Explore Sideling Hill Creek in the Allegheny Forests. View All
Get the most of your visit. View All
With the Allegany Forests Project, The Nature Conservancy is helping to preserve an area of remarkable scenic beauty across some 262,000 acres in Maryland and Pennsylvania. More than 80 rare species live here. The Allegany Forests are located in the heart of the Central Appalachian Mountains, a region identified by Conservancy scientists as globally important.
The Conservancy owns and manages 771 acres at Sideling Hill Creek Preserve and 85 acres at Selinger Marsh Preserve. In addition, we have helped the state of Maryland protect 1,522 acres as additions to Green Ridge State Forest and the Aaron Straus Wilderness Area.
The Allegany Forests Project area offers nature’s gems in every season. Springtime brings the colorful blooms of redbuds and serviceberries, along with the start of birding season.
The extensive forests attract many birds, including the cerulean warbler, a species that only breeds in older forest stands like those in western Maryland. More than 40 fish species swim in Sideling Hill Creek, and rare freshwater mussels, including the green floater, thrive on stream bottoms.
Interspersed with the forests are shale barrens that host a unique group of plants, butterflies and moths. Lepidopterists come in search of the flitting orange-brown northern metalmark or rare Olympian marble butterfly.
At summer’s end, one of the world’s 10 remaining populations of a rare aquatic wildflower called Harperella blooms on cobble bars in Sideling Hill Creek and Fifteen Mile Creek. Each fall, birders arrive to count the raptors passing through. And in the quiet of winter, hikers can walk all day without seeing another person or hearing a car.
Visitors can experience the fantastic outdoor recreation and natural beauty of a huge area that is more than 70 percent forested, whether taking a day-long float trip, a quick dip in Sideling Hill Creek at the Conservancy’s preserve, or hiking in the 50,000-acre Green Ridge State Forest. And they can see for themselves why The Nature Conservancy believes in the importance of working with partners to preserve not just one shale barren or creek or stand of trees, but a large mosaic of landscapes where many species can thrive for generations.
For more information, contact Donnelle Keech at (301) 722-0313 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
There are two visitor areas within the Conservancy’s Sideling Hill Creek Preserve.
What to See: Plants
What to See: Animals
How to Get the Most from Your Visit
To the two visitor areas within the Conservancy’s Sideling Hill Creek Preserve:
To reach the hiking trails at the Bryant Tract:
Turn right at the stop sign. Cross Sideling Hill Creek after just a couple hundred feet (bridge is inconspicuous). Immediately after crossing the creek, take a sharp right (back-angle) down dirt lane to edge of hay field. Park within the fenced parking area. Please do not block access to dirt lane across the field.
To fish or swim in the creek at the Yonker Tract:
Turn left at the stop sign, and cross over the interstate. Turn left at the next stop sign, and then take the next right onto Swain Road. Follow for approximately 2 miles, until it takes a bend and enters the woods. Turn left onto Swain Hollow Road. Follow for approximately 2 miles to a four-way intersection, turn left. Parking lot is on the right; this road ends in a ford at Sideling Hill Creek.