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historic Inn, lodging, Annapolis, MDFor more than eight decades, the Patuxent Wildlife Festival (PWF) has been perhaps the nation’s most important wildlife research center. On Saturday, October 21, 2017, PWF will be celebrating its 81st year of habitat protection. Featuring live animal displays, children’s crafts, tram tours, and research exhibits, the day’s activities will be a family-friendly affair. Visitors will also have the opportunity to go on a special USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center tour that will allow them to see endangered whooping cranes.

PWF History

In 1936, the Patuxent Research Refuge was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order. Now known as the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, the site is unique because it is the lone American wildlife refuge that supports wildlife research. In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) carries out the majority of its studies here. The refuge’s mission of conservation and wildlife and habitat protection though has remained constant from the beginning.


Located between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore along the Patuxent and Little Patuxent Rivers, the refuge sits on 12,841 acres and consists of three main areas. According to Patuxent, they are: “1) North Tract, which offers hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, trails, and many interpretive programs; 2) Central Tract, where the offices and study sites of the many research biologists are located at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; and 3) South Tract, where the National Wildlife Visitor Center and its trails are located. The National Wildlife Visitor Center and North Tract are the only areas open for visitor activities.”


Both native and migratory species are protected by the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge. Many species of waterfowl fly there for the autumn and spring migrations for shelter and food. About 270 bird species have been noted by scientists. Patuxent is a major mid-Atlantic forest, and the refuge is a crucial habitat for breeding and nesting for species affected by land development and woodland fragmentation.

Festival Details

  • Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Court, Laurel, MD
  • Admission: Free for all ages.
  • Refreshments: Available for purchase.

For More Information: Patuxent Wildlife Festival

Your Inn Near Patuxent Wildlife Festival

The National Wildlife Visitor Center is about a 35-minute drive away from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your room at our toll free number (877) 330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.

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