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Jug Bay Wetlands Natural Area! A Moderate and Mostly Flat Hike of 9 Miles ------------------------------ COVID-19 Changes No carpools - Social Distancing - Bring a mask for times when you get too close to other hikers. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, then do not sign up. ------------------------------ The Natural Area is located in southern Prince Georges County, 20 miles east Washington DC 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 the 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. 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. Trail Information Activity Type: Hiking Nearby City: Upper Marlboro Length: 9 total miles Elevation Gain: Minimal (~500ft) with undulating/rolling hills. Trail Type: Loop Skill Level: Easy Side of Moderate and VERY FLAT Season: Year-round Local Maps: USGS Bristol, Lower Marlboro Topo Map: Patuxent River Park Topographic Map Park Fee There is no park fee for this hike. Gear Information Click Here for suggestions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Gear_Information_and_What_to_Bring/) for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes. Weather Information We hike rain or shine! Click Here (http://www.weather.com/weather/today/USMD0410) for up to the minute weather information for the trailhead. Our RSVP Policies and Group Etiquette Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/RSVP_Rules_and_Etiquette/) to review our RSVP policies and group etiquette. Directions to the Trailhead Click Here for Directions (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/jug-bay---croom-airport-rd.html) to Where We Meet for this Hike Meet & Greet and Sign-In — 8:45-8:55 a.m. The Hike is at 9:00 a.m. Please remember we are a volunteer-supported organization that values fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/hike-and-trail-etiquette.html)and Leave No Trace (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/leave-no-trace.html) principles. Our hikes are led by generous, dedicated, and qualified MAHG members who volunteer (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/pages/9595722/How_To_Join_Our_Leadership_Team!/) as leaders for Mid-Atlantic Hiking Groups volunteer leadership team. Hikes also have a volunteer “sweeper” to help ensure that no hiker is left behind. MAHG volunteers and members are very supportive, encouraging, with a focus on safety while enjoying the excellent camaraderie and benefiting from the many health benefits of hiking and unplugging from the stress of day-to-day life. Sharing what we know and learning from each other is an important part of MAHGs core values, as is our dedication to the conservation of our natural resources and our commitment to the organization's mission. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a volunteer-supported tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, and Donations ARE Tax Deductible. Tax ID:[masked] (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/mahg-charity.html). Fido is Not Allowed on this Hike Due to Park Regulations. Please take the hike leader's number with you and enjoy the hike! Christa:[masked] • Please Click Here (https://secure.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/contribute/)and Chip-In to Help Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group in Serving our Mission (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/index.html). • Donations to Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group are Tax Deductible: Tax ID[masked] (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/mahg-charity.html). Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charitable organization. • Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/about/) to Learn more about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission. • 100% of Every Dollar Goes Directly to the Expenses of Meeting our Mission.