Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Cambridge

4.8
#1 of 9 in Things to do in Cambridge
The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1933 as a waterfowl sanctuary for birds migrating along the critical migration highway called the Atlantic Flyway. The refuge is located on Maryland's Eastern Shore, just 12 miles south of Cambridge, Maryland in Dorchester County, and consists of over 27,000 acres (110 km2) of freshwater impoundments, brackish tidal wetlands, open fields, and mixed evergreen and deciduous forests. Blackwater NWR is one of over 540 units in the National Wildlife Refuge System, which is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.Blackwater Refuge is fed by the Blackwater River and the Little Blackwater River. The name "blackwater" comes from the tea-colored waters of the local rivers, which are darkened by the tannin that is picked up as the water drains through peat soil in the marshes.WildlifeIn addition to a wealth of wetlands and forests, Blackwater Refuge is also host to over 250 bird species, 35 species of reptiles and amphibians, 165 species of threatened and endangered plants, and numerous mammals that can be spotted throughout the year in Blackwater's marshes, forests, meadows, and fields. During winter migration, Blackwater Refuge is also home to upwards of 35,000 geese and 15,000 ducks. The refuge is currently host to three recovering species: the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel, the delisted migrant peregrine falcon, and the recently delisted American bald eagle.
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Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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358 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We were fortunate to travel through the refuge on a beautiful fall day. While we did not see wildlife, the area is serene. The federal Refuge Center is relatively new and was pleasant to visit.  more »
  • Even if the weather is bad, and you can’ Hike or bike through, this is definitely worth the drive. There is a nice driving tour and you can see so much wildlife! Our highlight was seeing the bald eagl...  more »
  • Great little drive thru. Saw a lot of Eagles, some different types of turtles, Great Heron, Egrets and various birds. Not as much Wildlife as hoped for, but I think this was due to the time of year. I...  more »

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