Jug Bay Tour
ElevationAscent: 298' 91 m
Descent: -292' -89 m
High: 127' 39 m
Low: 1' 0 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)
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“Tour the secluded, riverside estuary with ample opportunity to watch nesting osprey and migrating waterfowl.”— Zander Göpfert
This area is also home to the headquarters for the Patuxent River Park, part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, and designated an "Important Birding Area" by the National Audubon Society for its ecological importance within the greater Patuxent Riverway.
And for all its ecological accolades, it still manages to provide intimate natural experiences for visitors on foot, bike, or horseback, with acres of land to explore in solitude.
As the trails in the Jug Bay Natural Area can be traveled in either direction, this loop run can be done in reverse or adapted to accommodate groups of varying abilities and/or ages.
Head southwest on the Green Trail and at the next intersection, turn left (southeast) onto the Red Trail, which descends toward the Historic Croom Airport. At the northwest corner of the airport, turn right (west) onto the Yellow Trail (hiker-only) which rolls through the Swan Point Creek drainage area to connect with the Blue Trail.
Turn right (north) onto the Blue Trail, knowing the loop is over halfway complete. Continue north and northwest on the Blue Trail , gradually climbing toward the western boundary of the natural area and the high point of the run. Here, use the Purple Spur and Purple Trail to loop to the north and northeast to reconnect with the Red Trail for the last 0.75 miles.
Bring a paper map from the Visitor's Center or use the Trail Run Project mobile app to help navigate along the way.
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