program description.  Cash or check only, at this time we cannot accept credit cards for the vehicle entrance fee.


Boardwalks, Wildlife Viewing Blinds, and Platforms. Canoeing and kayaking.


Last updated: July 06, 2022
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail Find Your Chesapeake Geotour