The Patuxent Challenge

​Sites and Activities

Complete one activity per county plus the City of Laurel in a calendar year. Here are the sites and activities:

Patuxent Challenge sign 01

#1 Hike

James and Anne Robinson Nature Center
Howard County
Sign Location: Left of Entrance @ Sycamore Stroll Trail and Mill Ruins Trail Signs

Enjoy a hike on 0.6 mile of trails that meander alongside the Middle Patuxent River and wind down to the Simpsonville Mill Historical Ruins. Hours of operation are Wed. thru Sat., 9 am to 5 pm; Sun., noon to 5 pm. Admission is $5.00 for Adults and $3.00 for Children 3-17 yrs., under 3 free. Admission fee includes tour of our LEED Platinum Nature Center and exhibits.

410-313-0400

6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia, MD 21044

www.howardcountymd.gov/RobinsonNatureCenter

Patuxent Challenge sign 01

#2 Hike

View from the Brighton Dam Visitor Center
Montgomery County
Sign Location: Observation Platform at Visitor Center

Enjoy the view of the southern portion of the Triadelphia Reservoir and Brighton Dam. A WSSC watershed use permit is not required. Area is closed from December 1st until about March 15th. There is no admission fee. Call 301-206-4FUN to check hours.

All inquiries should be directed to the Brighton Dam Visitor Center.

301-206-7485

Park at 2 Brighton Dam  Road, Brookeville MD 20833

www.wsscwater.com/watershed

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#3 Picnic

Scotts Cove Recreation Area
Howard County
Sign Location: Playground Area

Bring your favorite picnic and enjoy a scenic view of the T. Howard Duckett Reservoir, the drinking water source for 1/3 of WSSC’s customers. A WSSC watershed use permit is required. Area is closed from December 1st until about March 15th. There is no admission fee. Call 301-206-4FUN to check hours.

All inquiries should be directed to the Brighton Dam Visitor Center.

301-206-7485

Park at 10845 Harding Road, Laurel, MD 20723

www.wsscwater.com/watershed

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#4 Hike

Patuxent River State Park
Montgomery County
Sign Location: Along Blue Loop Trail facing the River

Enjoy a 0.5 mile round-trip hike (to the challenge sign and back). Jump onto the Flowing Free Trail from the parking lot or from behind the Nature Center. Next turn onto the Blue Loop Trail and keep your eyes towards the River to see the sign. The Flowing Free Trail continues to Howard Chapel Road for a total 1.5 mile up and back trip. Park extends north for 12 miles along Patuxent River, but is currently undeveloped north of Howard Chapel Road.

Park is open daily from Sunrise to Sunset. Admission is free. Check online for Nature Center hours. If staff is not onsite and you require assistance, call 443-962-0216 to speak with a Ranger.

23222 Georgia Avenue, Brookeville, MD 20833

dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/patuxentriver.aspx

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#5 Hike

Riverfront Park
City of Laurel
Sign Location: Trail Head

Enjoy a hike through scenic wetlands and historic dam ruins on the 1.5 mile paved trail at Riverfront Park. This park is also located next to the Laurel Museum. There is no admission fee. Park is open seven days a week, dawn to dusk.

301-725-7800

Avondale Street, Laurel, MD 20707

www.cityoflaurel.org/parks/facilities/riverfront-park

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#6 Hike

Governor Bridge Natural Area
Prince George’s County
Sign Location: Red Trail

Enjoy a 0.75 mile hike through wildflowers and mature hardwood forest to a scenic overlook of the Patuxent River. There is no admission fee. Park is open daily from 8 am to dusk.

301-627-6074

7600 Governor Bridge Road, Bowie, MD 20716

patuxentriverpark.com/

 

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#7 Fishing

Patuxent Wetlands Park
Anne Arundel County
Sign Location: Fishing Pier

Cast your line from the Patuxent Wetlands Park fishing pier to catch the big one. Common species include blue and channel catfish, white and yellow perch, northern snakehead, and largemouth bass. Persons 16 or older are required to have a valid Maryland Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License. There is no admission fee. Park is open dawn to dusk.

410-741-9330

1426 Mt. Zion Marlboro Road, Lothian, MD 20711 (located at end of Marlboro Road)

www.jugbay.org/visit_us/directions#PWP

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#8 Hiking

Glendening Nature Preserve
Anne Arundel County
Sign Location: Chris Swarth Boardwalk Off Cliff Trail

Experience the marsh up close with a 0.6 mile hike along a forested bluff to the Chris Swarth Boardwalk. There is no admission fee. Parking and trail maps are located at the Wrighton Road entrance of the Glendening Preserve; open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Reservations are not required.

410-741-9330

1290 Wrighton Road, Lothian, MD 20711

www.jugbay.org/visit_us/directions#GNP_-_Wrighton

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#9 Paddle

Jug Bay Natural Area
Prince George’s County
Sign Location: Canoe Launch @ Jackson’s Landing

Rent (or bring your own) canoe or kayak to explore the freshwater tidal marshes of the Patuxent River by water. Daily canoe/kayak rentals are available April through October. There is no admission fee. Park is open daily 8 am to dusk.

301-627-6074

16000 Croom Airport Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

patuxentriverpark.com/

Patuxent Challenge sign 01

#10 Paddle

Kings Landing Park
Calvert County
Sign Location: Fishing Pier

Cast your line from the fishing pier to catch the big one. Common species include blue and channel catfish, white and yellow perch, northern snakehead, and largemouth bass. Persons 16 or older are required to have a valid Maryland Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License. There is no admission fee. Park is open daily 9:00AM to 8:00PM Memorial Day to Labor Day; 9:00AM to 5:00PM Labor Day to Memorial Day.

410-535-2661

3255 Kings Landing Road, Huntingtown, MD 20639

www.calvertcountymd.gov/kingslandingpark

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#11 Hike

Maxwell Hall Park
Charles County
Sign Location: Beach Rest Area off Blue Trail

Hike the 2.8 mile Blue Trail loop through fields and forests to the peaceful beach rest area. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenic view of the Patuxent River. There is no admission fee. Park is open daily 8 am to dusk.

301-932-3470

6680 Maxwell Drive, Hughesville, MD 20637

www.charlescountymd.gov/locations/maxwell-hall-park

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#12 Hike

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
Calvert County
Sign Location: Along Village Trail

This ADA-accessible trail begins across from the Pavilion and takes visitors to the replica Indian Village. Along the way, interpretive signs talk about the changes in the environment and landscape in the past 400 years, as well as the Eastern Woodland Indian culture of past, present, and future. There is no admission fee. Open all year from 7:30 am until dusk except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

410-586-8501

10515 Mackall Road, St. Leonard, MD 20685

www.jefpat.org/

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#13 Hike

Historic Sotterley Plantation
St. Mary’s County
Sign Location: At the Visitors Center

Whether you come by car or boat, experience 300 years of history at Sotterley, with 94 acres, over 20 historic buildings including a 1703 Plantation House and 1830’s Slave Cabin, Colonial Revival Gardens and more. Guests can hike almost 6 miles on Sotterley’s trail system, to include overlooks of Sotterley Creek and the Patuxent River. The Visitor Center is open May 1 through Oct. 31 for the Guided Tour season: Tues. to Sat. from 10 am to 4 pm and Sun. from Noon to 4 pm. The site is open year round for self-guided tours, and guests still begin their visit at the Visitor Center. Fees for ages 6 and up range from $5.00 to $10.00, and full information about visiting and fees can be found online.

301-373-2280

44300 Sotterley Lane, Hollywood, MD 20636

www.sotterley.org

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#14 Walk, Wade and Beach-Comb

Myrtle Point Park
St Mary’s County
Sign Location: Along Wet Sox Trail

This 0.5 mile beach trail begins at the picnic area and offers beautiful vistas of the Solomon's Bridge and access to the park's beach and favorite fishing spots. Continue through the woods past the beach to return to the main parking area along a rolling grassy lane.

Fee when gates are open: County resident $ 5.00 per vehicle, Out of County resident $10.00 per vehicle. Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset (except for special evening and night activities). During the winter months, gates are closed but the park is open for use by pedestrians who may park at the entrance and walk into the park.

301-475-4200, extension 1800

24050 Patuxent Boulevard, California, MD 20619

www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/Myrtlepointpark

#15 Paddle

Lower Marlboro Wharf
Calvert  County
Sign Location: Wharf
Bring your own canoe, kayak, or standup paddleboard to explore the middle Patuxent and this brackish water estuary; launch is from a floating dock on the Patuxent. Limited parking, no facilities, no admission fee. Park is open daily, dawn to dusk.
410-535-5327
3955 Lower Marlboro Road, Owings, MD 20736
 

#16 Hike

Carroll Baldwin Hall
Howard  County
Sign Location: At Southeast Corner of Carroll Baldwin Hall
Enjoy a 2-mile round-trip walk from the beautifully restored Carroll Baldwin Hall to stunning vistas along the level Savage Mill Trail. Park along Baldwin Common in the heart of Savage and stroll through the park beside Carroll Baldwin Hall to read about the history of this proud and lively mill town. The Hall, a Maryland Historical Trust site built in 1922, was constructed of local materials. The signature stonework of the exterior is river stone from the nearby Little Patuxent River and was reportedly moved to the site via mule-pulled wagons. Check www.carrollbaldwinhall.org for public events at Carroll Baldwin Hall. Leaving the Hall, walk south on Foundry Street, cross the historic Bollman Truss Bridge and turn right on to the Savage Mill Trail, a former rail trail that parallels an idyllic portion of the Little Patuxent River. Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
410-294-3561
9035 Baltimore St., Savage, MD 20763