The 2018 McKee-Beshers WMA sunflowers are no longer in bloom. Please click here for information on the sunflower fields including their current growing status and location.
Located on River Road in Western Montgomery County, McKee-Beshers WMA is a 2,000-acre tract in a mixture of woodlands, fields, wooded bottomland and managed wetland impoundments (green-tree reservoirs). The WMA shares a common boundary with the National Park Service Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to the south and borders Seneca Creek State Park, a 1,200-acre public hunting area, on the east.
McKee-Beshers WMA provides habitat for a great diversity of wildlife species including deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, over 200 species of songbirds, and numerous reptiles and amphibians. Biologists deliberately flood forests during the fall and winter in "greentree reservoirs." These attract colorful wood ducks as well as other waterfowl which migrate through or spend the winter here.
Hikers will find trails for miles and miles, meandering through the forests, fields and wetlands. The C&O Canal and trail actually border the area. From here, you can hike or bicycle east all the way to Washington, D.C. or west as far as Cumberland. Hunters enjoy the pursuit of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, woodcock, squirrels, waterfowl and many other species.
From the Capital Beltway, take Exit 39 (River Road) west toward Potomac. Proceed for approximately 11 miles to the intersection of River Road and MD 112, Seneca Road. Turn left and continue on River Road for about 2 1/2 miles. McKee-Beshers will be on your left as you head west on River Road. For additional information, contact the Gwynnbrook Work Center at (410) 356-9272.
McKee-Beshers WMA Map
This area is a part of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources public land system and is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The primary mission of the WMA system is to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats as well as to provide public recreational use of the State’s wildlife resources.
Eighty-five percent of the funding for Maryland's state wildlife programs comes from hunting license fees and a federal excise tax on sport hunting devices and ammunition. The federal aid funds are derived from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (or Pittman-Robertson) Fund, which sportsmen and women have been contributing to since 1937. Each state receives a share of the funds, which is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; these funds are used for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs, including the management of the WMA system.
Other sources of funds for land acquisition include Program Open Space Funding for Maryland's State and local parks and conservation areas, provided through The Department of Natural Resources' Program Open Space. Established in 1969, Program Open Space symbolizes Maryland's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.
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