Cedarville State Forest


The Piscataway Indian Tribe made this section of Southern Maryland its winter camping ground because of the mild climate and abundance of game. Legend says there is an Indian burial ground in Cedarville State Forest, but to date it has not been found. The headwaters of the Zekiah Swamp are located in Cedarville and the swamp extends southward through Charles County for 20 miles, emptying into the Wicomico River. The Swamp is one mile wide and serves as a haven for wildlife. The surrounding land is mostly agricultural fields. In colonial times and thereafter, efforts were made to drain the swamp for cultivation. Drainage ditches are still evident today. To this day, the swamp remains wooded bottomland.

In 1930, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Forest, Park & Wildlife Service purchased 2,631 acres of land for a forest demonstration area. Later, 879 more acres were added to bring the total to 3,510 acres. Additional land purchases raised the total acreage to 3,866 today. Cedarville was the postal address for the area, hence the name given to the State Forest. In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps, under the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, developed roads and trails for fire protection and future access for the development of the area.

Cedarville State Forest is characterized by large areas of mixed hardwoods, bottomland hardwood, Virginia pine and loblolly pine. In general, the mixed hardwood and bottomland hardwoods are older, mature forests, while loblolly pine stands are more evenly distributed across all age classes.

Historically, a significant portion of Cedarville State Forest was, and continues to be, managed for industrial forest production as a major contributor to the region’s forest products economy. Local and regional sawmills and pulpwood-chipping operations provide an outlet for timber from the local forests. The most recent Forest Stewardship Plan was written in 2016 and addresses sustainable multiple use management (timber, recreation, wildlife habitat, fisheries, etc.).​​