The remains of Maryland's primeval wilderness

November 22, 1991|By Frank D. Roylance

Here are a few spots that can still evoke Maryland's primeval wilderness.

* Cypress swamps and big timber along Nassawango Creek, below Mt. Olive Church Road in Worcester County. About 3,300 acres of it is privately owned by the Nature Conservancy, whose state director, Wayne Klockner, also praises sections of the cypress swamp along the Pocomoke River in southern Worcester County.

* Tidal marshes off Elliott Island Road in Dorchester County are described by Klockner as the state's best: "You can get out in the middle of that road and see little or no evidence of man at all. It is really one of the true wildernesses in Maryland."

* The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County and the Eastern Neck Island National Wildlife Refuge in Kent County -- while not pristine, are cited for their large concentrations of migrating waterfowl in winter.

* Bear Island, in Great Falls Recreation Area, Montgomery County. Called "Maryland's premier natural area" by Wilderness Society ecologist Dan Boone. A complex of ancient habitats and endangered species.

* Black Marsh off Miller Island Road in Baltimore County. A very old, mature forest now state-owned. "It has a really nice mix of marshes and beach and nesting eagles," Boone said.

* Garrett County, where bison and elk once roamed the marshy "glades," was Maryland's "Yellowstone," Boone said. Cranesville Swamp north of Oakland and old-growth forest at Swallow Falls and Herrington Manor state parks recall those days.

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