McKee-Beshers Sunflower Fields in Maryland 2023
McKee Beshers sunflowers for 2023 are blooming!
If you follow me on Instagram you know I’m a huge fan of fields of flowers and sunflower fields are no exception.
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.
My dress is sold out but a similar one for only $16 here.
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.
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 5 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.
For 2023 the McKee Beshers sunflowers are blooming as of July 10, 2023 and are at peak bloom.
What to Wear and Bring
Because these sunflowers are in a wildlife management area, there are TONS of MOSQUITOS and TICKS.
(My white lace dress is available here)
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 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.
Map & 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.
There are 5 sunflower fields planted for 2023 at McKee-Beshers, here’s the map:
If you only follow google maps you will likely end up in the wrong field. It usually takes you to Field #2. So be sure to us the map as a reference when looking for the sunflower fields.
As of July 11, 2023, field 1 is in full bloom and absolutely beautiful. This is my favorite field. Maryland DNR has put up electric wire around each of the flower fields to prevent deer from entering and eating the sunflowers. This practice looks like it was started in 2022 which was probably the worst year for sunflowers at Mckee Beshers. It looks like the electric wire is working because field 1 is full of beautiful sunflowers with no weeds!
This location has been my favorite sunflower field out of the 5 planted. To get to field #1 from Washington DC you will want to drive on River Road until you hit Hunting Quarter Road. Turn left on Hunting Quarter Road, before the road curves you will see a parking lot on your left. It’s pretty small, park here. To the right of the parking lot is a gate with a wide trail that goes to field #1 for 2023 sunflowers! Make sure you don’t go too far because Hunting Quarter Road crosses River road twice. See my detailed map below.
2023 Mckee Besher Sunflower Update and Footage
As I just said Mckee Beshers sunflower field #1 is in full bloom. The footage below was taken on July 12, 2023.
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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 2022 Update: July 21, 2022
The sunflowers in field 5 (which used to be field 1) are almost at their peak! This weekend they should be hitting peak bloom! It is rather weedy this year and you will find some areas so overrun with weeds that it’s impassable to actually walk into the field. But just walk further down the path to the left and you’ll find some areas that have fewer weeds and shorter sunflowers for pictures!
See the video for the condition of the field.
Mckee Besher Sunflower Update: July 30, 2022
Sunflower field #4 is blooming! But unlike field #5 (as seen in the video above) this field has really small sunflowers. And it has even more weeds than sunflower field #5.
McKee Beshers Sunflower Update: August 3, 2022
I check ALL the rest of the fields this morning and it’s not looking good! It looks like this year the sunflowers on Sycamore Lane (fields 1 and 2) didn’t bloom at all it’s just full of weeds with a little sunflower here or there. There’s also a sign warning not to cross the electric fence at field 2, but I didn’t see an electric fence here.
Here’s a picture of field #2:
Field 1, which is also on Sycamore Lane does have a low fence, but I didn’t touch it to see if it was rope or electric. But again this field has basically no sunflowers. Here’s a picture of field #1:
Sunflower field #4 is definitely past peak bloom now. Again this field is super weedy with small sunflowers. These flowers are now turning brown and drooping. Here’s a picture of field #4
I did not go back to field #5, which is usually the main field this time but it is most likely past peak bloom as well.
Overall McKee Beshers sunflowers were disappointing this year when compared to years past. If you are looking for sunflowers that are blooming check out my post on Sunflowers in Maryland and Virginia.
Previous Years Pictures of McKee Beshers Sunflower Fields
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 is available here. My hat is 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.
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)
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.
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.
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 blooms about 1 week after field 1. I went last year on July 26 and 27.
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.
2022 UPDATE: Field 3 has moved! They did not plant it here this year!
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 sunflower field 4 blooms about 1 to 2 weeks after field 1. Last year I went on July 26 and 27.
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!
Compared to McKee Besher sunflower fields 1 and 3, field 4 feels much smaller and the sunflowers are much taller!
McKee Beshers Sunflower Update July 27, 2021
All the sunflower fields at McKee Beshers should be in full bloom right now! This year though they have some weird green plants growing in the fields so it’s not as pretty as last year.
I would say 2020 was the BEST year for sunflowers at McKee Beshers and this year is kind of disappointing.
But if you still want to go here are some pictures from the fields I visited this year.
Sunflower Field 3 2021
Sunflower field 3 was my favorite last year but this year it’s full of that weird green plant! Fields 2 and 4 are the same, with that green plant in between the sunflower blooms.
You can get some good shots of sunflowers around the edges though.
Right next to this field and many of the other fields are big fields of corn.
I’m guessing MWM planted the corn as more food for the birds in this area. I went on July 23, and the sunflowers were in full bloom but hard to see because of the tall green plants.
Sunflower Field 1
Sunflower Field 1 is the furthest field about a 15-minute walk if you walk slow.
This field has just sunflowers and none of the green weedy plants plaguing the other fields. For 2021 sunflower field 1 at McKee Beshers is the best field, but definitely, nothing compared to last year. (My rainbow puff dress for only $23 is available here, blue version here.)
The blooms are tall here and dense. There is one spot on the right of the field that has shorter sunflowers that are good for photos!
I went on July 26, 2021, and the flowers were in full bloom. My white dress is available here in 17 colors for less than $20.
See also 5 Places to Find Beautiful Magnolias in Washington DC