The Patuxent Research Refuge is the only national wildlife refuge established to support wildlife research. The public is free to explore two of the three tracts at the Laurel refuge. The South Tract has many family activities, but the National Wildlife Visitor Center is closed to visitors due to Covid.
Download the Agent of Discovery game to your phone before you head to the refuge and download one or both of the Missions (do this beforehand, since there’s not good data available at the refuge). Once you head out on your mission, you’ll stay on the trails but look for Challenge Markers along the trails. Find them in real life and take photos of what you find until you complete the mission. If you finish a mission you’ll earn a patch, and if you finish both, you’ll earn an Awesome Agent Award button.
For more information, visit the Patuxent Research Refuge website.
If you’re looking for other outside activities, check out our list of 6 spots for outside family adventures.