Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, operated by Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks, consists of 1,700 acres of open water, tidal freshwater marshes, forested wetlands, upland and riparian forest, creeks, meadows, pine and sand barrens, and fields along the Patuxent River. Located in southern Anne Arundel County, 20 miles east of Washington, DC, and 18 miles south of Annapolis, the Sanctuary is a designated site on the Patuxent Water Trail. The Sanctuary is located in the tidal reaches of the Patuxent River, and its network of habitats, including its extensive tidal freshwater wetlands, provides a safe environment to a high diversity of plants, invertebrates, birds, fish, reptiles, and mammal species. The National Audubon Society has designated the Sanctuary as a Nationally Important Bird Area.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
18 reviews
Excellent
15
Very good
3
Average
0
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Terrible
0

annaM5626PG
Washington DC, DC30 contributions
Great day out from DC! This place was great and a perfect respite from DC amid the pandemic. You can walk as little or as much as you want - we ended up doing a 6-7 mile walk through the marsh area, the yellow trail and combining that with the beech trail for a big loop that took us through both wetlands and forest. At the end we stopped to have our picnic lunch at an eating spot near the farm, which was perfect. Bring everything you need with you as there is nothing available there. Also, bring bug spray - the mosquitos especially in the longer forested trail were big and hungry! There were very few people and everyone was respectful enough to wear a mask if they were coming within 30 feet of someone else.
Written August 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AnnapolisAuthor
Annapolis, MD10 contributions
This is a beautiful and serene nature preserve that is a birder's paradise. But not just for them - go for a lovely nature walk and enjoy the peace, quiet and calming waters.
Written February 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sabrina R
Naples, FL369 contributions
Friends
Jug Bay is a great place to get close to nature. The boardwalk makes it easy to get around and you can spend time in several different habitats. There are always birds to see and it's easy to take some nice pictures. The staff there are wonderful as well and they offer great workshops for photographers. They have a sunrise/sunset workshop that let's you get the shot you've always dreamed of and couldn't do otherwise. It's a great place at any time of year.
Written November 11, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michelle S
Washington, District of Columbia, United States23 contributions
Solo
The trek to the new boardwalk, I was told, is almost a mile to and from, but it felt longer. The stairs leading down to it are very steep. But, it was well worth the trek! Just wanted to mention this for someone who may have a difficult time climbing stairs or taking long walks. The new
450-foot boardwalk is spectacular! It is one of only 28 found at estuarine research reserves in the country. I was there for the dedication of the boardwalk today and very proud to be a part of it! It's definitely worth a visit to go explore and get back to nature!
Written December 12, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PhyllisFP
Baltimore, MD202 contributions
Well-maintained, interesting hikes. We drove down from Baltimore (about an hour). There's a good variety of light trail types, from boardwalk to stairs. Saw many varieties of mushrooms, a couple kinds of frogs, eagle, salamander, and wildflowers. On the trails that we explored near the Jug Bay visitors center, there are a couple of blinds for bird watching, interesting wetlands, and an old beaver pond where you can see the dam and at least one clearly beaver-felled tree. It's worth walking behind the visitors center to see their experiments and turtle area. Plenty of shade. We saw a fair number of people (almost all with masks), but spaced out enough that it was quiet. $6 per car.

We'll be back.
Written August 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

time2getaway
Washington DC, DC57 contributions
Family
I have been here many times--hiking on my own, with friends or family, or hikes organized by the Sanctuary. I also love to take photos here and participate in their unique educational programs. It is an amazing resource. The welcome center has some exhibits that my son began to appreciate even when he was only months old. I think we will continue to enjoy the Jug Bay wetlands for years to come.
Written December 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

crayolabird
Savage, MD608 contributions
Family
I took my three year old sons to Jug Bay, looking for a place where my littles could explore outside. I was so happy with my choice!!

We started off in the visitors center where we found clean bathrooms, some animals to see and a touch table. Nothing to write home about. But on the porch of the visitors center we found a sand table that has turtle shells and all kinds of animal print molds that you could track in the sand. THAT was a hit.

There is a nice little nature playground behind the visitor's center - there is even a little boat to climb in!

But then, the hiking. That's what we really came for. The visitor's center has a great map you can ask for to help you choose your trails (or you can download it before you go). I chose to do the boardwalk trail first, which takes you right out over the water and doesn't have railings and sometimes I was terrified my crazy boys would plunge into the water, but they didn't :)

From the boardwalk trail we hopped onto the Otter Point Trail for a little while before jetting over to the Railroad Bed Trail. My goal was to get to the river but about halfway through I knew we wouldn't make it AND get all the way back to the nature center without serious problems so my new goal was to make it to the Scrub Shrub boardwalk and observation blind, and we did :)

Once we made it back to the Otter Point Trail we took that all the way to Otter Point where we did not see any actual otters but we had a nice snack and the swamp blind was awesome. Along the way we saw so much wildlife! Frogs were hopping everywhichwhere which thrilled my boys to no end.

From there we took Two Run Trail past the beaver pond and we saw beaver HOMES and we saw TURTLES but no beavers, but not for lack of looking :) There were several benches where we stopped to watch and rest, which was nice.

Then, the utility road back home. We saw other trails branching off that the boys actually said they wanted to try but I could tell that we'd hit our limit - two hours of hiking! We made it back to the nature center where there are lots of picnic tables but they were filled with a field trip and so we made ourselves comfy on the grass in the shade.

THIS PLACE IS A WIN. SUPER CLEAN. SUPER well marked trails. LOTS of wildlife to spot. Because we counted, in our visit we saw:

8 turtles (two were little ones we almost stepped on)
1 toad
4 frogs
1 lizard
1 osprey
1 Egret
and countless other birds :)

We loved it!
Written August 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sheridee_1
Washington DC, DC40 contributions
Great opportunity for photos of wetland life. It was a good day for Osprey and Wood Ducks and Bald Eagles.
Written April 2, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leew0004
Dayton, OH88 contributions
Solo
Was a great day for hiking. Several trails which can be walked separately or combined for longer walks. I did a 3-mile hike today. Signage was excellent. That’s critical in the Fall with leaves covering the trails. Not suitable for wheelchairs and bikes are not permitted. Restrooms available at the visitor center. Canoe launch site as well.
Written October 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mamaryer
Baltimore, MD11 contributions
Family
Cute little trail, we traveled a mile with small children and a stroller and saw evidence of birds, we found beautiful feathers, saw fish and crayfish and evidence of muskrats and beavers. There are lots of boardwalks that bring you right in the middle of nature. On one I was covered in ladybugs after I passed through some brush. It was fun and I would come again to try more stuff!
Written September 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary (Lothian) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is open:
  • Wed - Wed 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Fri - Sun 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM