MD: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

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Despite being so small, the shape of Maryland means a central-dweller like myself didn’t find myself very often west of DC or on the Eastern Shore. Maryland’s Eastern shore is only accessible to most of Maryland by a trip across the incredible Bay Bridge across the Cheseapeake Bay. One weekend in the summer, Aleksi and I took the 2+ hour drive to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, MD. It’s been called the “Everglades of the North.”

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I’ll admit I’d never even heard of this place until I was doing some digging on the internet to find somewhere for Aleksi and I to go enjoy some nature. It was pretty much empty even on a weekend. We took a lovely (though mosquito fraught….with a name like Blackwater, are you really surprised?) stroll through the evergreen forest. The forest floor was covered in a beautiful layer of evergreen needles, and there were amazing mushrooms tucked away every few feet.

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After that, we took the Wildlife Drive, a scenic mile or so road that cuts through marshes and wetlands teeming with life. Blackwater is known for it’s large Bald Eagle population, who use the Refuge for mating every year. Unfortunately, that area was closed off for hatching season, but we did see some cranes, herons, osprey, a variety of beautiful little birds, and a few water snakes slithering through the creeks. Alas, we did not see even one of Blackwater’s famous Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel.

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The drive there is mostly through beautiful coastal farmland, and despite the bugs, I would highly recommend Blackwater to anyone living or visiting the area.

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[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of Maryland.]

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