- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 1, 2002

Location: The National Wildlife Visitor Center is located at the Patuxent Research Refuge, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel. To reach the site from the District, take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway north to the Powder Mill Road exit. Drive east about 2 miles. Turn right into the visitors center entrance on Scarlet Tanager Loop and drive about 1.5 miles to the parking area.

Hours and admission: The center is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days. Admission is free. Guided tram tours are available spring through fall and are weather-dependent. On weekends, tours are offered at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Summer weekday tours operate at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Weekday tours through the school year are by reservation only. Tram rides cost $3 for adults, $2 for seniors age 55 and older and $1 for children age 12 and younger.

Parking and food: Parking is plentiful and free. There are no picnic areas, and refuge staff discourages eating on the premises to try to minimize the impact on the environment and the animals. Hungry visitors can continue east on Powder Mill Road another mile to reach fast-food and other restaurants.

Information: 301/497-5760. The Web site is https://patuxent.fws.gov.

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