This post was originally written by WJBR Digital Production Interns, Joy Paganucci and Patrick LaPorte. Paganucci is a senior Media Communications Honors student at the University of Delaware from New York, NY. Patrick LaPorte is a senior media communications major at the University of Delaware, working as a news and sports reporter for The Review and sports director for 91.3 WVUD at UD.
Curious about Elk Neck State Park? Elk Neck State Park is located in Cecil County on a peninsula, formed by the Chesapeake Bay on the west and the Elk River on the east in Maryland. The park has 2,370 acres of land and includes 250 campsites. Landscapes include beaches, marshlands, wooded bluffs, and white clay cliffs.
In 1936, a wealthy naturalist named Dr. William Abbott had originally put in his will that his property along the Elk River would go to the Boy Scouts. A meeting with Mauldin Lum, president of the County Commissioners, and Joseph Grant, serving for Citizens Committee persuaded Abbott to change the terms of his will, and leave his holdings to the state for a park. Abbott was enthusiastic about the idea, since he felt the state could better manage the property and give it more use. State Forester Fred W. Besley in 1935 also had a meeting with Abbot and later sent him a letter further explaining the use of the Cecil County State Park Committee. Following the state’s purchase, the Civilian Conservation Corps created park improvements from 1937 to 1941. The park was used as a filming location for several films including the 1997 Clint Eastwood movie Absolute Power and the 1998 film The Curve.
Trail Review: Beaver Marsh Loop
The Beaver Marsh Loop is one of the three trails open to the public in the park. The two-mile loop wraps around the Beaver Marsh and allows for scenic views of the marsh and the Elk River. The biggest takeaway from this trail is the diversity in wildlife in and around the trail. Anyone who takes a minute and simply listens to the sounds around can hear all different types of calls, screams and screeches ranging from frogs to birds and even some animals that are unrecognizable.
Those who decide to hike the trail should also know they will most likely come face-to-face with some sort of reptile, amphibian, mammal and/or bird along the trek, whether it be a scurry in the bushes of a salamander or a rabbit crossing the trail. The trail itself, especially in the beginning, is a bit overgrown with shrubs, making brushing up against an unwanted plant or bush a possibility. The trail winds up and down throughout the two-mile loop and could serve as a challenge for some.
That said, the trails biodiversity and ability to interact with wildlife up close and personal is something that is hard to find at some other parks in the tri-state area today. It is also a very good trail and overall park in general to escape urban areas and is well secluded from the closest town of North East, Maryland. The two other trails including the Turkey Point Lighthouse trail and partially open White Banks trail are two other options for hikers to take a stab at with the Lighthouse Trail leading to Turkey Point. Turkey Point offers hikers a view of the Turkey Point Lighthouse, which overlooks the Elk River and Chesapeake Bay.