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MOS Sanctuary Sites

Alice Hostettler created Adventure with the gift of her property for nature education and research to be administered by the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission under a trusteeship with MOS and Hood College. Adventure's 100+ acres [the original 15 acres combined with the adjoining MNCPPC parkland] offer a diverse habitat of upland woods, hedgerows, and floodplain. In 1985, its bird list contained over 174 species.

Alice's house has been converted into an attractive nature center suitable for educational meetings, but no picnic or overnight facilities are available.

An active bird banding program [in operation spring and fall since 1972] banded its 50,000th bird by September, 1983. The facility closed as a banding station in the mid-1990s, but has recently reopened.

For further information, MOS members will want to read Richard Bray's articles in Maryland Birdlife, "Know Your Sanctuaries-Adventure" in the December 1979 issue, and "Banding at Adventure Sanctuary" in the March, 1980 issue.

Map to Adventure Sanctuary


A ladybug bullet.Take the Capital Beltway, I. 495, to exit 69 at River Road [Route 190]
A ladybug bullet.Go West on Route 190 to Falls Road [Route 189] in Potomac [3 miles]
A ladybug bullet.Go North on Route 189 to South Glen Road [0.7 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn Left on South Glen Road to the bridge [1.7 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Cross the bridge and turn left onto Glen Road
A ladybug bullet.Follow Glen Road to the Adventure parking lot on the right [0.3 mile]

Fifty-two acres of Carey Run Sanctuary were acquired December 1,1962. An additional 110 acres were purchased in 1973, giving a total of 162 acres.

The property is essentially the valley of two small streams, Carey Run and Hefner Run. Because of this, it has relatively rugged topography. It is representative of a farm found in this area in the early part of this century. Most of the original 52 acres and some of the additional acreage are fields. Some are mowed to stay as fields, while others have been planted in trees and shrubs attractive to wildlife. There is a stand of mature Hemlocks, a Red Pine Plantation, and mature and cutover deciduous forests. The elevation is 2400-2600 feet, imparting a northern influence on the biota.

About 150 species of birds have been recorded at this sanctuary. Winter birding is not spectacular except during northern finch invasion years. In the mid-1980s, breeding birds included: Ruffed Grouse; Turkey; Black-capped Chickadee; Vesper Sparrow; Veery; and Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, and Golden-winged Warblers.

There are many unique or uncommon plants in this area of the State. Starflower, Great Rhododendron, Canada Lily, Hellebore, Gay Wings, trilliums, and many mushrooms and other fungi are found in forests of Sugar Maple, Sweet Birch, and Hemlock.

Animals other than birds are also common. Red Efts are abundant, and other salamanders are common in the moist forests. Deer, weasels, beavers, and bears have been sighted, as well as the more common mammals of the area.

The house was built in 1887 from White Pines growing on the property. It includes a basement, living room, large kitchen, front and back porches, three bedrooms upstairs, a hot shower, and three toilets. Cots and bunk beds are available for sleeping. Personal bedding and linens should be brought along.

The grounds include tool and other sheds, a spring-house, several nature trails, and a 1/3 acre pond constructed in 1966.

The sanctuary is closed during the winter months from the second weekend in October to the last weekend in April. It is reopened in grand style with an MOS maintenance workday and celebration.

Dale Fuller and Myra Talor wrote the "Know Your Sanctuaries-Carey Run" article in the December, 1971 issue of Maryland Birdlife. MOS members are encouraged to review this article for more detailed information.

For further information about Carey Run contact Charlotte Folk at 301-689-6587.

A map to Carey Run Sanctuary.


A ladybug bullet.From Frostburg, go west on U.S. 40A to Route 546 [4 miles]
A ladybug bullet.Go south on Route 546 (Beall School Road) to the dead end [1 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right and proceed to the first fork in the road [0.25 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right and go to the second fork [0.50 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right again at the second fork and proceed to the wooden bridge [0.25 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Cross the bridge and turn left until you reach the first right [1 block]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right and continue to the sanctuary [0.25 mile]

This sanctuary was acquired in September, 1967, with 1450 acres. It is the largest of our seven sanctuaries. The land itself is 65-75% marsh, dissected by tidal streams, and is less than 5 feet above sea level. There are several fresh and salt water ponds surrounded by Loblolly Pine woods, and about 45 acres of fields.

Birding is best in winter and spring with 80-90 known species wintering there, including waterfowl, sparrows, hawks, and owls. In the mid-1980s, some of the breeding birds included: Seaside Sparrow, Osprey, Marsh Wrens, Rails, Boat-tailed Grackle, Willet, Glossy Ibis, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Herons, Pine Warbler, and Sharp-tailed Sparrow. Birding is usually done on foot. There is often rough and wet hiking. Some 230 species have been recorded in this sanctuary.

June through September are great months for insects at this sanctuary. There are deer flies, green heads, mosquitoes, ticks, and punkies by the thousands. It is advised that visitors during the summer and early fall take head nets, long sleeve tops, long pants, several cans of repellent and salves.

The Sanctuary House includes four bedrooms, living room, museum room, dining room, kitchen, bath, and screened porch. The bedrooms include double and single beds. Personal bedding and linens should be taken along.

On the grounds, there are a tool shed, barn, banding office, various other sheds and a well. Two lighted outhouse facilities have been built for use by visitors. A screened outside dining area is available for warm weather use.

There are several good nature trails near the house and there is an observation deck on Round Pond Road. Salt marsh birding is excellent along Rumbly Point Road all the way to the public marina at the end. Good tidal canoeing is possible, if you take your own canoe. Use the canal that goes into East Creek for the nearest canoe launch or launch at the public marina on Pocomoke Sound at the terminus of Rumbly Point Road. Members: For information about reservations call Shirley Taylor at (H) 410.546.4717 or (W) 410.543.7530 ext. 4818.

A map to Irish Grove Sanctuary.


A ladybug bullet.From Salisbury, take U.S. 13 south to Route 413
A ladybug bullet.Go south on Route 413 to Route 357 [Marion] [6 miles]
A ladybug bullet.Go east on Route 357 to Tulls Corner [a dead end] [1.2 miles]
A ladybug bullet.Turn left on Whittington Road past the church and proceed to Quindocqua Road [0.3 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right on Quindocqua Road and to to Rumbly Point Road [1 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right on Rumbly Point Road proceed to the sanctuary [last house on right] [1.1 mile]

This sanctuary consists of approximately 8 acres of waterfront property on Mandares Creek, a tributary of the Severn River. It was a gift from Col. William G. Bodenstein, former president of MOS. Its boundaries are marked with MOS signs.

Habitats include mostly shallow fresh water and fresh marsh, some deciduous swamp, and about a 1/2 acre stand of deciduous trees.

Access to the property is limited. There is no parking on or near the sanctuary. Any visit should be prearranged with the sanctuary chairman.

A map to Mandares Creek Sanctuary.


A ladybug bullet.From Annapolis, go west on Route 50 to Route 450
A ladybug bullet.Go west on Route 450 to Route 178 [General's Highway] [0.25 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Travel north on Route 178 to River Hall Road [2.3 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Go north on River Hall Road to the sanctuary [at the NW corner of Mandares Creek along River Road] [1.5]

This woodlot has no trails. It is located on the Miles River Neck and there is standing water throughout the woods for much of the year. The sanctuary was donated to MOS by a small group of local landowners who wanted to save the property from development.

On August 4,1964, MOS purchased 108 acres of the Mill Creek Valley near Wye Mills. The following year, 47 more acres were donated or purchased, giving the sanctuary a total of 155 acres.

A shelter with fireplace and picnic table affords visitors a pleasing visit [no water or toilet facilities]. Three nature trails have been maintained and are well marked for easy hiking. An ancient earthen dam lies along one of them. North of Route 662 is the Royce R. Spring memorial.

The area is wild and hilly, a pleasing contrast to its surroundings. Mill Creek bisects it from NE to SW, flowing through a mature Red Maple--Sycamore swamp. The uplands are mostly Beech-Oak forest, with a small field along the road. The elevation is from sea level to 50 feet.

Some 150 species of birds have been recorded on the sanctuary. Breeding birds of interest in the mid-1980s included Acadian Flycatcher, Rough-winged Swallow, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, and such warblers as Yellow-throated, Kentucky, Hooded and Prothonotary. Wintering birds include Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, both kinglets, and many sparrows and ducks. Spring migration is a favorite birding time.

MOS members can find more detailed information in "Know Your Sanctuaries--Mill Creek" by Dickson Preston in the March, 1971 issue of Maryland Birdlife.

A map to Mill Creek Sanctuary.


A ladybug bullet.From the Bay Bridge, follow Route 50 to Route 662 [Wye Mills Road]
A ladybug bullet.Go south on Route 662 to the sanctuary [on both sides of the road] [2.5 miles]

This sanctuary was purchased in 1972, using a bequest to the MOS from Mrs. Myrtle Pelot of Ridgely. It is approximately 60 acres of deciduous swamp forest varying from 9 to 20 feet above sea level. It is located in the Red Bridges area of the Choptank River, an area that local birders have enjoyed for years.

Originally, the land was part of an old mill property, with Draper Mill Road forming the dam which impounded Gravelly Branch. The dam washed out in 1937, and the rich pond sediments now support a thriving forest. There are some trails, but the the land is mostly untouched. Pelot Sanctuary is an oasis for flowers, birds, and other wildlife in the midst of a predominantly agricultural area. Cement benches are available.

A map to Myrtle Simon Pelot Sanctuary.


A ladybug bullet.From Greensboro, go north on Route 313 to Red Bridges Road [1.5 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Go east on Red Bridges Road [a dirt road] to Drapers Mill Road [1.0 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right on Drapers Mill Road to the sanctuary [0.5 mile]

A ladybug bullet.As of August 25, 2001, the Red Bridge is reportedly washed out. An alterative route is to take 313 to Goldboro and just behind a little store (NFI) turn right on the road that goes to Sandtown. When you get near the Delaware line, you should be able to find Drapers Mill Road. Turn right here. There is a sanctuary sign on the property.

In 1978, MOS acquired these 14.3 acres of land as a gift from The Nature Conservatory, which had received it from the estate of the late Seymour Cooper. It is approximately 3.3 miles south of the Pennsylvania border and about the same distance from Camp David. It is located on the lower slope of Piney Mountain. The height of the mountain is approximately 1,700 feet. This is currently the only MOS sanctuary located in the Ridge and Valley section of the state.

A paved road borders the property, which can be identified by a large sign with the name of the sanctuary. No Hunting signs and white blazes on the tree trunks indicate the boundaries. Painted stakes mark the corners of the property.

The habitat is a uniform deciduous forest of mostly oaks and maples. Chestnut oak is the dominant tree, and the canopy averages 50-60 feet. The presence of American Chestnut saplings and older fallen logs indicate that this area was probably logged about the time of the Chestnut blight.

It has been suggested that the sanctuary could be a good place for viewing hawks during migration if it had an open observation area. There are, however, some open areas a short distance down the road from the property.

A map to Seymour B. Cooper Sanctuary.


A ladybug bullet.From Thurmont, go north on Route 550 to Eylers Valley Flint Road [2.75 mile]
A ladybug bullet.Turn right on Eylers Valley Flint Road and proceed to sanctuary on the right [1. 5 mile]

A gift of Robert L. Wilson, in memory of his aunt, Caroline, The Nature Conservancy donated this sanctuary to MOS in December 1988. It is located in the Altamont section of Garrett County.

The site is bisected by several streams. It is landlocked and the only access is from the railroad tracks that run along one side of it. A trail, essentially the remnants of an old road, runs the length of the property.