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Price: $2.00/per person
Cranesville Swamp Preserve, Maryland! A Slice of the Canadian Tundra Right Here in the Greater D.C. Area! A Hike for Everyone!
In the Appalachian Mountains, bordering West Virginia and Maryland, west of Deep Creek Lake, is Cranesville Swamp. Tucked away in a frost pocket, Cranesville Swamp is an ecological wonderland. Just three miles long and a half-mile wide, it packs a great amount of biodiversity into such a small tract of land. It is home to a diverse collection of flora and fauna. Many very rare special, including the tamarisk and sundew are found in the swamp.
Taking a trip to Cranesville Swamp is a trip back in time, geological time that is, reaching back 10,000 years into the last great Ice Age. As the glaciers made their advance south, conifer and fir forests moved ahead of them, over the course of thousands of years. The environment was much colder back then, and these plant communities, normally exist in northern Canada, found the perfect home in the mountains of the Mid-Atlantic. As the temperatures gradually warmed and the ice sheets retreated back to the north, the plant species that found their home here also slowly retreated back towards Canada. Ion a few places, like Cranesville Swamp and Dolly Sods, further to the north, these northern communities lingers in some isolated “islands” and still exist today.
A 1,500 foot boardwalk and four excellent hiking trails provide a great opportunity to discover the many plan, animal and avian species that live in the swamp. A hike in Cranesville is not about elevation gain or how far or long you can hike, but rather a chance to slow down and explore the many plant species and enjoy this most special place. A walk along the boardwalk passes through many different ecosystems, including sphagnum bogs lush with floating carpets of moss and rare plants such as the sundew, pitcher plant and skunk cabbage. As the boardwalk continues you will pass through blueberry an chokeberry as well as taller shrubs including serviceberry, wild raisin and arrow wood. Our hike along the Blue Trail will put you into a stand of hemlock and pine that is a perfect place to spot some common and most rare birds. Look out for great horned owl, screech owl, and barred. Many other birds are known to inhabit the park, including great blue heron, ruby-throated hummingbird, belted kingfisher, tree swallow, and many many more. We are combining all four trails and the boardwalk into a longer loop hike that will give you a chance to see all the best that Cranesville Swamp has to offer for a spectacular sample without rushing around to see everything. All five trails are about 2 miles in distance and very easy terrain so you can choose how far you want to go with the shortest distance commitment being 4 miles with an option for a total of about 10 miles.
Click here for a park brochure which shows the way it looks. While it doesn't show you our trip plan, t does show you all the trails and how they fit together as well as containing additional information about the area. Hopefully, between this posting, and the brochure, all of your questions will be answered regarding this nature hike. But, if not, do not hesitate to contact me as that it what I am here for as your organizer.
For those wishing to spend more time after the main hike, we will be more than happy to rehike any of the areas for you to take more pics or see the sights again as the leaders like to make a day of this most special area. We visit this time of year due to a very high deer tick count at other times of the year. This hike is more of a truly “guided” hike than most. This way, many of the more rare and interesting sites will be pointed out and explained by Justin, our teams environmental scientist. So, please do not attend this hike if you are looking to put your head down and hike from point A to point B as we have many hikes for that hiking style as well. This one is for those interested in learning about this most special area and to enjoy a slice of Canada in our own back yard! Parts Copyright 50 Amazing Thing You Must See and Do
This hike will be about that of an average hiker will not be too fast becuase the focus is on the sites of this amazing area and not how fast we can get through this hike. Please sign up for another hike if that is what you are looking for as there are plenty of them on our calendar. This is a nature enjoyment hike! We will not hike in a large group but instead be broken up into groups of no more than 15 and based on how many sign up and how many experienced leaders volunteer, we might get even smaller groups which is fantastic for this type of hike. We can socialize after the hike and discuss all that we experienced on the trail at a nearby eatery if you would like to join us!
Nearby City: Oakland
Length: 4-10 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Year-round but best in late fall and winter when there are no ticks or poison ivy
Directions to the Trailhead
Click here for directions to the trailhead.
Hike Meetup Time is 11:00 a.m .
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette . We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back and no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!
Please be sure to take a leaders number with you just in case and see you there for good times out on the trail!
Refunds offered if:
Additional notes: Refund if your RSVP is changed PRIOR to 48 hours of hike time.
Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.