ecil County is located in the northeastern corner of Maryland and is the only Maryland county which is part of the Wilmington, DE-NJ-MD primary metropolitan statistical area. The county is steeped in American history dating to 1608 when Captain John Smith first visited the county. Today about 60 percent of the county is farmland, but the central location between Baltimore and Philadelphia is bringing increasing development. There are several interstate greenway possibilities in Cecil County.
he Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Greenway is a potential greenway linking Welch Point Managed Hunting Area, Elk Forest Wildlife Management Area, Canal National Wildlife Refuge and Bethel Managed Hunting Area. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently holds ownership to substantial tracts of land along the canal. There are existing trails within their land holdings, and the service road paralleling the canal is being considered for a bike path linking the various communities along the canal. Chesapeake City is in the planning stages of a proposed river walk that would connect to a canal trail east and west of the town. Interest in expanding this trail will require support from private landowners, the Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Port Authority (due to possible dredging activities). There is tremendous opportunity to provide an extensive greenway corridor linking the Chesapeake Bay to Delaware Bay.
he Elk Creek Greenway is a potential greenway between Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area and the town of Elkton's John Stanley Meadow Park. While most of the land along the corridor is privately owned, routes other than strictly alongside the Big Elk Creek offer strong potential. Through acquisition, easements and dedication to the county during development, a linkage may be obtained.
he Elk Neck Peninsula Greenway is a potential greenway that would offer an excellent opportunity for a true recreational passageway running from Elk Neck State Forest through smaller state holdings, continuing on to the Rodney Scott Boy Scout Camp and ending at Elk Neck State Park. This potential greenway is almost entirely forested. This corridor would connect 6,000 acres of publicly owned land. Trails utilized by private clubs currently exist in this area.
he Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is a partially established greenway stretching along the floodplain of the Susquehanna River below the Conowingo Dam. The corridor affords the opportunity to link the outstanding natural, historic and recreational resources of the area. Since its inception in 1992, the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Committee has worked to provide planning and coordination of activities to provide linkage, access, protection and promotion of these assets. The proposed corridor generally follows both banks of the river from the Conowingo Dam to the Chesapeake Bay and incorporates a series of looping trails in upland and urban areas.
he west bank of the river is in Harford County and includes the City of Havre de Grace and the bulk of Susquehanna State Park. The east bank of the river is in Cecil County and includes the towns of Perryville and Port Deposit. Completed trail segments include a section of trail along a PECO Energy-owned right-of-way from the dam to the state park, the waterfront promenade in Havre de Grace, and the Tomes Landing Walkway.
wo parcels of open space were purchased in 1995 in Port Deposit that will provide a connection between an existing town park and the walkway at Tomes Landing. Possible trail segments in Perryville are currently under consideration, as is a future pedestrian bridge across the river connecting the towns of Perryville and Havre de Grace.
resource report, greenway brochure and video are available from the coordinating committee. Open monthly meetings are held in the region to discuss plans, implementation and progress, and periodic workshops designed to generate public input have been held annually.
he Northeast Creek Greenway is a potential greenway along Northeast Creek. The town of North East is planning a trail system to link the community park to the downtown business district and continuing north along the creek. Establishment of this greenway would protect water quality, wildlife and fish spawning sites in Northeast Creek. The greenway would include the historic covered bridge at Gilpin's Falls and connect to an established trail at Cecil Community College. Plans for this trail will include acquisition and easements through targeted development areas.
he Octoraro Creek is an existing greenway stretching from the Susquehanna River north to the Pennsylvania line. The majority (over 200 acres) of the Octoraro Creek stream valley is currently protected by land owned by the Chester County Water Authority. Additional land along the corridor is also protected in Pennsylvania by the water authority.
he Principio Creek Greenway is a potential wildlife corridor and passive greenway along Principio Creek. Portions of the creek have been identified as a Class III trout stream. Continued protection of a minimum 300-foot wooded corridor would maintain wildlife habitat and water quality. Acquisition during development is feasible as a large portion of the basin is under single, private ownership. An agreement will be necessary to protect this area prior to development.
he Tri-State Greenway is a potential wildlife corridor along the Mason-Dixon line that would connect three large parcels of publicly owned land in three states: Maryland's Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area (5,622 acres), Delaware's Walter Carpenter State Park (707 acres), and Pennsylvania's White Clay Creek Preserve (1,251 acres). Possible recreation corridors are also being considered. In 1996, the White Clay Creek Watershed Association will complete a feasibility study, identifying potential wildlife and recreation corridors.
uture connections in Delaware to Middle Run Natural Area and the Delaware Greenway system along Delaware Bay offer high potential use. A westward connection down State Road 273 in Cecil County, currently identified as a Maryland Scenic Route, could link this greenway to the Octoraro Creek and Susquehanna River Greenways.