Patuxent River Park
The Patuxent River
The Patuxent River was first recognized by the State of Maryland as a valuable natural resource, worthy of protection, in the Patuxent River Watershed Act of 1961.
In 1968, the river was designated one of Maryland's scenic rivers.
Today, the Patuxent River remains one of the most beautiful sites in Prince George's County and the State of Maryland. Home to a wide variety of wildlife, the river also tells great historical stories and sustains livelihoods and hobbies held by enthusiasts of all kinds.
In Prince George's County, the Commission owns more than 7,000 acres of riverside parkland that protect the natural resources and preserve the scenic character of the river.
Several properties are open for public use including:
- Aquasco Farm
- Cedar Haven Fishing Area
- Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Tour
- Columbia Air Center
- Clyde Watson Boating Area
- Fran Uhler Natural Area
- Governor Bridge Natural Area & Canoe Launch
- Jug Bay Natural Area - park headquarters
- Mount Calvert Historical & Archaeological Park
- Nottingham School
- Patuxent River 4-H Center
- Patuxent River Scenic Trail at Queen Anne
- Patuxent Water Trail
- Queen Anne Fishing Area
- Queen Anne Canoe Launch
Park guests can enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, canoeing, archaeology and nature study.
The park provides canoe and kayak rentals, facilities for camping, guided educational programs and special programs and events for people of all ages. Reservations are required for most activities.
American Indian Village
The American Indian Village at Patuxent River Park replicates an Eastern Woodland Village with various components giving visitors opportunities to explore the history of the Indigenous peoples of Prince George's County, Maryland and the surrounding areas. Enhance your visit to the Village by doing the following:
- Download the Village's app available on Apple Store and Google Play (Search: Indian Village at Patuxent River Park); be sure to turn on your phone's Bluetooth feature for push notifications while visiting!
- Use your phone to dial into the Audio Tour: 301-388-5839
- Visit the Village's website: http://indianvillage.toursphere.com
We also offer programs at the Village. Find out more by visiting our Educational Programs page.
In addition, there is the Patuxent Rural Life Museums, a collection of late 19th century and early 20th century buildings and historic structures dedicated to preserving the rural heritage of southern Prince George's County.
- Three public boat ramps are located on the Patuxent River in Prince George's County. Restrictions apply and parking is limited.
- A special use permit is required for all vehicles towing trailers.
- Permits are available on an annual or daily basis.
- Permits can be purchased at the Visitors Center (Jug Bay Natural Area). Call 301-627-6074.
- Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Once lots are filled, access will be denied until space becomes available.
- No overnight use permitted.
- Fuel facilities not available.
- Personal watercraft (PWC) are only permitted to launch at Clyde Watson Boating Area (CWBA)
Follow park road past Visitors Center to the bottom of the hill. Parking limitation - 12 vehicles with trailers; 12 additional vehicles.
Follow Croom Airport Road (past park entrance road) to a dead end, turn left and follow the road to designatedarea. Parking limitation - 25 vehicles including vehicles with trailers.
WARNING: This is a short ramp with a drop off at the end.
Clyde Watson Boating Area
Follow Croom Road about 10 miles south of Jug Bay and turn left on Magruder's Ferry Road. Entrance is on the right. Parking limitation - 15 vehicles with trailers and 25 additional vehicles. Personal watercraft are permitted to launch with limitations.
- Access limited to seven (7) at any time.
- Access south of boat ramp only
- PWC's prohibited along the shoreline in posted area.
Please visit our Osprey page for more information. Please note that these are wild osprey nests and anything can happen. While we hope that all the osprey nestlings hatched in these nests will grow up healthy and successfully fledge each season, things like sibling rivalry, predators, and natural disasters can affect them and may be difficult to watch.