Walk F.A.Q.

Walk for the Woods is an annual event co-sponsored by Scenic Rivers Land Trust and Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks. The walk is an opportunity to explore 900+ acres of fields, streams, and woodlands and to celebrate this natural heritage on one of the largest tracts of forest left in the county. This unique piece of county parkland will be open to the public for these two special days while planning continues to develop public access.  Walks can be taken alone, with your group, or in an organized group with a walk leader provided. The walk is free to all. Donations to SRLT are welcome and are used to continue our mission to permanently protect natural and scenic areas in Anne Arundel County.  

1. Is there a fee?

No entrance fee! No fee for any of the guided hikes either. Donations greatly appreciated!

2. What are the trails like?

The trails vary and change year to year. And that is one reason why so many come back! Some trails are rough and challenging while others are more family friendly. 
A walk though the large field and cemetery is an easy and interesting walk. Especially if you are walking with a local historian or medicinal plant specialist.
The four mile roundtrip hike to the old mill ruins is very challenging but guides who know and love these 900 acres in the South River Greenway will help get you to the site and back! 
Other trails will take you though the woods, to the new beaver pond, past former homesites, demonstrate scientific equipment and more. Our family friendly hikes are led by engaging and knowledgeable guides who help all ages discover the nature of Bacon Ridge Natural Area. Look for hikes with "for all ages" in the title. And of course there are the ever popular early morning bird walks starting early in the morning.

Our schedule of hikes change slightly from year to year, but to get a feel for the programs generally offered, please refer to the 2016 program guide.

Please call 410-980-6837 or write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you would like help selecting a guided hike or have any questions!

3. What guided hikes are for kids?

We welcome all ages! For hikers 10 years old and younger we recommend walks labeled "for all ages". Also, paths are unpaved and un-groomed so no strollers can pass beyond the registration area. Expect everyone to get a little muddy.

4. How long is each tour?

Walks range from an easy stroll through the open field to a strenuous 4 mile hike. The most popular hike to the beaver pond is just a mile from registration and a favorite with families and birders! Full list of guided walks at www.SRLT.org coming soon.

5. Can I hike on my own?

Many miles of trails will be flagged for the weekend of the walk so you can explore independently. Many people enjoy a guided tour and then hike on flagged trails.

6. What is the "Say My Name" walk?

All trails begin near the cemetery but unless you take time to explore you may not notice the site. Local reporter and historian Janice Hayes Williams with other volunteers has archived names of these former patients, some of whom helped build hospital structures that still stand today. 

7. Can I take my dog to Walk for the Woods?

Sure! Friendly dogs on leash are welcome on all trails AFTER 10 a.m. Please remember to bring bags to clean up after your pet.

8. Can I take my dog on any guided hikes?

Sorry, No.

9. Where is Bacon Ridge Natural Area?

Bacon Ridge Natural Area is in Crownsville, Maryland and easily accessible from Annapolis or Route 97. If searching for on GPS enter: Farm Road, Crownsville, MD 21032. You will take Generals Highway to Crownsville Road. After turning on to Crownsville Road you will make a right on to Marbury Road. NOTE! This is less than a 1/4 of a mile from Generals Highway. Follow signs to parking and trail head. Questions? Call 410-980-6837.

10. Can the public visit Bacon Ridge Natural Area any time?

Bacon Ridge Natural Area is a county park, and just in the last 1.5 years over 5 miles of trails have been developed at the southern portion of the natural area off of Hawkins Road. These trails are open year round.  However, most of Bacon Ridge is inaccessable, and the entrance you are using to get to Walk for the Woods is generally closed to the public. 

11. Are there restrooms?

Yes,  there are port-a-pot facilities on site.

12. What birds might I see? 

There have been a number of bird counts done in the South River Greenway. Most notably is the "Bird Bltiz" done by Audubon. Details from that count and Dan Haas’ list follow.

Location: Bacon Ridge Branch / Crownsville
Observation date: 4/19/08
Number of species: 57

Canada Goose 23
Canada Goose x Greylag Goose 1
Wood Duck 4
Mallard 3
Blue-winged Teal 2
Bufflehead 1
Common Loon 14
Great Blue Heron 1
Black Vulture 4
Turkey Vulture 12
Osprey 2
Northern Harrier 2
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Buteo sp. 1
Killdeer 1
Rock Pigeon 5
Mourning Dove 3
Barred Owl 2
Chimney Swift 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 3
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
White-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 28
American Crow 1
crow sp. 3
Purple Martin 1
Barn Swallow 8
Carolina Chickadee 8
Tufted Titmouse 6
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 14
Eastern Bluebird 1
American Robin 5
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 2
Northern Parula 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
Palm Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Hooded Warbler 1
Eastern Towhee 1
Chipping Sparrow 9
Song Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 18
Northern Cardinal 20
Red-winged Blackbird 9
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
American Goldfinch 8

Report on Audubon "Bird Blitz" by David Curson:
“We were very impressed by the quality of the habitat for birds and we found 18 Forest-Interior Dwelling Species (FIDS), which is a good number for the Coastal Plain region of the state. Notably, the understory shrub layer was in good condition (many Maryland forests suffer from severe overbrowsing by deer) and this was reflected in the high densities of two declining FIDS, Kentucky warbler (total =14 birds) and Hooded Warbler (total = 31). According to the recently completed Maryland-DC Breeding Bird Atlas project (2002-06), Kentucky Warbler is one of the fastest declining bird species in the state. We also found some Prothonotary Warblers, which require bottomland forest and were not known from this area before (because birders had not explored it much), and also a Summer Tanager, which is at the northern edge of its range here.

We intend to nominate the entire forest area as an Important Bird Area - it is certainly worthy of protection and good habitat management as it represents the best site for breeding forest birds in Anne Arundel County outside the Patuxent Research Refuge."

More information on Audubon's IBA Program is available atwww.audubonmddc.org/SciCon_IBAs.html