Salem State Forest

Photo of Salem State Forest in MarylandIntroduction

The Salem property was acquired by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in 2003. The parcel is located off of Indian Bridge Road, one half mile south of St. Andrews Church Road in St. Mary’s County, directly North of St. Mary’s Lake. This property adjoins St. Mary’s River State Park. The land was previously owned by the G​latfelter Pulpwood Company and primarily managed for Loblolly pine production. The Maryland Forest Service coordinates the management of the property with other disciplines in the Department of Natural Resources. This property is 902 acres and is entirely wooded.

Forest Management

The forest on the property consists of approximately 275 acres of loblolly pine plantation that is between 20 and 35 years old. There is an additional 345 acres that were harvested by the clearcut method in 2000, approximately 108 acres were treated with herbicides to control hardwood sprouting and replanted with loblolly pine. The remaining 239 acres were left to regenerate naturally and established a stand of mixed pine and hardwoods. Other forest stands on the property include areas of mixed Virginal pine and oaks, mature loblolly pine and bottomland hardwoods.

Approximately 200 acres of loblolly pine have been thinned since the purchase of the property by the DNR. Another 40 acres have been salvaged after the result of hurricane Irene. Reforestation with loblolly pine has been initiated on 40 acres. Future forest management strategies will be to continue with the loblolly pine management through thinning and regeneration operations.

Extensive road and trail work has been completed in order to improve recreational access and stabilize the poor condition of the access roads/trails.

Wildlife Management

The Wildlife Division in cooperation with the Forest Service has established a public hunting program on the property. Reservations are not required to hunt on the property for upland and forest game. Waterfowl hunting is not available.

Hiking/ Mountain Biking/Equestrian Access

A parking area has been established off of Indian Bridge Road with a kiosk and map of the roads and trails. Access to the property is by foot travel only.

The Southern boundary line of the property adjoins St. Mary’s River State Park. Currently a hiking trail exists around the northern portion of St. Mary’s Lake and joins a trail system on the Salem tract. All terrain vehicles and motorcycles are not permitted on the property.

The Southern Maryland Mountain Biker Association has built and maintained trails on Salem State Forest. Annual riding events are organized and held on the property by the Southern Maryland Mountain Bikers Association.

Equestrian use is permitted on Salem State Forest. The best access is from St. Mary’s River State Park, which has a larger and paved parking area for trailers and trucks.

Leave No Trace

Salem State Forest is Trash Free. Read more about Leave No Trace.


South side of Indian Bridge Road, approximately one half mile south of St. Andrews Church Road in St. Mary’s County.