Best trails in Cedarville State Forest, Maryland

384 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails in Cedarville State Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Description

The Piscataway Indian Tribe made this section of Southern Maryland its winter camping ground because of the mild climate and abundance of game. Legend says there is an Indian Burial ground in Cedarville State Forest, but to date it has not been found. The headwaters of the Zekiah Swamp are located in Cedarville. The swamp extends Southward through Charles County for 20 miles, emptying into the Wicomico River. The Swamp is one mile wide, and serves as a haven for wildlife. The surrounding land is mostly agricultural fields. In colonial times and there after efforts were made to drain the swamp for cultivation. Drainage ditches are still evident. To this day, the swamp remains wooded bottom land. In 1930, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Forest, Park and Wildlife Service purchased 2,631 acres of land for a forest demonstration area. Later 879 more acres were added to bring the total to 3,510 acres. Cedarville was the postal address for the area, hence the name given to the State Forest. In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps, under the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, developed roads and trails for fire protection and future access for the development of the area.

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Map of trails in Cedarville State Forest, Maryland
Park information
Acreage:
3,510 acres
Contact
301-888-1410
Helpful links
Top trails (4)
#1 - Cedarville Orange Loop Trail
Cedarville State Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(157)
Length: 6.6 mi • Est. 2 h 49 m
Note: A section of Orange Trail will be temporarily closed at 1.25 -1.5 mile level due to a broken Board Walk bridge. Bikers, Hikers and Horse back riders are advised to follow the directions to the White and other trails. This detour has been reported to be poorly marked and to add roughly 2.0 miles to the loop. The headwaters of the Zekiah Swamp are located in Cedarville. The Swamp is one mile wide, and serves as a major haven for wildlife. Cedarville State Forest is home to several unique features in nature. The Cedarville Bog is considered the headwaters of the largest freshwater bog in Maryland, the Zekiah Swamp. Of special interest in this bog are several species of insect-eating plants, including the roundleaf sundew and the northern pitcher plant (better known as the Venus Flytrap. Throughout the summer months, spy the leaves of these carnivorous plants, which attract insects with their reddish color and entrap them with sticky or bristly hairs. Showy wildflowers also dot the open meadow next to the bog. Look for the pink blooms of Maryland meadow-beauty and milkwort and the purple flowers of Hyssop skullcap. Most of Cedarville is forested with over 50 species of trees, including white and loblolly pine plantations. The Piscataway Indian Tribe made this section of Southern Maryland its winter camping ground because of the mild climate and abundance of game. Legend says there is an Indian Burial ground in Cedarville State Forest, but to date it has not been found. This is a wonderful hike year round but the carnivorous plants, once again, only bloom during the summer months. An easy hike through deep, shady forest along the banks of meandering creeks. On a hot summer day, there is a drowsy, languid feel to the creeks that run through Cedarville State Forest. They are known to rise up and wash out bridges, and if their steeply cut banks are any measure, they have done so often. But there is little babble to these sandy-bottomed brooks. Walking by them through stands of hardwood and meadows of lush ferns, you are more likely to hear a breeze in the trees than a wild torrent. It is a good setting for a tranquil hike. Transition Hike This is a great way to step up your endurance/mileage to strenuous from moderate hiking (due to distance but it is a flat hike for the most part) and work on building some distance while enjoying the middle-of-nowhere feeling you get only from the forest. Cedarville is very remote yet extremely well blazed and marked. It is pretty much flat as well which is unusual for anywhere around here. This would be rated an easy hike other than than the distance, which earns it a very moderate or easy side of strenuous depending on your level of fitness. Trail Surface: Dirt footpaths and old forest roads traverse a heavily wooded area, with short stretches through the watershed of two major streams. Unlike most parts of Maryland there are few rocks and roots (also called ankle twisters) so you can really take in the view and not have to watch your feet! Day Use Fee: Maryland residents $3/vehicle; out-of-state residents $5/vehicleShow more
#2 - Cedarville Blue Trail
Cedarville State Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(146)
Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 1 h 42 m
Day Use Fee: Maryland residents $3/vehicle; out-of-state residents $5/vehicle Please also note that this trail is hunting grounds. Show more
#3 - Cedarville White Trail
Cedarville State Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(52)
Length: 3.3 mi • Est. 1 h 26 m
Day Use Fee: Maryland residents $3/vehicle; out-of-state residents $5/vehicleShow more
#4 - Cedarville Pond via Left, Swamp and Plantation Trail
Cedarville State Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(18)
Length: 3.0 mi • Est. 1 h 19 m
Great area for trail running when hunting is not in season! Also there is a great pond for fishing and having a picnic. The trail is relatively flat and doesn't have many roots which make it great for trail running, or just a walk in the woods. You start in a pine wooded area--walking on needles, then venture through other forested areas with diverse ecosystems. A lot of these areas are actively being cut back as you will see. The next area is a water one with a creek and waterfowl. The pond makes a great picnic area to fish and have a bbq. Be sure to sign the hiking log before and after your hike. Day Use Fee: Maryland residents $3/vehicle; out-of-state residents $5/vehicleShow more