Are you up for a challenge? Discover Maryland's River while completing the Patuxent Challenge: a series of outdoor activities throughout the Patuxent River watershed.

Why the Patuxent River?
The Patuxent River is the largest river completely within Maryland: 115 miles long, a watershed of over 900 square miles. It was designated one of Maryland’s most scenic rivers in 1968 and is full of history, culture, and natural beauty. Howard County is one of seven counties that lie within the watershed; each offers a diversity of outdoor activities. By completing this challenge, participants will experience a different Patuxent River with each activity as it changes from its headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay. 

How to Participate: 
Participation is easy. Just document the completed activity by taking a selfie with each activity’s Patuxent Challenge sign. To receive a prize, email selfie pics to PatuxentChallenge@gmail.com. Brochures are available at the Howard County Welcome Center, or the Robinson Nature Center, where you can begin the challenge by hiking on the trails that meander alongside the Middle Patuxent River. Scotts Cove Recreation Area near Rocky Gorge is another Howard County stop that’s perfect for a scenic picnic along the T. Howard Duckett Reservoir. Carroll Baldwin Hall in Savage is Howard County’s newest Patuxent Challenge stop with a 2-mile round-trip walk from the beautifully restored Carroll Baldwin Hall to stunning vistas along the Savage Mill Trail. The Hall, a Maryland Historical Trust site built in 1922, was constructed of local materials. The signature stonework of the exterior is river stone from the nearby Little Patuxent River and was reportedly moved to the site via mule-pulled wagons. Receive prizes for 5, 10, or 15 activities completed per calendar year.*

Share your adventures on social media using the hashtag, #PatuxentChallenge.

Go to the Sites and Activities page for locations.

Howard County locations:

#1 Hike
James and Anne Robinson Nature Center
Howard County
Sign Location: Left of Entrance @ Sycamore Stroll Trail and Mill Ruins Trail Signs

Enjoy a hike on 0.6 mile of trails that meander alongside the Middle Patuxent River and wind down to the Simpsonville Mill Historical Ruins. Hours of operation are Wed. thru Sat., 9 am to 5 pm; Sun., noon to 5 pm. Admission is $5.00 for Adults and $3.00 for Children 3-17 yrs., under 3 freeAdmission fee includes tour of our LEED Platinum Nature Center and exhibits.

410-313-0400
6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia, MD 21044
www.howardcountymd.gov/RobinsonNatureCenter

#3 Picnic
Scotts Cove Recreation Area
Howard County
Sign Location: Playground Area

Bring your favorite picnic and enjoy a scenic view of the T. Howard Duckett Reservoir, the drinking water source for 1/3 of WSSC’s customers. A WSSCwatershed use permit is required. Area is closed from December 1st until about March 15th. There is no admission fee. Call 301-206-4FUN to check hours.

All inquiries should be directed to the Brighton Dam Visitor Center.

301-206-7485
Park at 10845 Harding Road, Laurel, MD 20723
www.wsscwater.com/watershed

#16 Hike
Carroll Baldwin Hall
Howard County
Sign Location: Southeast Corner of Carroll Baldwin Hall

Enjoy a 2-mile round-trip walk from the beautifully restored Carroll Baldwin Hall to stunning vistas along the level Savage Mill Trail. Park along Baldwin Common in the heart of Savage and stroll through the park beside Carroll Baldwin Hall to read about the history of this proud and lively mill town. The Hall, a Maryland Historical Trust site built in 1922, was constructed of local materials. The signature stonework of the exterior is river stone from the nearby Little Patuxent River and was reportedly moved to the site via mule-pulled wagons. Check www.carrollbaldwinhall.org for public events at Carroll Baldwin Hall. Leaving the Hall, walk south on Foundry Street, cross the historic Bollman Truss Bridge and turn right on to the Savage Mill Trail, a former rail trail that parallels an idyllic portion of the Little Patuxent River. Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. 

410-294-3561
9035 Baltimore St., Savage, MD 20763
www.carrollbaldwinhall.org

Patuxent River challenge

After you've completed the challenge, be sure to check out the other wonderful outdoor sites Howard County had to offer, including Patapsco State Park! Hope to see you out there.

*one prize per household 

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