At a Glance
Hours: 8 am to sunset.
Tips: The park gets busy on summer weekends and holidays. Go on weekdays or in the off-season. ◾ Public hunting is permitted at Tuckahoe State Park. Be aware of hunting seasons and plan your visit accordingly. ◾ Restrooms in several locations on the Caroline County side; no restrooms on the Queen Anne’s County side. See trail map at link below.
Best Seasons: Year-round.
Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Ridgely NE, Ridgely NW, Ridgely CW, Price SE
Tuckahoe State Park (Caroline County)
13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne, MD 21657
Tuckahoe State Park is the #1 eBird hotspot in Caroline County, in terms of number of species reported. The park surrounds the upper reaches of Tuckahoe Creek, a quiet Eastern Shore stream flowing south to the Choptank River and bordered for most of its length by wooded marshlands supporting an abundance of wildlife. This 3,929 acre park spans the county line between Caroline and Queen Anne’s Counties; the Tuckahoe Creek itself is the border between the two counties. Since many birders like to keep track of which county they’re in when birding, this description covers access on the Caroline County side of the park, that is, the part of the park east of Tuckahoe Creek. See the separate entry for Tuckahoe State Park – Queen Anne’s County in this Birder’s Guide. Part of Tuckahoe State Park in Caroline County is set aside as the Adkins Arboretum, which focuses on plants native to the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. Adkins Arboretum also has a separate entry in this Birding Guide: see https://birdersguidemddc.org/site/adkins-arboretum/.
Within the park, a 60-acre man-made lake provides habitat for water-oriented birds. Crouse Mill Road crosses the south end of the lake, linking the park sections in Queen Anne’s and Caroline Counties. The park has 20 miles of scenic hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. The trails, for the most part, are remarkably dry for a sea level venue, the sandy soil offering better than average drainage. The few really wet spots have either by-pass trails or boardwalks to traverse them.
Major trails in the Caroline County portion of the park tend to be oriented north/south, parallel to the Tuckahoe Creek. These include the Lake Trail; the Tuckahoe Valley Trail; and the Creekside Cliff Trail; linking trails include the Arboretum Spur Trail; Wilbur’s Cut-off Trail; and the Pine Branch Loop Trail. At the north end of the park, the Lore of the Land Nature Trail loops around and through the campground area. All of these trails will take you through the rich forested habitats of the Tuckahoe Creek Valley. Several parking areas provide access to the trail system and lakefront. Use the trail map at the link at left and see the Directions below to plan your birding route.
Note that the State Park trail map is geolocator enabled, which means that you can load it into a GPS unit or a GPS app on a smartphone (such as the free Avenza app), and while you’re in the park, the map will display your exact location and track your movements. This is a great way to avoid getting lost.
In addition to the trails and boat launch, Tuckahoe State Park offers canoe and kayak rentals, mountain bike rentals, fishing, hunting, an archery range, a disc golf course, an equestrian center, picnic areas, a campground, a playground, and other amenities. Many of the facilities are wheelchair-accessible. The Caroline County portion of the park has many visitor amenities and attracts a lot of visitors, but the trails away from the main areas are quieter and will take you through rich bottomland forests.
In total, over 189 species have been reported on eBird from the Caroline County side of the park. There are three separate eBird hotspots for the Caroline County portion:
- Tuckahoe State Park (Caroline Co) overall – 178+ species
- Tuckahoe SP–Picnic Area/Tuckahoe Lake – 156+ species
- Tuckahoe SP–Tuckahoe Valley Trail, lake to Piney Branch – 119+ species
The bird species on the two sides of the park are similar, with somewhat more diversity in Queen Anne’s County. Tuckahoe Lake is excellent for pursuing migrants during spring and fall and for waterfowl in winter. Breeding species include Wood Duck, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Barred Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat, Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Pine Warbler, and both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles. Wintering species include both kinglets, Winter Wren, Rusty Blackbird, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Tuckahoe State Park offers accessible picnic areas, hunting, visitors’ center, playgrounds, restrooms and campground facilities. The trails are not wheelchair-accessible.
Pets allowed in day-use area, in the campground, and in the Dogwood and Fir cabins.
Tuckahoe State Park is contained within the Tuckahoe Creek Important Bird area, as designated by the National Audubon Society.
There is a small aviary at the park office on Eveland Road. ◾ The campground includes cabins, tent sites, and sites with RV hookups. ◾ Tuckahoe State Park is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network of the National Park Service. ◾ The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and the Maryland Historic Trust have produced a series of water trail maps for the Choptank River and Tuckahoe Creek, available as a free download. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Caroline County Bird Club, which offers field trips and meetings with informative presentations, all free and open to the public.
There are parking lots throughout the park; see trail map at link at left and Directions below.
Tuckahoe State Park is located approximately 35 miles east of the Bay Bridge, just off MD Route 404, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. These directions will take you to access points on the Caroline County side of the park, east of the Tuckahoe Creek.
From the Bay Bridge: Travel east on US Route 50. At the split for US Route 50 and US Route 301, bear to the right to stay on US Route 50. In approximately 6.9 miles, make a left to go east on MD Route 404. Go approximately 7.0 miles to the intersection with MD Route 480/Ridgely Road. Turn left on Ridgely, and then make an immediate left in just 690 feet onto Eveland Road. You will be going north on Eveland. Then follow directions below to one of the access points for the park.
From points south and east on the Eastern Shore (including Easton and Salisbury): Use US Route 50 north and then turn right (east) on MD Route 404. Go approximately 7.0 miles to the intersection with MD Route 480/Ridgely Road. Turn left on Ridgely, and then make an immediate left in just 690 feet onto Eveland Road. You will be going north on Eveland. Then follow directions below to one of the access points for the park.
From points north on the Eastern Shore: Take US Route 301 south, then MD Route 213 south; then take US Route 50 south. Turn left (east) on MD Route 404. Go approximately 7.0 miles to the intersection with MD Route 480/Ridgely Road. Turn left on Ridgely, and then make an immediate left in just 690 feet onto Eveland Road. You will be going north on Eveland. Then follow directions below to one of the access points for the park.
- For the Park Office and trails south of Adkins Arboretum (12282 Eveland Road, Ridgely MD): From the intersection of Ridgely Road and Eveland Road, drive north on Eveland for 1.7 miles, to the park office on the left (west) side of the road. There is a small paved parking lot here. This lot provides access to the Arboretum Spur Trail, the south portion of the Tuckahoe Valley Trail, Wilbur’s Cut-off Trail, and the Creekside Cliff Trail. The trail here also connect with the Adkins Arboretum trails and provides access to the Aviary.
- For the Lakeside Picnic Area at the southeast corner of the lake (13187 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne MD): From the Park Office on Eveland Road, turn left out the driveway to go north on Eveland Road for 1.5 miles to Crouse Mill Road. Turn left to go west on Crouse Mill. The entrance to the picnic area will be on the right in 0.3 miles. From the Lakeside Picnic Area, you can access the north section of the Tuckahoe Valley Trail and the south end of the Lake Trail, as well as the connectors to the Adkins Arboretum trails.
- For the campground area (13450 Cherry Lane, Ridgely MD): From the Lakeside Picnic Area, turn left to go east on Crouse Mill Road and drive 0.4 miles to Cherry Lane (it will be a short way past the intersection with Eveland Road). Turn left to go north on Cherry Lane. The entrance to the campground will be on the left (west) side of the road in just under 0.8 miles. From the campground, you can access the north end of the Lake Trail and the Lore of the Land Nature Trail.
Caroline County: Adkins Arboretum ◾ Choptank Marina ◾ Daniel Crouse Memorial Park ◾ Idylwild Wildlife Management Area ◾ Martinak State Park ◾ Pelot MOS Sanctuary ◾ Skeleton Creek Road & Bethlehem Road
Dorchester County: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge ◾ Cambridge – Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park (Dorchester County Side) ◾ Cambridge – Great Marsh Park ◾ Cambridge – Oakley Street ◾ Cambridge – Sailwinds Park & Visitor Center ◾ Chesapeake Forest – North Tara Road ◾ Elliott Island Road / Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area (Eastern Section) ◾ Hooper’s Island ◾ Taylor’s Island
Queen Anne’s County: Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center – Horsehead ◾ Conquest Preserve ◾ Ferry Point Park ◾ Matapeake Clubhouse & Beach / Matapeake Fishing Pier & Boat Ramp ◾ Terrapin Nature Park ◾ Tuckahoe State Park (Queen Anne’s County) ◾ Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area
Talbot County: Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park (Talbot County Side) ◾ Black Walnut Point Natural Resources Management Area ◾ Claiborne Landing ◾ Marengo Woods MOS Sanctuary ◾ Mill Creek MOS Sanctuary ◾ Pickering Creek Audubon Center ◾ Poplar Island
Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerows Agricultural Crop Fields or Fallow FieldsHay Meadows, Pasture, Grass FieldOld Fields, Shrubby Meadows Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainFreshwater Pond, Lake, or ReservoirRivers & Streams
Features:BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)BoardwalkBoat or Canoe/Kayak LaunchBoat RentalsCampingFishingFree - No Entry Fee at Any TimeHiking/Walking TrailsHorseback RidingHuntingOvernight Lodging or CabinsParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaPlaygroundRestroomsVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Type:#1 Hotspot in County or CityAudubon Important Bird AreasChesapeake Bay Gateways NetworkPonds, Lakes, and ReservoirsState ParksWater Trails