Trip Planner USA  /  Maryland  /  Cambridge  /  Wildlife Areas  /  Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Cambridge

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 260+ reviews on the web
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.
Add Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to your Cambridge travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Cambridge trip itinerary builder.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • The refuge is huge and will take at least 2 hours to drive through if you're following the Harriet Tubman trail. Be sure to pay the $3 fee and do the 'Wildlife Drive'. We saw several bald eagles along...  read more »
  • It is a nice, quiet reserve from where to watch birds, both wetland and ospreys/eagles. But beware of the bugs. Even in October, we stepped out for a few minutes and were covered with them, so I can't...  read more »
  • We were in search of a remote restaurant we had heard about and realized we were very close to Blackwater refuge. we decided to stop and check it out. We are so glad we did! It was very well designed ...  read more »
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 30​m
Visit for 1​h