The Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) is a “forever protected” natural environmental area.  At 1,021 acres, it is the largest parkland in Howard County’s system of parks, open space and natural resource areas.  Howard County’s Department of Recreation and Parks manages the area in a cooperative partnership with the Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation.  The area is managed using ecosystem management concepts to restore and protect the diversity of communities found in this region.

The MPEA is home to a diversity of wildlife, including about 150 species of birds, over 40 species of mammals, and numerous amphibians, reptiles, fishes, butterflies, plants and other wildlife.  This parkland is comprised largely of mature, second-growth upland forest and floodplain forest. The Middle Patuxent River runs north to south through the property, with 17 tributary streams found within the boundary.

The MPEA is bordered by Maryland Route 108 to the north, and Maryland Route 32/Cedar Lane to the south.  There are 5 1/2 miles of hiking trails in the MPEA, which may be accessed on the area's western boundary, off Trotter Road.

 A Map of the MPEA with available trails highlighted. Columbia is to the east and Clarksville to the north and west.  

A Map of the MPEA with available trails highlighted. Columbia is to the east and Clarksville to the north and west.