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 one's pace.
  • 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 dusk.
  • 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.
Howard Chapel thumbnail
Compilers: Joanne Solem & Scott Berglund

© 2010