Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation
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Patuxent River Park

16000 Croom Airport Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301-627-6074; TTY 301-699-2544

Hours of Operation

Sunday-Saturday  8 am-dusk (call park office for seasonal closing time) 
Visitors Center   8 am-4 pm 

January 3, 2017: First day to reserve the Pavilion and Camp Sites A, B, C, and D for 2017 dates.

February 1, 2017: First day to reserve Canoe Camp, Selby's Camp, and water trail sites for 2017 dates.


Our mission is to manage natural and historical resources along the Patuxent River in order to promote environmental awareness and stewardship through education, conservation, preservation, and recreation.


The Patuxent River

The Patuxent River was first recognized by the State of Maryland as a valuable natural resource, worthy of protection, in the Patuxent River Watershed Act of 1961.

This legislation declared that "flood prevention, land conservation, erosion control and protection from urban development within the watershed is a public benefit and conducive to the public health, safety, and welfare."

In 1968, the river was designated one of Maryland's scenic rivers.

In response to the legislation, M-NCPPC developed a master plan "to preserve and protect the unique natural and historical resources... while providing compatible recreational activities for the public."

The Commission embarked on a land acquisition program with funding principally from Program Open Space, Maryland's nationally-acclaimed land preservation program.

In Prince George's County, the Commission owns more than 7,000 acres of parkland that protect the natural resources and preserve the scenic character of the river.

Several properties are open for public use including:

The park offers a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, canoeing, archaeology and nature study.

The park provides canoe and kayak rentals , facilities for camping and picnics , guided educational programs, and special programs and events for people of all ages. Reservations are required for most activities.


The American Indian Village at Patuxent River Park is a replicated Eastern Woodland Village with various components giving visitors opportunities to explore the history of the Indigenous peoples of Prince George's County, Maryland and the surrounding areas. You can enhance your visit to the Village by doing the following:

  • Download the Village's app available on Apple Store and Google Play (Search: Indian Village at Patuxent River Park); be sure to turn on your phone's Bluetooth feature for push notifications while visiting!
  • Use your phone to dial into the Audio Tour: 301-388-5839
  • Visit the Village's website:

If you are interested in the programming we offer at the Village, please visit our Educational Programs page for more information. 

In addition, there is the Patuxent Rural Life Museums, a collection of late 19th century and early 20th century buildings and historic structures dedicated to preserving the rural heritage of southern Prince George's County.

Boat Ramps

  • Three public boat ramps are located on the Patuxent River in Prince George's County. Restrictions apply and parking is limited.
  • A special use permit is required for all vehicles towing trailers.
  • Permits are available on an annual or daily basis.
  • Permits can be purchased at the Visitors Center (Jug Bay Natural Area). Call 301-627-6074.
  • Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Once lots are filled, access will be denied until space becomes available.
  • No overnight use permitted.
  • Fuel facilities not available.
  • Personal watercraft (PWC) are only permitted to launch at Clyde Watson Boating Area (CWBA)

Jackson's Landing

Follow park road past Visitors Center to the bottom of the hill. Parking limitation - 12 vehicles with trailers; 12 additional vehicles.

Selby's Landing

Follow Croom Airport Road (past park entrance road) to a dead end, turn left and follow road to designated area. Parking limitation - 25 vehicles including vehicles with trailers.
WARNING: This is a short ramp with a drop off at the end.

Clyde Watson Boating Area

Follow Croom Road about 10 miles south of Jug Bay and turn left on Magruder's Ferry Road. Entrance is on the right. Parking limitation - 15 vehicles with trailers and 25 additional vehicles. Personal watercraft are permitted to launch with limitations.

  1. Access limited to seven (7) at any time.
  2. Access south of boat ramp only
  3. PWC's prohibited along shoreline in posted area.

Live Osprey Cam

Ospreys are fish eating migratory birds that return every year from South America to nest along the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River. The park has erected artificial nest platforms along the river and monitors their activity throughout the season.

The male returns first and begins nest building using twigs and branches. When the female returns, the mating ritual begins. The young are born in May. By August, they are ready to leave the nest, separate from their parents and begin the annual migration back to South America.

Our Osprey Cam is located at Jug Bay Natural Area near the boat ramp at Jackson's Landing. The best time for viewing is early morning or late afternoon when the osprey bring fish back to the nest.