Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Eastern Shore (location map) of Maryland, approximately 12 miles south of the town of Cambridge, in Dorchester County. The Refuge includes over 27,000 acres, composed mainly of rich tidal marsh characterized by fluctuating water levels and varying salinity. Other habitat types include freshwater ponds, mixed evergreen and deciduous forests, and small amounts of cropland and managed impoundments that are seasonally flooded for waterfowl use. View the Blackwater NWR brochure and map (1.4MB PDF).
Recently noted in USA Today as "One of the 10 Best: Amazing places for Wildlife".
Blackwater Refuge was originally established in 1933 as a haven for ducks and geese migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. The Refuge is a popular place during the November migration when upwards of 35,000 geese and 15,000 ducks visit Blackwater.
Blackwater is also a haven for several troubled species including the American bald eagle, the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel, and the migrant peregrine falcon. The Refuge is unique in that it hosts the largest remaining natural population of Delmarva fox squirrels and is also host to the largest breeding population of bald eagles on the East Coast, north of Florida.
At the Refuge, visitors will find a beautiful Visitor Center, a Wildlife Drive, four hiking trails, three paddling trails, miles of cycling roads, hunting/fishing/crabbing opportunities, and adventures in environmental education.