Youghiogheny Grove Natural Area - Swallow Falls State Park
This 37-acre grove of old-growth hemlock and pine is one of the few areas in Maryland that have never been logged. Some of the trees are over 300 years old. The coniferous canopy creates a dense shade, and muffles sounds, resulting in a reverential feeling among visitors. Small wood sorrel plants dot the forest floor, and downed wood and snags harbor all kinds of tiny life forms. Although this grove is small, and heavily visited, it is one of the few places in Maryland where one can imagine our nation's original forests. The Youghiogheny River flows along the park's borders, passing through shaded rocky gorges and creating rippling rapids. Tall hemlocks dominate the silent woods. The meandering trails through Swallow Falls guide hikers to some of the most breath-taking scenery in Western Maryland. There are four waterfalls in the park. Muddy Creek Falls is a crashing 53-foot waterfall, a spectacular sight and the tallest single drop waterfall in Maryland. Two other smaller falls occur along the canyon trail on the Youghiogheny itself. Swallow Falls State Park is popular not only for its natural wonder and beauty but for its picnic areas, wildlife like black bear, turkey, bobcat, and white tail deer, and a 65 site campground.