Cunningham Swamp WMA

American Woodcock by Bill HarveyCunningham Swamp WMA is located in Central Garrett County. This 328 acre tract encompasses the majority of Cunningham Swamp, a rich wetland with exceptional habitat for wetland and bog related species. There are open fields and upland forest habitats within the boundaries of the WMA as well. There is exceptional cover here for everything from ruffed grouse and American woodcock to black bears and white-tailed deer. Habitat for waterfowl such as wood ducks and Canada geese is excellent, and beaver and other furbearers are likely to call this WMA home as well.

What To See

The thick alder, viburnum and other wetland shrub species growing here make for excellent cover. This cover and abundant food sources are attractive to many young-forest and wetland loving species. This cover is attractive to a healthy number of black bears and white-tailed deer. A diverse array of songbird species will be found here through the nesting and migrating seasons as well.

What To Do

There is ample opportunity for the Garrett County adventurer to hunt waterfowl and big game such as white-tailed deer and black bears. The abundant cover here will challenge hunters to find game, but provides a unique opportunity to hunt in a pristine wetland habitat. Bird watchers may find some interesting species here that prefer the thick cover of alder swamp types of habitat, including alder flycatchers, Nashville warblers, and golden-winged warblers.

Area Regulations

  • Use of Cunningham Swamp WMA is generally permitted seven days a week throughout the year .
  • Hunting is allowed in accordance with open seasons and shooting hours.
  • No special permits or drawings are required to hunt this area, except appropriate licenses and stamps.
  • Trapping by permit only.

Photo of Cunningham Swamp WMA by Photo of landscape by Rick LatshawNon-hunting Users Guide

  • Non-hunting visitors are welcome.
  • Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.
  • Season dates available in newspapers, online, and at some area stores.
  • Bird watching and wetland exploring are popular uses of this area
  • Young forest and wetlands support a rich variety of song birds and other wildlife species, depending on the time of year.
  • The area has mostly flat to gently rolling topography with thick shrubs and swamp land.

Site Management Goals

  • Cunningham Swamp WMA is managed to provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species that require wetland and shrub habitats. 
  • Wildlife openings are maintained and planted to provide feeding and brood rearing habitat.
  • Species that can be found here include: white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, cottontail rabbits, woodcock, mallard ducks, wood ducks, beaver, muskrats, fisher, raccoons, and numerous non-game species.
  • An extensive wetland complex with thick alder and wetland shrub cover, and isolated pockets of forest stands occurs on the area.

Small MD Map showing approximate location of Cunningham Swamp WMADirections

From I-68 at Grantsville, take MD 495 south toward Swanton, MD. Cunningham Swamp WMA is approximately 11 miles south of Grantsville, and 3 miles south of Bittinger, MD, along the west side of MD 495, just north of the Western MD 4-H Center. Access to the area is via a parking area located just off of Rte 495. For additional information, contact the Mt. Nebo Wildlife Office at (301) 334-4255

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