Patuxent River Water Trail

Patuxent River Water Trail

The Patuxent River Water Trail offers visitors the opportunity to paddle the river, camp along its banks and visit its numerous parks, historic sites, sanctuaries and wildlife areas. The 110 mile long river is unique in that it is the longest river that flows entirely within the state of Maryland.

From its source at Parrs Ridge in Carroll County to Drum Point on the Chesapeake Bay, the Patuxent River is known for its treasured resources and natural beauty. Dense woodlands buffer the upper reaches while farmlands dominate the southern part creating scenic vistas and a serene rural environment. Archaeological and cultural resources tell the story of 10,000 years of human habitation.

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Hours

The water trail has access points that provide access to the river at any time and others that are open at specific times, such as daylight hours. 

(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

Fees vary per site, some are free, while others charge a fee to launch or camp.

Activities

The Patuxent River Water Trail provides a wide range of activities including paddling, boating and fishing on the water as well as trails for hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders, camping, museums, guided tours, educational programs, archaeology, picnicking and historical sites related to The War of 1812 and John Smith. A full list of sites with corresponding activities and significance can be found by calling 301-627-0674.

Water Trail(s)

Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.

Water Safety

Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.

Water Trail Map & Guide

Download a free copy of a simple, not-for navigation Patuxent Water Trail map. It lists the major points along the entire water trail as it winds through seven counties in Maryland. For a detailed GPS-friendly map in waterproof or non-waterproof versions, visit the Patuxent Riverkeeper shop.

Facilities

Facilities and fees vary per site; some sites have restrooms; others have a port-a-potty. Many locations have easily accessible onsite parking others are strictly accessible by water.

Accessibility

Accessibility and handicap facilities vary at each site.

Main image: Patuxent River Water Trail
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