A NOTE ABOUT VISITING FINZEL—UPDATE ON ACCESS (June 3, 2020)
A recently installed gate has, at times, blocked access to the preserve. TNC legal services continue to work with our new neighbor's attorney, and we have been making very good progress to resolve access and maintenance concerns.
- If you find that the gate is locked during the day, or are otherwise unable to enter the preserve, please notify our Bethesda office by email (contactMDDC@tnc.org) and plan to return to the preserve another day. We would also like to hear from you if the gate is open.
- If you are able to enter the preserve and become locked in, or if you witness any illegal activity within the preserve, please call the Natural Resources Police on their 24-hour line, 800-628-9944.
- If you encounter harassment or are subjected to threatening behavior while visiting the preserve, please contact local law enforcement as soon as you are in a safe location and report the interaction. Visitors can contact the Garrett County Sheriff Department’s business line 301-334-1911 and/or call the Natural Resources Police on their 24-hour line, 800-628-9944. We ask that you report these incidents to us as well (email: contactMDDC@tnc.org).
We value our neighbors and ask that all visitors to the preserve respect their property as both parties seek a resolution. Our thanks and appreciation to everyone who has shared with us their love of Finzel Swamp and stories of how important the preserve is to them.
As a reminder, the preserve is open to the public during daylight hours only. Fires and littering are prohibited. Please observe posted speed limits.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, we ask all preserve visitors to follow current health and safety precautions, including guidance from the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others (social distancing).
Parking may be limited at many of our preserves. If parking areas are full, please plan to return to the preserve another day. If you choose to visit a TNC preserve, please follow preserve access guidelines.
Thank you for helping us in our efforts to protect our visitors’ health and well-being.
About Finzel Swamp
A window into ice ages past, Finzel Swamp is located in a frost pocket, an area where the surrounding hills capture moisture and cold air that conspire to create a landscape more reminiscent of habitat found much further north in Canada.
Thanks to a partnership with aptly named Frostburg State University, the Conservancy is learning more about this unique natural treasure. In 2012, a group of Frostburg students set up a weather monitoring station at the preserve. This station allows the student researchers to monitor weather conditions in relation to water levels and ultimately gather data on climate-change impacts to the area.
Why TNC Selected This Site
In addition to the shrub swamp, the preserve contains three other distinct plant communities, and is the headwaters to the Savage River. The mountain peatlands created by this rare mix of altitude, temperature, and precipitation are home to a spectacular range of plants, birds, and mammals.
The Central Appalachians harbor the most diverse community of salamanders in the world, and pristine Finzel Swamp provides a perfect sanctuary: varied habitat, moisture, and clean water.