Older forests, such as Ranck Woods, are increasingly uncommon on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Pink lady's slipper Older forests, such as Ranck Woods, are increasingly uncommon on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. © Steve Meyer

Places We Protect

Ranck Woods

Maryland / DC

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

Overview

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.  The preserve is not open to the public.