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
Holidays closings affect all above sites.
Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is closed to the public on these official holidays.
(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.)
(*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.
The Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary has over 15 miles of hiking trails and boardwalks.
Picnic tables are available at the Wetland Center, at Farm Point (River Farm; Sweet Flag Picnic Area) and near Plummer House (Glendening Preserve).
McCann Wetlands Center Conference Room, rented for professional activities only - is ideal for lectures, hands-on workshops, and professional retreats.
Pawpaw Pavilion: Located at the Sanctuary Proper, this large, outdoor, covered structure has several uses with the following prioritization: (1) education programs; (2) public and community events; (3) private family activities. If private family use is of interest, please contact the Sanctuary via the information below to learn about additional guidelines for this type of use. The Pawpaw Pavilion is available for rentals on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays*.
Dogs are not allowed in the Sanctuary Proper, but may be walked on leash at the Glendening Preserve.