Sunday, May 8, 2011

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp to Calvert Cliffs State Park

Hike Date: Sunday May 1st, 2011

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp
Cypress tree base with knees showing
Today our first stop brought us to Battle Creek Cypress Swamp.  This small sanctuary is devoted to the preservation of one of the few remaining cypress swamps in Maryland.  It is a nice place to visit, but for you avid hikers, there isn't much here to hike!  A short boardwalk through the swamp and a few small trails around a field are all that is here.  It is a neat place to visit but not a place you can spend a day at.  An important thing to remember is the areas limited hours so plan accordingly.  We slowly enjoyed the area and had walked from the front to the back within an hour.  Since this area was quite a drive from home we had a back up plan already planned out.

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Calvert Cliffs State Park

The Cliffs at Calvert

Northern Water Snake
A short drive away from Battle Creek is Calvert Cliffs State Park.  There is a small fee of five dollars to pay to enter, and most of the time the payment is on the honor system.  There are several trails throughout this park and the most popular trail, the red trail, goes from the parking lot to the beach.  By far the most popular attraction, the beach offers a nice place for a picnic or a place to hunt for fossils.  The red trail is 1.8 miles and is really an easy walk.  Sometimes a little muddy, the trail does offer great views along a tidal swamp which is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Northern Cricket Frog
After a walk to the beach you can avoid repeat scenery by taking either the service road or the orange trail back to the parking lot.  Each of these trails is a little over three miles long.  Many reptiles and amphibians also hang out near the water so watch your step out there!  We took the orange trail back to the parking lot, which when we walked it there were a few fallen trees along the way but it was still a nice trail through the forest.

Overall a nice place to hike and the back trails aren't too crowded so if you want to avoid the crowded red trail,especially if you visit on a weekend, you can avoid the majority of the other park visitors here.

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For more information on both parks visit:

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Central Florida where Cypress Forests are plentiful. They have a unique beauty that sets them apart from other trees.

    The picture of Calvert Cliffs looks like the jumble trees is about ready to explode right over the precipice. The diversity of nature truly is a spectacle to behold!