Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary


 
Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary
11704 Fenno Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301-888-1410
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/merkle.html

The only sanctuary operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Merkle is the wintering ground for several thousand Canada geese, the largest concentration on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  The geese arrive in mid-October and stay until late February or early March. About 100 geese stay year-round. Corn, millet, and other crops favored by geese are grown for them, adding to the marsh and aquatic plants that flourish in the ponds along the Patuxent River. 

The sanctuary also offers habitats for a variety of birds and mammals, including red fox and white-tailed deer. In summer, ospreys nest close to the Visitor Center and hummingbirds, finches, and purple martins are abundant. There are herons and other water birds in the ponds and bluebirds and other songbirds on the trails.

From Baltimore:
Exit Beltway (I-695) at Route 3 South to Route 301 (joins at the junction with Route 50). Continue on Route 301 South to Croom Road (Route 382). Turn left on Croom Road and follow to St. Thomas Church Road. Turn left on St. Thomas Church Road (watch carefully for oncoming traffic) and continue to Fenno Road. Follow Fenno Road, and signs, to the Sanctuary.
From Washington, DC:
From Beltway (I-495) follow to Exit 11 at Route 4 East (Pennsylvania Ave.) toward Upper Marlboro. Continue on Route 4 to Route 301 South. Continue on Route 301 South to Croom Rd. (Rte. 382). Turn left on Croom Rd. and follow to St. Thomas Church Rd. Turn left on St. Thomas Church Rd. (watch carefully for oncoming traffic) and continue to Fenno Rd. Follow Fenno Rd. and signs to the Sanctuary. 

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