PATUXENT RIVER STATE PARK (not to be confused with Patuxent River Park near Upper Marlboro, in Prince Georges County)
Patuxent River State Park provides a buffer zone along the Patuxent River, upstream from the Tridelphia Reservoir. The park includes about 6700 acres on the Patuxent River, on the border between Montgomery and Howard Counties. About 10 parking areas have been provided throughout the park, each with access to a network of unmarked trails. A wonderful place to go for a quiet hike in the woods, without the crowded trails in many parks in the area. The park is undeveloped, with no recreation facilities. There are miles of hiking trails, for the most part unmarked and unmaintained, providing a little bit of a rugged outdoor experience. Trails near the river can get very wet and muddy after rains. In the spring time many areas of the forest are literally carpeted with wildflowers. Yellow Trout Lilly (Erythronium americanum), Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius), Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Violets(Viola sp.), May apple (Podophyllum peltatum), and other spring flowers were plentiful on our visit in mid-April. Spring is also a great time for birdwatching here as many migrating birds stop at the park for food, rest, and shelter. A large portion of the park is open to hunting, and fishing is allowed on the river.