Find Your Chesapeake: Nassawango Creek Preserve

Attraction magazine has partnered with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office and Chesapeake Conservancy to help readers find their next adventure. Each month, we’ll feature a new place from their helpful website, There, you can also sign up for an e-newsletter, Trips and Tips, that delivers fresh ideas to your inbox each week.

Ready to try something new? At, also find expert advice on experiences like birdwatching, fishing, camping, and hiking. Their team also developed content to help people explore the Chesapeake virtually.

This month the spotlight is on Nassawango Creek Preserve, a Nature Conservancy preserve located southeast of Salisbury at the mouth of the Pocomoke River. Nassawango Creek is the largest tributary of the Pocomoke River, and the preserve is located on the historic homelands of the Pocomoke Peoples. Visit

Take a day to paddle the Nassawango Creek.
Photograph courtesy of Alan Eckert, The Nature Conservancy.

The Nature Conservancy describes Nassawango Creek Preserve as “one of the last pieces of true wilderness left on the East Coast.” Visit

It is a very special place. The forest contains some of the largest Bald Cypress, Holly and Sassafras trees in the state of Maryland, and six species listed as globally rare, including the Seaside Alder. The preserve is also home to 19 orchid species, rare plants such as Pink Lady’s Slipper, Cardinal Flower and Indian Pipe, the rare eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad and Carpenter Frog, more than 60 recorded species of migratory birds – such as the Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-throated Vireos and Prothonotary Warbler – and Bobcat, Mink and Fox.

Look carefully for the Pitcher plant in Nassawango Creek Preserve.
Photograph courtesy of Severn Smith, The Nature Conservancy.

Whether the public is seeking exercise and fresh air or flora and fauna observation, both paddling and walking/hiking are great ways to access the preserve. A public launch for paddle craft is located near a bridge along Red House Road in Snow Hill, and an outfitter in Snow Hill rents canoes, kayaks, paddles and life jackets.

There are downloadable maps and companion audio tours for the three main trails in the preserve: the Johnson Tract, Leifer Trail and Prothonatory Birding Trail. For maps and audio tours, visit Note that as of April 27 , 2022, the Leifer Trail may still be temporarily closed.

Recommended Reading

Cordrey Tract – Nassawango Creek Preserve – The Old-Growth Forest Network

‘Forgotten’ Nassawango Returns to Its Natural State – Chesapeake Bay Program

Paddling the Pocomoke: Tour of Swamp to Chesapeake Takes You Back in Time – Find Your Chesapeake

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