Hike the South Tract Trails at Patuxent Research Refuge

Details

Distance

5 miles

Route Type

Loop

Added by Ashley Stimpson

Beech trees, boardwalks, and bird blinds are the highlights of the South Tract's 5 miles of interconnected trails.

From the visitors center, start on the Fire Road trail. From there, it's a choose-your-own adventure (choose-your-own ecosystem, actually). Pick the Laurel and Valley Trails to stay in the quiet (and maybe enchanted? It felt enchanted) forest. Goose Pond trail is a short jut to a--yup--pond, where herons pose for instagram-worthy shots. Cash Lake loop is the star of the show. Nesting boxes and bird blinds surround the lake, and fisherman dreaming of largemouths line the pier. Floating trails lead you through expansive fields of lily-pads. Plan on animal encounters, bird sightings, and a deep feeling of gratitude to Franklin Roosevelt for setting this one aside. 

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Know for

Fishing
Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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