At a Glance

Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Cost: Free.

Tips: This is an active hunting area. Be aware of hunting seasons and plan your visit accordingly. ◾ No restrooms.

Best Seasons: Spring, summer, and fall.

Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Bittinger CW, McHenry CE

Local MOS Chapter: Allegany-Garrett Bird Club

Cunningham Swamp Wildlife Management Area

9085 Bittinger Road, Swanton, MD 21522
(301) 334-4255

Opened in 2014, Cunningham Swamp Wildlife Management Area is a 258-acre tract that encompasses the majority of Cunningham Swamp, a rich wetland with exceptional habitat for wetland and bog-related bird species. There are open fields and upland forest habitats as well.  Wildlife openings are maintained and planted to provide feeding and brood-rearing habitat.

There are no marked trails, but three mowed paths lead away from the parking lot.  Near the informational sign, a path leads northwest about 0.25 miles to a small pond.  In the corner of the parking lot, a second path leads to the top of a small wooded hill in the center of the WMA.  A third path exits the parking area at a yellow metal gate and leads west 0.37 miles to another small pond.  The paths to the ponds can be connected to create a 1.5 mile loop.

Birdlife:

Over 125 species have been reported on eBird since Cunningham Swamp WMA first opened in 2014.  Specialties include Ruffed Grouse, Alder Flycatcher, Nashville Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos, American Woodcock, Orchard Oriole, and Swamp Sparrow.  

Parking:

The small parking lot is accessed via a gravel road located 0.32 miles off of MD Route 495/Bittinger Road. Look for the WMA sign along MD Route 495.

Special Features:

Cunningham Swamp is contained within The Glades, an Important Bird Area (IBA) as defined by the National Audubon Society. See http://netapp.audubon.org/IBA/Site/4094 for more information on the IBA. ◾Black bear, white-tailed deer, beaver and other fur bearers are also likely to call this WMA home. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Allegany & Garrett Counties Bird Club, which hosts field trips in the region and meetings with informative presentations, all free and open to the public.

Directions:

From I-68 at Grantsville, take MD Route 495/Bittinger Road south toward Swanton, MD. Cunningham Swamp is on the west side of MD Route 495, approximately 11 miles south of Grantsville, 3 miles south of Bittinger, and just north of the Western MD 4-H Center. Look for the WMA sign along MD Route 495.

Nearby Sites:

Cunningham Swamp is somewhat isolated but provides a good stop-over point if traveling between sites in the north and south of Garrett County.  Carey Run MOS Sanctuary, Youghiogheny River Reservoir, Mt. Nebo Wildlife Management Area, Loch Lynn Heights Wetland Trail, Broadford Lake, Herrington Manor State Park, Swallow Falls State Park.

Habitats:

Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerowsUpland Deciduous Old Fields, Shrubby Meadows Freshwater Marsh or FloodplainFreshwater Pond, Lake, or ReservoirRivers & Streams

Features:

BeginnersFree - No Entry FeeHiking/Walking TrailsHuntingParkingPets AllowedWater View

Type:

Audubon Important Bird AreasHunting Areas