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Elk Neck State Forest

Elk Neck State Forest Main Area

Located only 5 minutes from Bay Venture Outfitters, Elk Neck State Forest is 3,571 acres situated in central Cecil County consisting of four separate tracts of land​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​. Elk Neck State Forest is open to the public for hunting, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Shooting ranges for bow, hand gun, shotgun and rifle are also available to the public. Permits are accessed from a self-service honor system located at the Maintenance Complex.

The forest supports a diverse habitat with mixed deciduous and evergreen trees and an understory of mountain laurel, azaleas and other native shrubs. Birdwatchers, including members of the Cecil County Bird Club, enjoy observing the forest's abundance of migratory birds. For those interested in wildflowers, the Forest is home to an abundance of natural flora.

Make a day of spending time in the outdoors by combining an on water adventure with the amenities offered in Elk Neck State Forest! You can view our rental rates and availability here!

Elk Neck State Forest Map

Arboretum Hiking Trail

Elk Neck State Forest is home to the recently opened Arboretum Hiking Trail. In addition to being the first arboretum in Cecil County, it is the first project of its kind undertaken by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Elk Neck State Forest’s Arboretum has 61 newly planted specimens and 35 pre-existing specimens on display. There are 52 different species of Maryland native shrubs and trees that are identified along the walking paths that total 1/2 mile of easily walking surfaces.

Specimens exhibit a variety of shrub and tree species from all over Maryland. Native habitat for these trees range from the mountainous Western Maryland, through the Piedmont area around Baltimore to the sandy shores of Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Maryland has been described as America in miniature and through the variety of trees at the arboretum it is easy to see why.

Brochure and Map