This 26,000-acre site was established as a refuge for migratory birds in 1933. While much of the land is rich tidal marsh created by the confluence of the Blackwater and Little Blackwater rivers, other habitats within the refuge include freshwater ponds, mixed evergreen and deciduous forests, and small amounts of cropland and managed impoundments that are seasonally flooded for waterfowl use.
Blackwater is a haven for two of our nation's endangered species and one threatened species, as well as native eagles, otters, red fox, geese, and swans. The best time to view waterfowl is mid-October to mid-March; Ospreys hatch in early June.
Recreation includes monthly weekend bird walks from the site's visitor center; walking and hiking are allowed on several trails and the entire route of the 6 1/2-mile Wildlife Drive; biking opportunities are available on trails ranging from short loops to 25-mile paths. Boating is allowed, but there is no boat launch access. The refuge is open daily.