Eden Mill Nature Center
1617 Eden Mill Road, Pylesville, MD 21132
Eden Mill Nature Center is situated in scenic Deer Creek Valley in the northern part of Harford County. The facility is owned by the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation and is managed by the non-profit Eden Mill Nature Committee. A 200-year old gristmill houses the Nature Center and a small museum and is the centerpiece of this 117-acre park, which includes five miles of hiking trails, an adaptive public canoe and kayak launch, a bird-banding station, and various educational programs throughout the year. Deer Creek itself flows along the southern boundary of the property, providing excellent habitat for migrant and resident birds.
The park boasts a good variety of habitats including fields and meadows, secondary successional forests, relatively old-growth deciduous trees, and a wetland at the confluence of Big Branch and Deer Creek. A native plant garden near the parking area and mill attracts pollinators. In addition to the trail map at the link at left, the Nature Center has a description of the various trails with notes on the habitats they pass through; see http://www.edenmill.org/Trails-and-Maps.html. Note that the trail map at the link at left is drawn with south to the top and west to the right, that is, upside down compared to normal orientation.
Over 150 species have been reported on eBird from Eden Mill Nature Center. Breeding birds of the area include Bald Eagle; Red-shouldered Hawk; Wild Turkey; five species of woodpeckers (Red-bellied, Downy, Hairy, Pileated, and Northern Flicker); Eastern Wood-Pewee; Acadian Flycatcher; Eastern Phoebe; Great Crested Flycatcher; Eastern Kingbird; four species of vireo (White-eyed, Red-eyed, Yellow-throated, and Warbling); Fish Crow; Eastern Bluebird; Field Sparrow; Chipping Sparrow; Indigo Bunting; and a good selection of warblers, including Worm-eating, Louisiana Waterthrush, Blue-winged, Black-and-white, Kentucky, Northern Parula, Yellow, and Prairie.
Spring birds include Willow Flycatcher; Blue-headed Vireo; Veery; Gray-cheeked Thrush; Swainson’s Thrush; Lincoln’s Sparrow; and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Regular winter birds include Winter Wren; Purple Finch; Pine Siskin; and Swamp Sparrow. Some years there are White-winged Crossbills and Black-capped Chickadees in winter.
There are two main parking options: a pair of paved lots near the outdoor pavilion near the Nature Center, and a small unpaved lot that is closer to hiking trails and the bird banding station is located further west on Eden Mill Road. There is also a parking lot immediately adjacent to the Nature Center that can be used when launching canoes or kayaks, but cars must be moved to the pavilion lot after launching. The parking in front of the building is for nature center and grist mill museum visitors and handicapped persons only. See trail map at link at left.
Paddling excursions on Deer Creek are available to the public through the Nature Center’s educational program. Check website for the schedule. You can also bring your own canoe or kayak and use the launch site at no charge. ◾ Bird banding demonstrations are given in fall; see the Eden Mill website under “Programs” for details. There is a fee for some programs. See newsletter at the “Programs” link for schedules and details. ◾ Eden Mill Nature Center is a certified Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Green Center. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Harford Bird Club, which offers field trips and meetings with informative programs, all free and open to the public.
From I-95 north of Baltimore: Take Exit 74 for MD Route 152/Mountain Road Northbound. Stay on MD Route 152 for approximately 9 miles to MD Route 165/Baldwin Mill Road. Turn right (north) onto Route 165 and proceed for 9.4 miles. Turn left (northwest) onto Fawn Grove Road and in about a mile, after crossing the bridge over Deer Creek, bear left onto Red Bridge Road, and turn left into the parking lot area* just before the intersection with Eden Mill Road.
* If using the paddling launch, bypass the main parking area and turn left on Eden Mill Road, continuing to the small lot in front of the Nature Center building. Move your car after launching.
*Or for the parking lot at the main trail-head, bypass the main parking area and turn left on Eden Mill Road and continue west on Eden Mill Road past the Nature Center. Look for an unpaved small gravel lot on the left just after crossing a bridge over Big Branch Creek, a tributary of Deer Creek. See trail map at link at left.
Rocks State Park; Bradenbaugh Flats and Upper Deer Creek Valley; Conowingo Dam/ Fisherman’s Park (Harford County Side)
Bottomland DeciduousHedgerowsUpland Deciduous Garden or Arboretum Agricultural Crop Fields or Fallow FieldsOld Fields, Shrubby Meadows Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainRivers & Streams
BeginnersBird Feeding StationBoat or Canoe/Kayak LaunchFree - No Entry FeeHabitat Restoration ProjectHiking/Walking TrailsNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsNature CenterParkingPicnic AreaRestroomsWater ViewYoung People / Families
MAEOE Green CenterNature Centers