Please Note: Effective November 20, 2010, the Visitor Center is closed for renovation. Our gift store and information desk have been temporarily relocated to the Environmental Education building at the start of the Wildlife Drive (same hours as Visitor Center). You can learn more about the status of the renovation work on our News page.
The beautiful Visitor Center at Blackwater Refuge consists of two floors. The first floor contains the Eagle's Nest Book and Gift Shop, a collection of wildlife exhibits, an authentic eagle's nest, and two TV monitors for watching live video from the Osprey Cam and Eagle Cam. Also on the first floor are restrooms and a meeting room, as well as an informational kiosk and a selection of brochures that will help everyone make the most of their visit to the Blackwater area.
The second floor
contains a set of TV monitors for the Osprey Cam and Eagle Cam, as well as bird exhibits and a bird-watcher's observatory where visitors can use spotting scopes to
view the Osprey Cam platform, the Blackwater River, and the marsh. This observatory is called the
"Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways to Nature Observatory" and was made possible by a grant from
to Nature conservation fund, which is a partnership between Wild Birds Unlimited stores and the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Access to the second floor is via a staircase or a small wheelchair-friendly elevator.
Also on the second floor is a Birding and Natural History Library.
With the assistance of the Friends of Blackwater, Blackwater NWR constructed the research library, which contains over 500 volumes of birding and wildlife books donated by long-time volunteer Dick Kleen. The library is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10am to 3pm. For more information, please call the refuge at 410-228-2677 or read our press release (35KB PDF). The current list of library books available can be found in our library inventory list (193KB PDF). Also please read our donation policy (9KB PDF) to learn about donating materials to the library.
Outside the back of the building is the rapidly growing Butterfly and Beneficial Insect Garden.
Visitors can walk the garden and observe the plants, flowers, birds, and insects.
Visitors should also be sure to look for adult and immature bald eagles soaring over the garden and
foraging in the nearby marsh.
Visitor Center hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).