Elk Neck State Forest

Arboretum Hiking Trail

Elk Neck State Forest is home to the recently opened Arboretum Hiking Trail. In addition to being the first arboretum in Cecil County, it is the first project of its kind undertaken by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Elk Neck State Forest’s Arboretum has 61 newly planted specimens and 35 pre-existing specimens on display. There are 52 different species of Maryland native shrubs and trees that are identified along the walking paths that total 1/2 mile of easily walking surfaces.

Specimens exhibit a variety of shrub and tree species from all over Maryland. Native habitat for these trees range from the mountainous Western Maryland, through the Piedmont area around Baltimore to the sandy shores of Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Maryland has been described as America in miniature and through the variety of trees at the arboretum it is easy to see why.

The Arboretum is designed for use as an outdoor classroom and school groups are encouraged to take advantage of the great education opportunities. Additionally, field areas of the arboretum are being managed for wildlife habitat. Hunting during legal seasons is permitted within the designated hunting areas around the arboretum. The field and trail areas are designated as Safety Zones and excluded from available hunting acreage.

Rules of the Arboretum:

  • Area is open from sunrise to sunset daily
  • Area will be closed during inclement weather in accordance with State Forest inclement weather policy
  • Alcohol is prohibited at the arboretum
  • Area may be closed for special events, please contact office for closure dates
  • School and civic groups must register with office for any activities at the arboretum due to limited parking - (410) 287-5675
  • Pets are welcome, but must remain on a leash at all times. Please pick up after your pet! There are pet waste bags available for your use; please take waste with you when you leave as a part of Leave No Trace. Thank you in advance!
  • Area is Trash Free. All of Maryland’s State Forest and Parks are Trash Free, so visitors are kindly asked to take out what they bring in.

Click here to download and print the brochure and map for the Arboretum Hiking Trail.

If interested in hunting opportunities, click here to download the arboretum hunting area map.


    Mailing Address Only

  • Elk Neck State Forest
    130 McKinneytown Road
    North East, MD 21901

    Physical Address

  • 717 Irishtown Road
    North East, MD 21901
    (410) 287-5675