Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary, Prince Frederick

#8 of 11 in Parks in Calvert County
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is a forested wetland near Prince Frederick in Calvert County, Maryland, United States. It is one of the northernmost sites of naturally occurring bald cypress trees in North America, and the only large stand of the trees on the western shore of Maryland. In 1965, the National Park Service designated the BCCS a National Natural Landmark.
The Nature Conservancy purchased the wetland, which became the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary, in 1957. It was the Conservancy's first preserve in Maryland and encompasses (about 1% of the 10060acre watershed of Battle Creek). A portion of it is now open as a public park with a nature center and quarter-mile boardwalk through the swamp. Since 1977, the preserve has been leased to Calvert County and operated as a county park.
Cypresses, such as the bald cypress, and their relatives once covered much of the northern temperate zone. It is thought that these trees disappeared from the BCCS area during the most recent Pleistocene glaciation ("Ice Age"), but then reappeared around 5,000 to 10,000 years ago as the climate warmed.
In addition to the cypress, the sanctuary protects many songbirds (prothonotary warbler, waterthrush), frogs (green frog, spring peeper) and several wildflower species (cardinal flower, jack-in-the-pulpit). Skunk cabbages emerge early each spring.
Take a look at our Prince Frederick trip planning website to schedule your visit to Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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  • Great boardwalk through the swamp. Beautiful scenery. Very relaxing. The cypress trees are beautiful and massive. The visitors center showed how to tell the age of a tree by the rings.  more »
  • Tucked away in the woods just south of Prince Frederick is this quaint museum/ nature center/ preserve. Abundant parking and no admission cost. Note that there is a nice picnic shelter that seems...  more »
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