​​Bohemia River State Park


Bohemia River State Park

4030 Augustine Herman Hwy
Chesapeake City MD 21915

Contacts:
Duty Ranger (Bohemia): 667-500-2417
Duty Ranger (Fair Hill): 410-218-1698
Headquarters (Fair Hill): 410-398-1246
Email:
bohemiariver.statepark@maryland.gov



Announcement:​ We are pleased to share that Bohemia River State Park is now open to public use and recreation!​

The park will be open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to sunset for passive recreational activities such as trail use and nature observation. It can be accessed from Route 213 via a new public entrance at 4030 Augustine Herman Highway. Phase 1 amenities at the park presently include a small parking area and multi-use trails.

​Th​e service charge for entry is $3.00 per vehicle for Maryland residents and $5.00 per vehicle for Out-of-State visitors, payable via credit card only at an automated entrance gate. Annual and Golden Age passholders, active duty military and Veterans will be provided with swipe cards for use with the automated gate. To obtain a swipe card for park entry, email your address and a photo of your existing park pass or military ID to bohemiariver.statepark@maryland.gov or contact the Duty Ranger at 667-500-2417 for more information.

Parking is presently limited and the park’s capacity is set accordingly. Visitors are encouraged to arrive during non-peak times such as weekdays to increase likelihood of securing parking in the short term.

Please note there is currently no vehicular access to the waterfront. Paddlers are encouraged to continue to utilize the existing public water access at Rt 213 and the Bohemia River bridge.

Phase II of park development is presently in design and will feature a roadway connecting the new parking lot to a canoe/kayak launch, additional elements of the trail system, modest facilities, and supplemental parking. Thank you to those who participated in our outreach survey and stay tuned for additional updates on Phase II development.​

We look forward to seeing you at the park!

Background: In the summer of 2017 the Department of Natural Resources completed the purchase of 460 acres in southern Cecil County, outside the Town of Chesapeake City, for the future development of a state park. The property includes approximately 225 acres of upland and hydric forest, 60 acres set aside for planned conservation and 29 acres for planned habitat restoration. An additional 112 acres are being maintained as agricultural land. The shoreline features 8,600 feet of waterfront along Great Bohemia Creek, 1,500 feet of first-order non-tidal streams and 40 acres of emergent wetland. The forested areas of the park contain potential habitat for forest interior dwelling species with opportunities for expansion and the wetland areas contain rare threatened or endangered plant species. The terrain includes numerous ephemeral streams, meadows, small tributaries and wetlands. Historically, the entire acreage of the park was cultivated land and evidence of former farming activity is evident in the young woods that characterize the forested areas.

Hunting: Effective management of the White-Tailed deer population on the property will be conducted by a public hunting program during the applicable season on 200-acres of park property. Hunters must possess all valid permits, including DNR’s Free Public Hunting Parking Permit, and secure a reservation by utilizing DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service: Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office (410-356-9272). Daily sign-in is required. There is no managed hunt permit requirement for this land unit, however standard day-use service charges at the automated gate are in effect for all visitors, including hunters.

Click here to view the Bohemia River State Park Hunting Area Map and Regulations


History and Historical Infrastructure: The name “Bohemia” is based on more than 350 years of historical references to the land. Earliest mention was in the late 1600s of "Bohemia Manor, " property acquired by Augustine Herman, a native of Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). In the 1650s, the Dutch wanted to extend their rule of New Amsterdam (New York) into Maryland. They sent Herman to Maryland’s colonial capital to present their case to the governor, Lord Baltimore. Herman’s expedition left New Castle, Delaware, and sailed down the modern-day Bohemia River (then Opperquermine) into the Chesapeake Bay. Although Herman was not able to convince Lord Baltimore to allow the Dutch to move east, he was employed by him to produce a map of the region in return for a grant of land. Herman selected his first grant of 4000 acres and named it “Bohemia Manor” after his birthplace. Today, the section of Route 213 along which Bohemia River State Park is located is aptly named Augustine Herman Highway. The land was farmed by a succession of landowners, the most prominent of which were the Bayards, who owned the property until the State's purchase.

Stone House and Bank Barn: The federal-style main house was built in the early 1800s, and the north and south wings were added over the course of the next 100 years. Insect damage throughout the wooden support beams of both wings have required significant remodeling. Working in close partnership with the Maryland Historical Trust, we are carefully restoring the exterior of the house to serve as a representative example of the style of the period. Over the past year, in addition to receiving a fresh new coat of paint, the 1800s-era Pennsylvania-style bank barn in rear of the main house had stone foundations repointed, new main support beams installed, rotten floor and board-and batten woodwork replaced, and all 8 broken windows fitted with historically accurate replacements.

Natural Resources Management: Bohemia River State Park is managed as a Natural Resource Management Area (NRMA). NRMAs are state parks with significant unique natural resources, including rare, threatened, and endangered flora and fauna. They are often managed in conjunction with the DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service, to preserve and protect unique natural resources and biological diversity. Recreation on NRMAs is typically low-impact, passive recreation, such as hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, fishing and hunting. The goal for Bohemia River State Park is to provide opportunities for public access and recreational use to ensure implementation of the provisions for NRMAs consistent with the primary goals of protection, conservation and education.

Forest Buffer: In April 2020, the park partnered with Cecil County Land Use and Development Services and the Maryland Forest Service to plant 2,450 trees along Great Bohemia Creek, converting over 8 acres of riverfront farmland to forest. These native hardwood tree seedlings were carefully selected to provide natural beauty, year-round food and habitat for wildlife, and prevent pollution from entering the river. This new planting will connect to the already existing forest buffer which extends along the remainder of the park’s shoreline.

Development of a Strategic Management Plan for the property is currently under internal review. Check this website for additional information and updates.

Trails and Trail Maps: Over half of the park’s planned trail system has been completed. It currently features approximately 5 miles of natural-surface, multi-use trails that offer the visitor a wealth of opportunities for recreation and nature exploration. The trails traverse a variety of habitats such as hardwood bottomland forests, meadows, seeps and tidal marshes and offer numerous views of the Bohemia River. A further 5 miles of trail are currently under development.​


Click here to view the Bohemia River State Park Trail Map

Contact Information

Bohemia River State Park
Park Manager Rachel Temby
300 Tawes Drive
Elkton MD 21921
(410) 398-1246​​