Visit

Visiting SERC

Welcome to SERC!

We have multiple ways that the public can visit us and get involved with SERC's mission.  As the largest block of contiguous preserved land  and the largest site of public access on the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, we have several miles of walking/hiking trails and public access to the water for kayak launching.  Check our calendar of events for guided canoe trips, our annual public open house in May, public lectures and much more. 

Hours:

Our trails and education grounds are open to the public Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We are closed Sundays and federal holidays. We love animals, but we ask that you leave your pets at home because we are an active research facility and a wildlife sanctuary. 

Maps:

Campus and Trail Maps can be accessed at the following links.

Campus Map

Our trails are approximately one mile in length each, but can be combined to form longer hikes.  The following trails are outlined in the map:  Discovery Trail (pink), Java History (blue), Contee Watershed (yellow).

Trail Map

Please Check In: For information and security reasons, all visitors are asked to check in at the Reed Education Center. As this is a working lab and trails can be uneven, please wear closed-toe shoes at all times. For safety reasons, flip flops are not allowed on campus. When hiking, please be aware of poison ivy and follow precautions for ticks. 

For Boaters: We have a floating dock where you may tie up your canoe, kayak or dinghy. Motorized boats more than 15 feet long are not permitted, so please anchor out and come ashore by dinghy if you have a larger vessel. You may also launch a non-motorized canoe or kayak from the dock to explore our water trails.  The launch fee is $5.00 per kayak, payable at the Reed Center.  Please note that due to limited parking and our mission to preserve the area, we can only accommodate small groups.  Please call the main number with questions and please alert us if you plan to bring multiple kayaks, due to limited parking: 443-482-2200.

Public Programs and Calendar

Check out our calendar for a full list of activities the public can do at SERC.

SERC hosts visiting scientists, fellows, and interns who come to the center to participate in research. Visit our research labs for collaborative research opportunities, or check out our internships and fellowships
 
For visitors who need to SCUBA dive for their research, please see the Smithsonian Dive Program in our Facilities page.
 
Seeking Housing Information?  Check out our Housing Facilities information on our Facilities page.
 
Meeting or Conference Hosting
Looking to Host a Meeting or Conference at SERC?  Please see the Meeting and Conference section on our Facilities page.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is located about 30 miles east of Washington, D.C., on the Rhode River, a subestuary of the Chesapeake Bay.

From Washington, D.C.:

Take U.S. Route 50 east toward Annapolis
Exit south at Md. Route 424 (Davidsonville Road)
Turn left (east) at stoplight onto Md. 214 (Central Ave.)
Follow directions from Central Avenue in Edgewater below

From Baltimore:

Take I-97 South
Take Exit 22 onto MD-665 East (follow signs for Route 50 East/US 301-North)
Use right lane to get onto Md. Route 2 (Solomon's Island Road) toward MD-450/Parole
Go approximately 5 miles and turn left at a traffic light onto MD-214 Central Avenue
Follow directions from Central Avenue in Edgewater below.

From the Eastern Shore:

Take Route 50 West over the Bay Bridge
Take Exit 23A onto Md. Route 2 (Solomon's Island Road) toward MD-450/Parole
Go approximately 5 miles and turn left at a traffic light onto MD-214 Central Avenue
Follow directions from Central Avenue in Edgewater below.

From Southern Maryland:

Take Md. Route 2/4 north to Sunderland
Continue on Md. Route 4 north to Wayson's Corner
Exit onto Md. Route 408 east, which becomes Md. Route 2 north
Turn right (east) at stoplight onto Md. 214 (Central Ave.)
Follow directions from Central Avenue in Edgewater below.

From Central Avenue in Edgewater, Md.:

Follow Central Ave. (Md. 214) east to stoplight at Md. 468 (Muddy Creek Road). Turn right (south).
Proceed about 1 mile, then turn left (east) at the SERC highway sign near the corner of Contees Wharf Road
Proceed 0.8 miles on roughly paved road to the second red cedar SERC sign and turn right onto paved road
(Note: You will pass a green Security kiosk, and the main road will bend to the right. Stay on the main road, and the SERC sign will be about 0.5 miles farther down.)
After you pass the gate, do one of the following:

For the New Dominion - Administration Building (Bldg. #145):

Continue through the gate and past the first stop sign. At the second stop sign (3-way stop), continue straight. The building is the gray two-story frame building on your right. (For parking, turn right at the second stop sign instead of going straight and use the gravel lot. Beside the lot you will see a garden with picnic tables. The Admin building is the gray building across it.)

For the Jean Schmidt Center (Bldg. #180) or Green Village Dormitory (#185):

Continue through the gate and past the first stop sign. Turn right at the second stop sign (3-way stop). The Schmidt center is a brown brick building on the right, just past the row of parking spots. The Green Village Dorm is a two-story green building on your right.

For the Philip D. Reed Education Center (Bldg. #200) and dock area:

Once you pass through the gate, take an immediate left at the stop sign. Proceed approximately 0.3 miles down Dock Road. The Education Center facility and parking will be on the right.

For the Mathias Laboratory:

Continue through the gate and past the first stop sign. At the second stop sign (3-way stop), continue straight. The Mathias Lab is is the large, white building with glass walls behind the circular driveway. (For parking, turn right at the second stop sign instead of going straight and use the gravel lot. Beside the lot you will see a garden with picnic tables. Cross the garden and go to the right to enter the lab.)

Airports:

If you are visiting SERC from afar, Baltimore Washington International Airport is the closest airport at about 35 miles from SERC. National Airport is also not far from SERC at about 35 miles.

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Special thanks to the Chaney Foundation, premier sponsor of our annual Open House!