Places We Protect

Ranck Woods

Maryland / DC

In the foreground, the delicate pink blossom of a lady's slipper orchid. Mature trees grow in the shaded forest in the background.
Pink lady's slipper Older forests, such as Ranck Woods, are increasingly uncommon on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. © Steve Meyer

A stately, mature forest on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.



Ranck Woods is a mature, mixed forest of conifers and hardwoods. The dominant trees are loblolly pine, beech, red maple, sweet gum and oak. The understory trees are cherry, dogwood, amelanchier and American holly. In the spring, the forest floor is covered with spring beauties and may-apples, interspersed with pink lady’s slipper orchids.

The Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus), an endemic subspecies, lives in Ranck Woods. Because of its dwindling numbers and the destruction of its mature forest habitat, the Delmarva fox squirrel is listed as federally endangered. 

Older forests, such as Ranck Woods, are becoming increasingly uncommon on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Such remaining woods not already protected are threatened by development and timber harvesting.

43 acres have been protected at Ranck Woods since 1987.  



This preserve is not open to the public.


Talbot County, MD


43 acres

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The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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