The Blackwater River winds its way through expanses of open water and marsh, with osprey and terns flying overhead and bald eagles perched atop the tallest pines. In a canoe or kayak, you can explore tidal marshes and brackish ponds for a closer look at the Refuge's resident and visiting wildlife. From October through November, as many as 50,000 geese, ducks, and tundra swans stop at Blackwater Refuge during their migration along the Atlantic Flyway. To feed them, the Refuge staff plants grain fields and seasonally floods impoundments. Up to 20 species of ducks and 250 species of other birds may also be seen here, along with 165 species of threatened or endangered plants. The endangered Delmarva fox squirrel and other species make their home in the large stands of loblolly pine and hardwoods.
The three newly designated trails were named "Recommended Water Trails for 2006" by the American Canoe Association. The green and orange paths, open year-round, are for paddlers of all levels, while the purple path requires more technical skill as it winds nine miles along the marshy Blackwater River. Check with www.friendsofblackwater.org for more info on the refuge and recommended outfitters before you go.
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Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
2145 Key Wallace Drive
Cambridge, Maryland 21613
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