Swallow Falls State Park

Swallow Falls State Park is located 9 miles northwest of Oakland, Maryland. Spanning over 257 acres, the park’s greatest feature are the beautiful rapids coming off the Youghiogheny River. One of the waterfalls, Muddy Creek Falls, is Maryland’s highest waterfall. 65 different campsites are available as well as many hiking trails.

Swallow Falls is a must see at any season!!

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For more information, click here or call 301-334-9180.

 

 

America's Best Towns for Fall Colors

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Oakland took top honors as the best town in America for leaf-peeping, thanks primarily to the blazing colors found just nine miles north of town at Swallow Falls State Park. As the Youghiogheny River flows through rock gorges, the oldest stands of eastern hemlock and white pine—more than 360 years old—blanket the area in gold, orange, and red. For five days in early October, residents turn out for the annual Autumn Glory Festival, including two parades, concerts, and band competitions. Oakland also embraces the Halloween spirit, hosting a hayride along the lakefront that passes scenes of zombies and ghosts.

 

Read More Here:  http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-towns-for-fall-colors/2

Count Maryland old-growth trees among Sandy's tragic toll

Dan Rodricks2:26 p.m. EDT, November 2, 2013

Donnie Oates, manager of two great parks in Western Maryland, will never forget Hurricane Sandy‘s ferocious arrival there. On the last two days of October 2012, the storm brought two feet of heavy snow, high winds, thunder and lightning through Garrett County. Epic stuff. Oates had never seen anything like it.

From his house on Maple Glade Road, which leads to Swallow Falls State Park, Oates heard a forest in collapse — trees cracking and popping, trees being uprooted under the weight of the snow, trees hitting the ground and shaking the earth. It went on all night, explosions and thuds and flashes of light.

Swallow Falls, one of the two parks Oates manages — the other is nearby Herrington Manor — is famous for its waterfalls and its trees. Before Sandy hit last year, the park had Maryland’s oldest grove of eastern hemlock and white pine. Some of the hemlocks were believed to be at least 360 years old — nearly as old as the Maryland colony — a fact that Oates was able to confirm after the big storm.

Half of the trees in Swallow Falls are believed to have been damaged or destroyed during Sandy’s onslaught, Oates says.

In the cleanup that followed, he and others counted rings on the old trees, and, indeed, the estimates were accurate. Some of those hemlocks had stood in place during the entire history of the United States. They were spared the ax during the great sweep of timbering in Garrett County, then were made a gift to the state by the Garrett brothers who owned the land.

The hemlocks were there in the summer of 1921, when Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone famously camped by 53-foot Muddy Creek Falls and put the park on the map.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-rodricks-1103-20131102,0,7895272.column#ixzz2kj0ycgiF

>State battles woolly pest to save evergreens

>Crews inject pesticide, cultivate beetles to protect hemlocks

By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun

11:31 p.m. EDT, May 11, 2011
OAKLAND —— Survivors for more than three centuries, the towering hemlocks in Swallow Falls State Park are a remnant of the primeval forests that once blanketed much of Maryland before European settlers arrived.

But after evading loggers’ saws, storms and fires through the years, these evergreens now face a new threat — the hemlock woolly adelgid. A tiny insect from Japan no bigger than a pencil point, it coats hemlock twigs with a snowy waxy substance and slowly sucks the life out of the tree.

Nature Determined to save the largest stand of virgin forest left in Maryland, a small army of state workers and volunteers fanned out Wednesday in the Garrett County park in a bid to hold at bay this exotic pest, which has devastated hemlock stands elsewhere in Maryland and throughout the East.

“Hemlock woods are just a special place,” said Biff Thompson, a forest technician with the Maryland Department of Agriculture overseeing the effort. Their sheltering boughs cool the ground and water around them, he explained, and they’re home to upwards of 900 different species of insects, flies and other organisms. “There’s just a richness of life.”

Read the full article here.

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Swallow Falls State Park – Video

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