Elk Neck State Forest

Please Note:  Due to the need for critical repairs to the shooting range facilities at Elk Neck State Forest in Cecil County, all shooting ranges will be closed to the public on the following dates this fall: Monday, October 16, Monday, October 23, and Monday, October 30. This closure is necessary so department staff can repair range baffles to ensure the continued safe operation of the range. We apologize for any inconvenience that these closures may cause. Questions or concerns can be addressed to the forest office at (410) 287-5675.

​ ​Elk Neck State Forest Entrance SignContact: 410-287-5675

Cecil County

Elk Neck State Forest
717 Irishtown Road
North East, MD 21901

Office Hours:
7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday

Mailing Address:

Black Hill Ranger Station
130 McKinneytown Road
North East, MD 21901


Special Event Notice

Junior Hunter Field Day is September 9: Youths aged 6 to 16 with an interest in hunting, shooting sports, wildlife management, and conservation are invited to participate in Elk Neck State Forest Junior Hunter Field Day, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on September 9 at Elk Neck State Forest. Participants will have the opportunity to shoot sporting clays and use .22-caliber rifles, muzzleloaders, and archery.

Activities are led by wildlife professionals and in partnership with local conservation and sporting clubs. These events provide safe, enjoyable, hands-on opportunities for young people to learn about hunting, trapping, shooting sports and other outdoor pursuits and their important role in Maryland’s wildlife conservation efforts. All equipment is provided.

Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult .The event is free but space is limited to 50 participants -- advance registration is required by September 8. Register using this form.

Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Elk Neck State Forest is an approximate 3,571 acre parcel of land 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 seasonally observing the forest's abundance of migratory birds. For those interested in wildflowers, the Forest is home to an abundance of natural fauna.

The Forest is open from sun rise to sun down each day. During periods of inclement weather, forest roads may be closed temporarily until they are safe for public use. The Forest will remain open with public parking available at the Main Entrance off of Irishtown Road.

On bad weather days, please call the Forest Office for current road conditions and temporary closures.