Wildlife Drive at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
The Wildlife Drive is a paved road—approximately 4 miles in length—that takes visitors along the Blackwater River and offers excellent views of the local wildlife, including our bald eagles and ospreys. The Drive and associated trails are open from dawn to dusk every day, and visitors can drive, bike, or walk the length of the Drive. Wildlife seen from the Drive includes ducks, geese, shorebirds, muskrats, turtles, white-tailed deer, sika deer, Delmarva fox squirrels, ospreys, bald eagles, and, more rarely, golden eagles.
Along the Drive, visitors will find access to the Marsh Edge Trail (note: this trail is closed during eagle nesting season due to an eagle pair nesting near the parking lot) and the Woods Trail. In addition, visitors can access an observation blind that offers photographers and birdwatchers an opportunity to more closely observe the birds around a pond, as well as an observation boardwalk that offers a sweeping view of the Refuge.
From the Drive, visitors can get relatively close to several osprey platforms, including the Osprey Cam platform, which broadcasts live images to our website. Turnouts are available at different points on the road so visitors can safely stop to view the wildlife.
Remember that visitors on the Drive are asked to stay on the roadway. Also pets are not allowed on trails or out of vehicles on the Wildlife Drive, even if on a leash. This policy is to protect the ground-feeding Delmarva fox squirrels.
If you'd like to learn more, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Blackwater NWR website to obtain a brochure on the Wildlife Drive.