Jug Bay Wetlands & Calvert Brewing Company

Upper Marlboro, MD

I have been so excited to share this hike & brew! Jug Bay is one of my favorite places in Maryland and this time was so special because we got to introduce it to my parents! We saw so much wildlife at Jug Bay and had some truly delicious beers at Calvert Brewing. I could do this combo every weekend! Let’s go!

THE HIKE: Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Length: 5.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 250ft
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 hours
Trail use: Hiking Only (No Pets)
Parking: Large parking lot, $6 per car
H&H: 5/5

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is located along the Patuxent River and is operated by the Anne Arundel Department of Recreation and Parks. It’s so much more than just a park with tons of educational events and conservation efforts happening all the time. Before you head out, check to see what events are happening, there might be something to interest you! There’s a lot of parking at the Main Entrance but please remember to stop in the visitor’s center and pay the entrance fee. It’s only $6 per car and it goes to a great cause. 

We’ve done several different trail combos at Juy Bay but no matter where we trek, we always have to go on the boardwalk overlooking the river wetlands and we also have to visit Mark’s Pond along the Upper RR Bed Trail. It’s a small pond that is just teeming with life! We sat here for over an hour, barely talking, as we watched the animals of the pond. We were completely fascinated especially by the frogs who were in the throws of mating season, singing out their calls loudly and fighting off their competition. There were turtles lined up on logs in the sun watching the entire ordeal. To be honest, we didn’t end up getting much hiking in because we couldn’t tear ourselves away from this pond! 

On a different trip, J and I did the full park loop from the visitor’s center down to the pier, about 5 miles. It’s mostly flat so it makes for a nice easy hike. Watch out for bugs though! It’s close to the water so they can get brutal. Most of the hikes in Jug Bay are easy which makes them great for the whole family. Every time we’ve gone, we’ve seen hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages! If you’d really like to get a good workout, try adding on a few extra trails. But don’t forget to stop and enjoy the park around you! This place really is all about the fantastic ecosystem!

In case you can’t tell, I really love Jug Bay Wetlands and I know I’ll be back soon! If this hike is close to you, consider getting a membership so every visit is free for a year. 

THE BEER: Calvert Brewing Company

Address: 15850 Commerce Ct, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Distance from Trail Head: 9.6 miles, 20 mins
Website: https://www.calvertbrewingcompany.com/
Food?: Food Trucks (Some weekends)
H&H Rating: 5/5

We’ve been going to Calvert Brewing Company after Jug Bay since we first moved to Maryland. Calvert has such a friendly atmosphere and we always end up chatting with someone new. Recently, they set up tents and adirondack chairs in the parking lot and it’s been the best spot to relax with a brew. The inside is also huge so you’ll always find a spot to relax. 

Calvert’s spacious taproom
We appreciate art and nature on this blog

Since we had family with us this time around, we were able to sample quite a few of Calvert’s offerings. My favorite this time actually surprised me, the Watermelon Pucker! It was the perfect summer beer and was so refreshing after being outside. My dad is a big fan of NEIPA and he really liked the Single Hop: Sultana. We’re both really interested in single hop series that allow you to isolate the taste of a single hop variety. J has been finding a new love for saisons so he went with the Battle of the Beltway which was a collab with Peabody Heights up in Baltimore. Finally, my mom likes light beers so she went with the Indigo Luna, a refreshing wheat beer. After lots of chatting and snacking, we got one final glass to share, the incredibly thick Milkshake Smoothie Sour. This was really tasty but I’m so glad I didn’t get a full pour. I think it would have been delicious as a slushie though! 

We really love Calvert Brewing and we can’t wait to come back! We also really like their Route 4 IPA and the Excellent Adventure IPA which you can find in store around Maryland!

Our Beer:

  • Indigo Luna – Wheat Beer – 5.2%
  • Battle of the Beltway – Saison – 5.2%
  • Single Hop: Sultana – NEIPA – 6.7%
  • Watermelon Pucker – Sour – 5%
  • Strawberry Pineapple Milkshake Smoothie – Sour – 5%

SUM UP: Jug Bay is a large wetland park maintained by the county that offers miles of hiking and educational activities that are suitable for all ages. The park is teeming with wildlife so keep your camera ready. There is a $6 entrance fee and the park is only open to hikers (sorry, leave your pets at home). There are wooded trails and boardwalks over the marshlands. About 20 mins away is Calvert Brewing Company which is at the end of a business park. They make a wide variety of beers and the atmosphere is always laid back and friendly. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself chatting with someone new!

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