McKee-Beshers Sunflower Fields in Maryland 2021

McKee Beshers planted the sunflowers for 2021 in May already!

If you follow me on Instagram you know I’m a huge fan of fields of flowers and sunflower fields are no exception.  

mckee beshers

I’ve visited every one of the 4 sunflower fields at McKee-Beschers Wild Life Management Area in Maryland which covers 40 acres!  Keep reading for tips on visiting and pictures of each field.

mckee beshers sunflowers

My dress is sold out but a similar one for only $16  here.

See also  5 Secret Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC Like a Local without the Crowds

Why McKee Beshers Plants Sunflowers Annually

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources doesn’t plant sunflowers at McKee Beshers just for your Instagram! 

They plant the sunflowers as a source of food for the mourning doves and other creatures that reside in the area.  Honey bees also love the pollen these sunflowers provide.  

Unfortunately, if visitors destroy, pick, or trample the sunflowers the wildlife in the area lose the benefits of the sunflowers.  So if you are visiting please be careful not to step on the flowers.

See also  Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About The Lights Fest

When Will the Sunflowers at Mckee Beshers Wildlife Management Area Bloom?

McKee Beshers sunflowers in Maryland bloom mid-July.  The bloom can last anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.

There are 40 acres of sunflowers separated into 4 fields at McKee Beshers, and they all hit peak bloom at different times.  Keep reading for directions, pictures, photo tips, and bloom times for each field.

mckee beshers sunflowers

What to Wear and Bring

Because these sunflowers are in a wildlife management area, there are TONS of MOSQUITOS and TICKS.

Mckee Beshers

Spray your clothes before you go with a bug spray specifically for your clothes and any exposed skin with a deet insect repellent.  I’ve tried the natural insect repellents but they did not work for me. 

This area, in general, is highly infested with ticks (and yes we have the kind that carries lime disease) and mosquitos so I’d spray heavily before you go and wear long pants if possible.

Also, wear sneakers or close-toed shoes because you will be walking on uneven ground and grassy areas that will be hard to traverse if you are wearing sandals.

You won’t need hiking shoes but if it has rained recently the ground could be kind of muddy and squishy.

mckee beshers sunflowers

Location of Sunflower Fields at McKee Beshers in Poolsville

McKee-Beshers sunflower field is located in Poolsville, Maryland and about 30-40 minutes from Washington, DC at 16898-16500 River Rd, Poolesville, MD 20837.

mckee beshers field 3

The sunflowers are planted throughout the wildlife area.  The main field though is the one right after you see the sign for McKee-Besher.  This field has the biggest sunflowers.

A few years ago I didn’t come to this one during full bloom, we actually ended up at one of the smaller fields which was still stunning, but had smaller sunflowers.  Each field is special in its own way and I’d recommend checking them all out, though it will require quite a bit of walking.

There are 4 sunflower fields planted for 2021 at McKee-Beshers, GPS coordinates of the sunflowers:

  • Field #1: 39.075688, -77.402296
  • Field #2: 39.079172, -77.388253
  • Field #3: 39.075627, -77.380313
  • Field #4: 39.075504, -77.422652

Directions to McKee Beshers Sunflowers

If you google map to McKee Beshers you will probably be going to the wrong field.

mckee besher 2020

Field #1 usually blooms first and is the main field but google maps does not take you there, it usually takes you somewhere near field #3, which blooms later than field #1.

Use google maps to get to the area but then look at the map below for the location of each field.

mckee beshers sunflower map

UPDATE for 2021:  McKee Beshers has rotated field 1 to a different area (as shown in the map above).  If you are coming from Washington DC you will need to make a left at the SECOND HUNTING QUARTER ROAD from River Road. 

This time field 1 is actually a really far walk!  Field 2 is down the same road but it’s really hard to drive down that section because it’s very narrow, there are tons of potholes, and it’s usually flooded.  I would suggest going back out and driving down the other entrance to Hunting Quarter Road.

 

mckee beshers sunflowers maryland

Parking at McKee-Beshers Sunflower Fields

Parking for the sunflower fields at McKee-Beshers is easy but can get crowded and fill up quickly.  McKee Beshers has multiple areas designated for parking and none of the spots were too crowded during the week, but super crowded on the weekend.  In fact many people started parking on the side of the road because there was no space left in the parking lots!   Detailed parking map here.

If you miss the Sunflowers at McKee-Beshers

A few years ago I went right before peak and they were beautiful and I went again a week after peak because I had missed the main field, and they were mostly drooping and gone because we had some huge rain storms. 

These flowers are just like the cherry blossoms in this area, how long they last highly depends on the weather.  If you miss them there here are 5 more sunflower fields in Maryland and Virginia that bloom later.

Taking Kids to McKee-Beshers Sunflowers

I personally would not take toddlers to McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area if you want to see more than one of the sunflower fields.  Some of the sunflower fields at McKee Beshers do take quite a bit of walking to reach and you will end up carrying your toddler.

Though if you only want to see the main sunflowers (field #1), this was quite a short walk and would be more suitable for toddlers.  BUT the sunflowers are pretty tall here so you may need to do a bit of walking to find shorter ones.

McKee Beshers sunflowers would definitely be better for older kids to run around and explore.  If you want to see some pretty sunflowers with your toddler I would recommend Clear Meadow Farm sunflowers that bloom in September.  This one has areas with shorter sunflowers perfect for little ones!

Want more flower fields near Washington DC?  You can pick your own at Purple Rain Lavender Farm in Maryland, or Springfield Manor, which bloom just a bit before McKee Beshers.  If you are in Virginia, Seven Oaks Lavender Farm also has lavender. 

If you missed the bloom at McKee Beshers 5 more sunflower fields in Maryland and Virginia bloom in August and September.  And if you want to pick your own flowers definitely check out these flower fields that offer pick your own near Washington DC or spend a day at Butler’s Orchard and pick your own fruits too.  For even more flowers these gardens in DC offer spectacular blooms all year round!  AND the lotus at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is in full bloom as well right now!

mckee beshers sunflowers poolsville

McKee Beshers Sunflowers Field 1

The sunflowers at field 1 always blooms first, last year they hit peak bloom on July 16th, which is when I took the pictures below!

mckee beshers 2021

Field #1 is right off River Road, just past the sign for McKee Beshers.  It’s the easiest to get to, no real hiking is required to see the sunflowers.  This parking lot only fits about 20 cars and when I went at around 6:30 am on a Thursday it was already half full.  By the time I left around, 9 am the parking lot was completely full!

UPDATE 2021:  Field 1 is now actually the furthest and hardest to get to!  McKee Beshers WMA actually rotated field 1 to another location and it’s the longest walk out of all the fields.

mckee besher sunflowers 2021

I drove back by in the afternoon and the parking lot was almost full at around 5:40 pm and then completely full with many cars parking on the side of the road next to the parking lot at around 7 pm, I assume for sunset.

I can’t imagine what coming here during the weekend is going to be like.  My advice is to go early in the morning!

mckee beshers sunflowers field 1

There’s no real problem with social distancing here because the field is HUGE and because parking is a bit limited.  I did see several people wearing masks though.

 

mckee beshers sunflowers bloom

DON’T PICK THE FLOWERS!  If you see me holding sunflowers they are FAKE, get yours here or at Michaels.  My dress is from Thailand but an identical one available here.  My hat available here.

McKee Beshers Field #2

The sunflowers at field 2 at McKee Beshers is usually the field Google navigation will take you to.  To get to field 2 from DC navigate to River Road, then head west on River Road, take a left at Hunting Quarter Road.  Once on Hunting Quarter you will pass a round parking lot, that’s for field 3.  Keep going and you will get to another parking lot on your left.  This is the entrance to field 2.

mckee beshers 2021

Sunflower field 2 usually blooms about 1 to 2 weeks after field 1.  So if you missed field 1 go to field 2 instead! I went last year on July 26 and 27th. (My white dress available here)

mckee beshers sunflowers field 2

Field 2 was really cool last  year because they made a giant squarish space in the middle of it!  It’s pretty easy to find and so fun to take pictures in.  Once you see the field turn right onto the first path.  Then keep walking and you will see a slight path on your left into the hole in the middle of the field.

mckee beshers field 2

My exact white dress here.  Similar ones with crochet detail here and here or get it on amazon here.  Super romantic lace version here and here.  

My hat here similar affordable one here.

My red dress is from The Reformation, but old.  Similar one here and affordable one here.

McKee Beshers Sunflower Field 3

The first time I visited McKee Beshers I had a hard time finding field 3.  But it’s actually pretty easy, it’s just a bit further than the other ones!  Sunflower field 3 is HUGE and so pretty!  It’s bigger than field 2 and probably about the same size as field 1.

mckee beshers field 3

To get to field 3 take River Road west, turn left on Hunting Quarter Road.  You will come to a roundish parking lot, this is where you park.  To the left of the parking lot is a gate and a path.  Follow the path and you will get to field 3.  It’s about a 10-minute walk to reach the sunflower field.

mckee beshers sunflower field 3

Mckee-Beshers sunflower field 3 blooms about 1 week after field 1.  I went last year on July 26 and 27.

mckee beshers sunflower field 3

Because of all the rain, the path is quite muddy.  Also if you come on a weekend be prepared to park on the side of the road because the lot is quite small.

McKee Beshers Sunflower Field 4

Sunflower field 4 at McKee Beshers is the easiest to get to besides field 1 (for 2021 field 4 is actually the EASIEST to get to because they moved field 1 pretty far out).  If you have young children I highly recommend taking them to this sunflower field.  Field 4 is right next to the parking lot so there’s no walking to get to the field.

mckee beshers field 4

Mckee Beshers sunflower field 4 blooms about 1 to 2 weeks after field 1. Last year I went on July 26 and 27.

mckee beshers sunflower field 4

To get to field 4, set your navigation for Sycamore Landing Road, Poolsville, MD.

Heading west on River Road you will keep going past Hunting Quarter Road.  Take a left on Sycamore Landing Road, and take it all the way to the end.

You will pass a parking lot on your right but don’t stop here keep going.  At the end of the road, you will see a parking lot on your right.

The parking lot fits about 20 cars and when I came on a Sunday morning at around 8 am it was already full.  I ended up parking in the street next to the lot.

Because of all the rain, the lot was also flooded!

mckee beshers field 4

Compared to McKee Besher sunflower fields 1 and 3, field 4 feels much smaller and the sunflowers are much taller!

mckee beshers sunflowers field 4

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