Post Turkey Day/ Black Friday Holiday Hike
Jug Bay Wetlands Natural Area
An Easy-Moderate and Very Flat Hike of 7.5 with a Shorter Newbie Friendly 5 Mile Option!
A Something for Everyone Hike
Reservations are required to hike in this natural area and I already reserved our space. Fortunately, to keep it pristine, access is very limited to keep it a hidden gem!
The Natural Area is located in southern Prince Georges County, 20 miles east Washington D.C. and 18 miles south of Annapolis.
The Patuxent River, Maryland’s longest in-state waterway, wriggles south for over 100 miles through woodlands, wetlands, and farmlands—and urbanized areas—to reach Chesapeake Bay. Like the rest of the bay’s watershed, it suffers from poor water quality and other environmental ills. Even so, under a program launched in the early 1960s, much of its river valley is protected as publicly owned and limited-use open space. The program has also resulted in some fine hiking venues, such as Patuxent River Park. The park consists of several areas of great natural beauty dotted along the lower Patuxent. Of those, my choice is the delightful 2,000-acre Jug Bay section, some 20 miles southeast of Washington. These trails are often muddy but well worth it for the experience. © Copyright 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC Published by Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary comprises one of the largest freshwater tidal wetlands on the East Coast. Large stands of wild rice, cattail and other aquatic plants support a rich assortment of invertebrates, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. More than 250 bird species have been observed. Other habitats include hardwood forests, non-tidal wetlands, agricultural fields, year-round streams and temporary (vernal pools) ponds. A working farm with two well-preserved tobacco barns occupies 12 acres. Hikers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy seven miles of boardwalks and trails but we have a shorter 5 mile option if you prefer. An observation deck provides a panoramic view of the wetlands and the broad Patuxent River. Wildlife observation blinds reward the patient observer with close-up views of waterfowl, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, muskrat, beavers, and turtles. In 1991, the Sanctuary joined the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland.
We break down into groups no larger than 15 hikers per leader/sweep team for a more enjoyable experience for all of us and is better for the environment. Large groups really take away from the hiking experience. This also allows us to offer a variety of hike paces and for this particular hike you have 3 to choose from which allows us to be put together with those of a similar pace. Paces should be not only based on your preference but also ability needs to be taken into consideration.
Pace Option 1: A "walk in the woods" or "social" pace which is great for those who want to soak up the nature and/or transitioning to longer hikes and will be about 2.0mph.
Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph (most common pace).
PLEASE put your pace preference in your RSVP so we can plan accordingly
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Upper Marlboro
Length: 7.3 total miles with a shorter option of 5 miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal with undulating/rolling hills. Only one semi steep hill within the first 2 miles but this is newbie friendly if you take the shorter distance option. All paces offer both distances.
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Easy Side of Moderate and VERY FLAT
Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Local Maps:USGS Bristol, Lower Marlboro
Topo Map: Patuxent River Park Topographic Map
We hike rain or shine! Click here for up to the minute weather information for the trailhead
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.
Annapolis Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area , meetup at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click here for Annapolis carpool directions for getting to the carpool location. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to Where To Meet for This Hike.
Hike Meetup Time is at 10:00 a.m
Savage carpool meetup time is 8:45 a.m.
Annapolis carpool time is 9:15 a.m.
Please note that our holiday and holiday weekend hikes are not refundable due to too many people backing out of the at the last minute before the refund cut-off. Sorry, but this is the only way to help make sure that there is a good turnout and our leaders not offer to lead a hike on their holiday in vein...or they will be burned enough that they will no longer offer. Since we have made holiday hikes non-refundable it has boosted attendance rate significantly and often have perfect attendance, yay! Thanks so much for your understanding.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette . We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group or join one of the faster paces that we offer on todays hike! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics!
Fido is welcome on this hike!