Places We Protect

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp

Maryland

A group of six people stand together on a boardwalk in the middle of a forest. They are all facing away from the camera, looking into the trees. The wooden boardwalk curves ahead and disappears.
Battle Creek Cypress Swamp TNC staff members tour Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, the Conservancy's first preserve in Maryland. © Erika Nortemann / TNC

Visit the only stand of bald cypress in Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay.

Overview

Description

COVID-19 Update (June 21, 2021)

TNC’s public preserves in Maryland remain open. We ask all visitors to observe our preserve access guidelines and follow current health and safety precautions, including guidance from the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Thank you for helping us in our efforts to protect our visitors’ health and well-being.


Protected in 1957, Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is The Nature Conservancy's first preserve in Maryland. It harbors bald cypress trees at the northernmost limit of the species' natural range in the United States, making this a uniquely captivating place in the region.

Since 1977, the preserve has been leased to Calvert County and operated as a county park. The Calvert County Natural Resources Division operates a quarter-mile boardwalk and a nature center to further enhance your visit. Preserve hours are:

Memorial Day – Labor Day

  • Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 4:30pm
  • Saturday 10:00am- 6:00pm
  • Sunday 1:00pm – 6:00pm

Labor Day – Memorial Day

  • Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 4:30pm
  • Saturday 10:00am- 4:30pm
  • Sunday 1:00pm – 4:30pm

For more information call 410-535-5327. Admission is free.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Dogs are not allowed at this preserve.

Highlights

Quarter-mile boardwalk, Nature center, Self-guided audio tour

Size

The Nature Conservancy owns 100 acres here.

Explore our work in Maryland/DC

What to See: Plants

  • In the spring, a blanket of wild flowers covers the ground in the northern part of the swamp
  • Bald cypress trees, some standing 100 feet tall
  • May-apples, pink lady's-slippers

What to See: Animals

  • Warblers, including the Kentucky, worm-eating, prothonotary, and others 
A group of six people stand together on a boardwalk in the middle of a forest. They are all facing away from the camera, looking into the trees. The wooden boardwalk curves ahead and disappears.
Battle Creek Cypress Swamp
Visit the only stand of bald cypress in Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay.

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Visit the only stand of bald cypress in Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay.

Download an Audio Tour

Planning a visit to Battle Creek? Before your trip, download our self-guided audio tour to your handheld device. It's like having a naturalist in your pocket!

  • Step 1: Download the Battle Creek audio tour map. The numbers marked on the map correspond to the audio files in the tour. This map will help identify which audio tracks to play based on your location on the trail, so make sure to take a copy with you on your trip.


  • Step 2: Download and save the mp3 audio files to your handheld device. Play the corresponding track when you reach a waypoint along the trail. Listen to them all or pick & choose based on your interests! 

MEET YOUR GUIDE

Andy Brown is the Senior Naturalist with Calvert County Natural Resources Division. He has enjoyed a career-long relationship with The Nature Conservancy through the management of Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary for the last 28 years. Andy is an avid birder and is particularly interested in Barn Owls and Bluebirds and maintains nest box projects in Southern Maryland for these species.

Audio Files / Tour Stops (mp3 format)

1. Introduction

2. Begin the Trail

3. First Seated Area

4. First Bend of the Boardwalk

5. Other Tree Species

6. Cypress Knees

7. Understory Plants

7.1 Small Stream Near Boardwalk

7.2 Large Bald Cypress Tree

7.3 Soil and Special Color

7.4 Natural Cavity

8. Third Seated Area

9. Entering Transition Area

10. Root Ball Creates Habitat for Wildlife

11. Fossil Record and Theory

11.1 Seasonal Changes