PRSP Howard Chapel Road
- Size: A portion of the 6,700
acre Patuxent River State Park.
- Habitat: Floodplain and
hillside deciduous woods, field edge, openings, seepages, and a
few vernal pools.
- Best Months: Mainly spring and
fall migration (be aware of fall hunting dates); breeding birds
in early summer.
- Coverage Time: Covering trails
both north and south of Howard Chapel Road requires several
hours. Either direction can occupy one or more hours depending on
- Trails/Paths: There is a path
both upstream and downstream from Howard Chapel Road on the
Howard County side of the Patuxent River. The Downstream Trail
leaves from the parking lot. To reach the Upstream Trail, cross
the sometimes busy road, and walk about 100 feet east (away from
the river). Look for a large tree with trout regulations posted
high on the trunk. To the left of that tree there is an opening
in the vegetation where a beaten path is visible. Be prepared for
wet and muddy conditions in either direction. Except during
extreme drought, boots are advised.
- Notable Birds: Wild Turkey,
nesting flycatchers, Yellow-throated Vireo, Veery, and warblers.
Decades ago Red-headed Woodpeckers nested south of the parking
lot for one of the counties few breeding records.
- Amenities: A small unpaved
parking lot east of the river. Another is on Jennings Chapel Road
0.3 miles north of the intersection of Jennings Chapel Rd and
Howard Chapel Rd. No facilities.
- Handicapped Access: Minimal
access. Trails are primitive, often wet/muddy, and frequently
have intruding briars. It can be worth listening in the vicinity
of the parking lots and the bridge.
- Operation and Hours: Dawn to
- Special Attractions: The
Patuxent River is stocked annually with trout.
- Hunting: Managed hunting is allowed in
portions west of Howard Chapel Road but not east of it, so it pays
to be aware of hunting seasons. During the October to February
season, Sunday is the safest day to use trails.
Compilers: Joanne Solem & Scott Berglund