Explore Diverse Habitats on These 5 Hikes Near Southern Maryland

Kimberly Bean
Published on April 26, 2017

Explore Diverse Habitats on These 5 Hikes Near Southern Maryland

There is so much history and natural beauty in Southern Maryland! If you’re looking to learn more about this region’s unique habitats, check out these five places to hike in southern Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

Cedarville State Forest: This 3,510-acre park sits in far southern Prince George’s County, just beyond the Charles County line. The Piscataway Indians wintered here because of its mild climate and abundance of game. The headwaters of the Zekiah Swamp are within the park’s borders. Today, the park boasts nearly 20 miles of marked trails as well as campgrounds and recreational areas for hiking, biking, and equestrian use.

Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/cedarville.aspx

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary: Covering 1,700 acres of open water, marshes, wetlands, and more, the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is operated by the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks. Visit the sanctuary to learn about these habitats and the creatures that call them home. More than 15 miles of trails and boardwalks take you through the sanctuary and offer views of the Patuxent River.

Website: http://www.jugbay.org/

(Image via Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary on Facebook)

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary: This 1,670-acre sanctuary is home to the largest concentration of Canada geese on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay. It is a wintering ground for the birds, and the only sanctuary operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Four hiking trails take you through the forests and uplands of the Patuxent River. Three of the trails begin at the Visitor’s Center.

Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/merkle.aspx

National Colonial Farm/Piscataway Park: The Accokeek Foundation takes care of 200 acres of this park, which was founded in 1957 to preserve the view of Mount Vernon from across the Potomac. Short and easy trails in the park take you through wetlands and forest and along the river. Visit the Colonial Farm to see how an American family lived right before the Revolutionary War. Trails are all short, with the longest being 0.9 miles.

Website: https://www.nps.gov/pisc/index.htm and http://accokeekfoundation.org/

(Image via Accokeek Foundation on Facebook)

Rosaryville State Park: You’d never guess busy U.S. Route 301 is so close to this 982-acre day-use park in Prince George’s County. The park has a 9-mile perimeter trail and two shorter inner trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian use. Historic Mount Airy Mansion is located within the park.

Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/rosaryville.aspx

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