Pocomoke State Forest


Pocomoke State Forest - Pocomoke River

The Pocomoke State Forest (PSF) consists of 17,676 acres of land with the vast majority of it located in Worcester County between Snow Hill and Pocomoke City, however small parcels are located in Wicomico and Somerset Counties. To see maps click on: General Maps of Pocomoke SF and Tract Maps of Pocomoke SF.


Before the establishment of the State Forest much of the land had been cleared for farming or used as farm woodlots. When the depression era hit many of the farmers fell on hard times, resulting in the acquisition of large amounts of land by the Federal Government. In the mid to late 1930's, two Civilian Conservation Camps were located on the Forest. The camp workers did considerable road and trail work, established boundary lines, provided for fire protection and suppression, planted trees and performed recreation improvements at Milburn Landing. At this same time the State was purchasing lands for management activities. In 1954, the Federal Government deeded its holdings to the State. In 1964, the Milburn Landing and Shad Landing areas were separated from the Forest and developed for intensive recreational use as State Parks. The State continues to purchase in-holdings and other ecologically important areas along the Pocomoke River.


Pocomoke State Forest is characterized by large areas of loblolly pine, mixed pine-hardwood, bottomland hardwood, and bald-cypress forests. In general, the mixed pine-hardwood, hardwoods, and bald cypress stands are older, mature forests, while loblolly pine stands are more evenly distributed across all age classes. The Cypress swamps which are State designated Wildlands, border the Pocomoke River which is a State designated Scenic River.


Pocomoke State Forest Pocomoke State Forest has a very small remnant area of Old Growth Forest approximately 5 acres in size. The goal on PSF is to expand Old Growth Forest by connecting a series of forest stands identified as “nearly old growth forest”. The larger areas that contain the nearly old growth stands will be mapped as old growth management areas. Old Growth Forest management is more fully described in the new Sustainable Management Plan for PSF see the section on the Forest Management Plan below.


A significant portion of Pocomoke State Forest had been managed for industrial forest production for decades, and was a major contributor to the region’s forest products economy. Five pine sawmills and two pulpwood-chipping operations provided an outlet for timber from the local forests. As outlined in the 2010 Sustainable Management Plan, a primary objective of the Pocomoke State Forest Project is to become a national model of certified sustainable forestry. To meet that objective the State of Maryland through the Department of Natural Resources committed to certification under both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standard and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. In the spring of 2009 dual certification under these two standards was achieved for the entire Pocomoke State Forest, compliance with certification is monitored through annual audits. When harvesting and other management work is proposed on the forest all environmental factors are considered in the development of annual work plans. These plans are reviewed by an interdisciplinary team of resource professionals from the Department and the local Citizens Advisory Committee for the Forest which is followed by a public comment period. Starting in 2012 the PSF Annual Work Plan (AWP) has been combined with the AWP for Chesapeake Forest. In Worcester County both forest are interconnected and are managed jointly under the same certification principles.


Pocomoke State Forest - Cypress Knees

CAMPING & RECREATION

Located within the Pocomoke State Forest is Pocomoke River State Park which has two separate camping areas on either side of the river (Shad Landing and Milburn Landing). Information on this Park can be found on the DNR website. With the two park areas connected to the State Forest there are a variety of recreational opportunities from fishing & canoeing along the Pocomoke River to enjoying one of the many hiking trails that run through the forest, which also includes mountain bike trails.


HORSEBACK RIDING

Horseback riding is allowed on maintained forest trails and roads designed to accommodate recreational use. Many of the Public Use tracts have parking areas that can accommodate horse trailers.


HUNTING

Hunting is one of the more popular recreational activities on the Pocomoke Forest you can find various game birds and mammals which include wild turkey, white-tailed deer and gray squirrels. Upland game birds and mammals are not as common, but do provide hunting opportunities. Low populations of eastern cottontail rabbit, bobwhite quail, mourning dove, and American woodcock can be found in recent forest harvest areas and in open land habitats that exist on the forest or near private agricultural lands.


Pocomoke State Forest - Corkers Creek Aquatic habitats located within and surrounding the forest support several species of waterfowl. Open waters include the Pocomoke River, its tributaries, and several swamps/marshes. Wood ducks and mallards are the most common species.


Hunting with rifles, handguns, shotguns, bows and muzzleloaders is permitted in all designated areas in accord with state and federal laws. Possession or use of weapons is prohibited in State Forests outside of regular open hunting season. Target shooting is prohibited. All game birds and game mammals may be hunted. Game shooting stands are limited to those of a temporary nature which can be removed or dismantled at the end of each day. The hunting season in State Forests conforms to standard hunting seasons adopted by state and federal regulations.

Accessibility For All Pocomoke State Forest offers accessible hunting. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.


POCOMOKE STATE FOREST – ORV TRAIL has been closed permanently


FOREST MANAGEMENT & FOREST CERTIFICATIONPocomoke State Forest - Old loblolly pines


2013- Pocomoke State Forest Sustainable Management Plan

In 2009 the Pocomoke State Forest received dual certification as a “Sustainably Managed Forest” by independent auditors representing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The new Sustainable Forest Management Plan for Pocomoke State Forest which was developed as part of the certification process will be used to replace the ten-year Resource Management Plan that was implemented back in 1996. Parts of the PSF Sustainable Plan was crafted from sections of the former ten year plan and from information contained in the Chesapeake Forest Sustainable Management Plan, which can be viewed on the Chesapeake Forest website. The information utilized in the PSF plan was prepared by an interdisciplinary planning team from DNR and was reviewed by the Pocomoke & Chesapeake Forest Citizens Advisory Committee at a public meeting in December, 2010. The PSF Sustainable Management Plan, including both volumes of the 1996 ten year plan are located on this website under the “Quick List” section above.

The original planning process for the 1996 ten year plan included extensive opportunity for public participation, and relied on public feedback in the refinement of management goals and implementation strategies. The new sustainable plan will adhere to a similar policy. One of the benefits of the new plan format is that it will be open for continual updates as additional resource information is developed. As updates are completed the revised plan will be reviewed by the Citizen Advisory Committee.