by Alicia Pimental
February 01, 2009
The state of Maryland has preserved nearly 4,500 acres of land in Cecil, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, including 20 miles of Potomac River shoreline that was once explored by Captain John Smith.
The state’s land investment protects a diverse array of natural areas, including forests and wetlands that filter out pollutants and protect clean water in the Bay and its rivers. Maryland plans to use the land as wildlife habitat and public access points for boating, hiking, hunting and other recreational activities.
The preserved land, called the Maryland Province Property, is comprised of four separate parcels: Old Bohemia in Cecil County, Cedar Point in Charles County, and St. Inigoes and New Towne Neck in St. Mary’s County.
- The 975-acre Old Bohemia property includes mostly upland and wetland habitat and will become a wildlife management area.
- The 1,737-acre Cedar Point property includes 4.2 miles of shoreline along Nanjemoy and Port Tobacco creeks, both tributaries of the Potomac River. Cedar Point will also be used as a wildlife management area.
- St. Inigoes is a 985-acre peninsula surrounded by Smith Creek and the Potomac and St. Mary’s rivers. A blend of woods, wetlands and farmland, St. Inigoes will become a state forest.
- New Towne Neck is a 776-acre peninsula surrounded by Breton Bay, St. Clements Bay and the Potomac River. The land includes 7 miles of waterfront and will become a state park.
In addition to their significance to protecting the Bay, the preserved lands are tied to some of the earliest settlers in Maryland. Old Bohemia was part of the first Catholic settlement in the state, and St. Inigoes was originally acquired in 1634 from King Charles I of England.
Captain John Smith mapped several parts of land along the Potomac River during his 1607-1609 exploratory voyages of the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Friends of the John Smith Chesapeake Trail. Cedar Point, St. Inigoes and New Towne Neck will offer access points to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail, the nation’s first national historic water trail.
For photos and additional information about the protected lands, view this presentation from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.