PRSP Annapolis Rock Road
- Size: A portion of the linear
6,700 acre Patuxent River State Park.
- Habitat: Extensive pine
plantings and deciduous woods, scrub and second-growth, upland
and floodplain, cultivated fields, streams, a pond, a
beaver-created wetland, and bird feeders in winter at the
headquarters building on Annapolis Rock Road.
- Best Months: Late
April–May, September–October; December–March.
All months can be of interest.
- Coverage Time: From under an
hour to much of a day.
- Trails/Paths: A network of
well-established horse trails throughout the area; some cross
tributaries such as Cabin Branch. Crossing narrow tributaries
generally does not require waterproof footgear; however, crossing
Cabin Branch does. During rainy periods some trails can be
extremely muddy. Trails along the Patuxent River are described in
the Hipsley Mill section.
- Notable Birds: Wild Turkey,
American Woodcock, Barn Owl, Long-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet
Owl, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Red-headed Woodpecker, Common Raven,
Winter Wren, Gray-cheeked Thrush, nesting warblers, White-winged
- Amenities: A small sign on the
north side of Annapolis Rock Road indicates parking for horse
trailers and other vehicles on the south side of the road. Enter
through a metal gate and follow a deeply rutted lane to the
grassy (sometimes muddy) parking lot (P1 on the map). Upland
trails originate here. Roadside parking along Annapolis Rock Road
and Hipsley Mill Road (P2 - P5) provides closer access to
floodplain trails. No facilities. Trails are unmarked. Cell phone
coverage can be spotty.
- Handicapped Access: Limited.
The large horse trailer parking lot and roadside pullouts offer a
chance to see and hear nearby species; some offer a good view of
the sky. Most trails are uneven, some rutted.
- Operation and Hours: State
parkland; dawn to dusk. Use by horse riders is heaviest on
weekends, holidays, and summer evenings. Dog trainers with
barking dogs can be a bigger problem than horses. Call
301-924-2127 for park information or 1-800-828-PARK (7275) to
- Special Attractions: Extensive
pine plantings regularly produce breeding and wintering owls;
American Woodcock display in late winter and early spring; and a
variety of warblers (including Cerulean) nest in the floodplain
forest. This was the county's last stronghold of nesting Eastern
Whip-poor-wills. Migrants may still be detected
- Hunting: Although there is hunting in most of the
park, it is not allowed in this section. See map for
Compiler: Joanne Solem & Scott