Places We Protect

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp


A group of six people stand together on a boardwalk in the middle of a forest. They are all facing away from the camera, looking into the trees. The wooden boardwalk curves ahead and disappears.

Visit the only stand of bald cypress in Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay.



Protected in 1957, Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is The Nature Conservancy's first preserve in Maryland. It harbors bald cypress trees at the northernmost limit of the species' natural range in the United States, making this a uniquely captivating place in the region.

Since 1977, the preserve has been leased to Calvert County and operated as a county park. The Calvert County Natural Resources Division operates a quarter-mile boardwalk and a nature center to further enhance your visit.



Dogs are not allowed at this preserve.


Quarter-mile boardwalk, Nature center, Self-guided audio tour


TNC owns 100 acres here.

Explore our work in Maryland/DC


  • Memorial Day – Labor Day

    • Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 4:30pm
    • Saturday 10:00am- 6:00pm
    • Sunday 1:00pm – 6:00pm

    Labor Day – Memorial Day

    • Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 4:30pm
    • Saturday 10:00am- 4:30pm
    • Sunday 1:00pm – 4:30pm

    For more information call 410-535-5327. Admission is free.


  • What to See: Plants

    • In the spring, a blanket of wild flowers covers the ground in the northern part of the swamp
    • Bald cypress trees, some standing 100 feet tall
    • May-apple, pink lady's-slipper

    What to See: Animals

    • Warblers, including the Kentucky, worm-eating, prothonotary, and others 
  • Read our Preserve Guidelines to learn about permitted and prohibited uses, and ways of enjoying these spaces.

    A NOTE ON HUNTING: Several TNC nature preserves in Maryland include hunting leases for deer management. Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to find information on hunting season, licenses and access on public lands. When visiting a TNC nature preserve during hunting season, please wear blaze orange and try to avoid visiting in the early morning or evening hours when hunting is most active. For additional guidelines on how you can hike safely during the hunting season, visit the American Hiking Society.

Self Guided Audio Tour

Planning a visit to Battle Creek? Before your trip, download our self-guided audio tour to your handheld device. It's like having a naturalist in your pocket!

  • Step 1: Download the Battle Creek audio tour map. The numbers marked on the map correspond to the audio files in the tour. This map will help identify which audio tracks to play based on your location on the trail, so make sure to take a copy with you on your trip.
  • Step 2: Download and save the mp3 audio files to your handheld device. Play the corresponding track when you reach a waypoint along the trail. Listen to them all or pick & choose based on your interests! 

Meet Your Guide

Andy Brown is the Senior Naturalist with Calvert County Natural Resources Division. He has enjoyed a career-long relationship with TNC through the management of Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary for the last 28 years. Andy is an avid birder and is particularly interested in Barn Owls and Bluebirds and maintains nest box projects in Southern Maryland for these species.

Audio Files / Tour Stops (mp3 format)

1. Introduction

2. Begin the Trail

3. First Seated Area

4. First Bend of the Boardwalk

5. Other Tree Species

6. Cypress Knees

7. Understory Plants

7.1 Small Stream Near Boardwalk

7.2 Large Bald Cypress Tree

7.3 Soil and Special Color

7.4 Natural Cavity

8. Third Seated Area

9. Entering Transition Area

10. Root Ball Creates Habitat for Wildlife

11.1 Fossil Record and Theory

11.2 Seasonal Changes

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map