There’s a story in ’em ‘er woods…or more like it, a whole lot of stories! Swallow Falls State Park is just outside of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland and stretches to about 257 acres along the scenic Youghiogheny River. Hiking trails will lead you to 2 large falls, Swallow Falls and Muddy Creek Falls, as well as several smaller whitewaters. Tall Hemlocks dominate the silent woods, which are estimated to be 300+ years old.
As a native to Garrett County, Maryland I’ve walked these paths on many occasions but I learn something new about the historical park each time I visit. On my most recent trip to Swallow Falls, I noticed a few things about the trees that adorn its forests.
Youghiogheny Grove is a 37-acre area of virgin Hemlock and White Pine and is the last stand of its kind in Maryland. Another grove of trees a little closer to the river is known as Towering Giants. Because of their age, the trees’ root systems are shallow and particularly vulnerable to storm damage. Some of the treetops and limbs have been stripped over the years, but to look up and see the sunlight glistening through them is a spectacle you’ll want to experience.