Fort Hill

Limestone glades and forest shelter many uncommon species.

Fort Hill is one of Maryland's best remaining examples of limestone forest; in the 1700s there were 500,000 undisturbed acres of limestone forest.  Today, only 1,500 acres remain. 

Visiting the Preserve
Fort Hill's limestone forest is fragile, so the preserve is only open to scientific research with prior permission from The Nature Conservancy.  Thank you for your understanding and help in protecting this important part of Maryland's natural heritage

Western Maryland.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Although now it is far above sea level, Fort Hill's limestone cliffs hold fossils of 600 year-old ocean life.  Many of the plants and other species that live on these limestone cliffs are unusual and rare in Maryland.

What the Conservancy Is Doing Here

  • 332 acres purchased since 1987
  • Maintaining deer exclosure to prevent overbrowsing of rare plants
  • Annual monitoring of rare plant populations
  • Managing exotic invasive plants - volunteers welcome!


  • Nationally-rare tall larkspur and mountain pimpernel.
  • Purple harebell, rock sandwort, northern prickly-ash, cliff stonecrop, yellow oak.


  • Several globally-rare cave invertebrates, and globally- and state-rare butterflies.


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