The Patuxent Water Trail


The Patuxent Water Trail is a cooperative effort that pools the hard work and dedication of everyday citizens, nonprofit organizations, plus county, state and federal partners to provide public access and recreational opportunities on the Patuxent River.


A multi-county water trail that connects various Patuxent points of interest was a concept that flowed initially from The Patuxent River Commission and then was adopted and given real momentum by the various partners and citizens. The water trail owes a particular debt of gratitude to Dr. Jack Leighty, a Calvert County resident who donated countless hours of advocacy and research to pushing the water trail concept into reality.


There is no dedicated public or private funding provided for the water trail or its websites. In fact the original web domains were paid for by two civic minded citizens in the watershed. When the Patuxent Riverkeeper organization formed in 2004, the group gradually assumed the duties of fundraising, volunteer recruiting and other duties needed to coordinate the efforts of the various stakeholders and partnering agencies.


The Patuxent Roughnecks emerged as the volunteer base for putting up signs, cleaning up camp sites, clearing snags and maintaining the water trail. You can volunteer for the “Roughnecks” by sending an email to:


Donations made to support the water trail go towards paying for domain registry fees, web hosting, design fees, tools for water trail maintenance and signage. The headquarters of the “Chesapeake Bay Gateway” for the Patuxent Water Trail is at Nottingham where the Riverkeeper organization maintains a water trail visitor’s center with various services and hours by appointment.


If you have information, suggestions or other things to share related to maintaining a free flowing river and an improved water trail you can contact Patuxent Riverkeeper at:
Patuxent Riverkeeper Center
17412 Nottingham Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

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