Do you really close at 5pm? Is everything closed on non-public days?

Yes, and that means the parking lot, visitor center and trails are closed. We know it's more common to see dawn to dusk hours for parks, but the Sanctuary is a different kind of place. Because we are a Sanctuary, we try to limit the disturbance to the flora & fauna and provide opportunities for us to conduct field research. That is also why our public days are limited to Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (but closed on Sundays in Dec-Feb). We have other opportunities to offer on our events calendar. You can also visit one of our other properties.


Do you take injured/sick/unwanted animals?

No, we do not rehabilitate or rescue wildlife. The Maryland Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (MWRA) maintains a website directory of wildlife rescuers that can help you.

If you suspect an animal has rabies please report it to AACo Health Department (click link for reporting form and other information):


Can I bring pets?

Pets are not permitted at the Sanctuary proper (please do not leave them in your car or bring them in backpacks or strollers). However, we do allow leashed dogs at our Glendening Nature Preserve. We ask that you pick up after your pet and keep it leashed at all times. A map can be found on our website here. There are 2 entrances to the Preserve:

Plummer Road Entrance at 5702 Plummer Lane, Lothian, MD 20711

Monday - Saturday

9:00am - 5:00pm


Wrighton Road Entrance at 1290 Wrighton Road, Lothian, MD 20711


9:00am - 5:00pm


Can I launch my own canoe, kayak, or paddle board?

The Sanctuary proper does not have put-ins. However, we do have 2 properties where you can launch your own kayak/canoe/paddle board:

Patuxent Wetland Park at 1426 Mt. Zion Marlboro Road, Lothian, MD 20711

Wooton's Landing at 4550 Sands Road, Lothian, MD 20776

If you are new to kayaking, please check out these educational resources from the American Canoe Association (ACA) for expert tips on ensuring your safety on the water. The Newcomer's Guide covers most topics including appropriate conduct, gear checklists, and equipment vocabulary.


What are the most popular trails at the Sanctuary?

Our most popular trails are the Otter Loop (yellow trail) which is 2.2 miles, and the Marsh Boardwalk trail, which is a one way trail that begins at the visitor’s center and ends on the Otter Loop trail. You can find a map of our trails on our website here.


Can I ride my bike?

No, we do not allow bicycles on any of our trails.


Can I go fishing?

No, the Sanctuary proper does not allow fishing. However, we have 2 properties where you can fish from the shore, a small dock, or a personal watercraft:


Patuxent Wetland Park at 1426 Mt. Zion Marlboro Road, Lothian, MD 20711

Wooton's Landing at 4550 Sands Road, Lothian, MD 20776... call us at 410-222-8006 for the gate code to enter.


Can I go camping?

There are 2 primitive paddle-in only campsites. You cannot park at the Sanctuary overnight or hike-in. Registration for the Riggleman campsite at Emory Landing is required through Anne Arundel county’s activenet here.


Can I go swimming?

No, the natural marshy shorelines at Jug Bay are not very conducive for getting into and out of the water, and it's important for them to remain undisturbed. Check local county park websites for other public swimming options.


Do you rent canoes or kayaks?

No, JBWS does not rent canoes or kayaks. However, the Patuxent River Park on the Prince George's county side of Jug Bay does canoe and kayak rentals by the hour at the Jug Bay Natural Area. Call (301) 627-6074 to check on availability. The Patuxent Water Trail website and maps might be helpful to look through as well!

We do have guided canoe and kayak events that we host. Keep an eye on our calendar and our facebook page for updates. Or sign up for our e-newsletter.


Where is the tower? the equestrian trails? the boardwalks?

You are at the wrong place, but don't feel bad because it happens all the time! You probably saw the Jug Bay Natural Area trails. They are part of Patuxent River Park on the Prince George's side of Jug Bay and are located at 16000 Croom Airport Road, Upper MarlboroMD 20772.

Also, if you're looking for observation towers, Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary in Prince George's county has stunning views as well and is located at 11704 Fenno Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

Horses and/or horseback riding is prohibited at all Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary properties.


What is your policy on collecting artifacts or relics, using metal detectors, or treasure hunting?

We follow Maryland State, DNR and Park Service regulations which are explained here. No treasure hunting is allowed on any property without a permit.


What do I do if I see a sick wild animal?

The first thing you should do is STAY AWAY from the animal and get any pets or farm animals clear of it. It is best to report a sick animal to proper authorities rather than to try and assist it yourself. Do not risk personal injury! The animal may be rabid and should be dealt with by professionals. More details on rabies and how to report a possible rabid animal can be found on the Anne Arundel County Health Department's webpage at: