Ranging from 2100-2700’ in elevation on the west side of Marsh Hill Mountain, the Fork Run Recreation Area lies in the Allegheny Mountains of Garrett County – the highest region in Maryland. The higher elevation of this region results in temperatures that are cooler than those of lower areas to the east and west. The higher mountains also intercept moisture-laden air masses moving into the region from the west, so this area is wetter as well. The consequence is a climate more similar to that of the Great Lakes or New England and a species list that includes plants and animals more commonly found several hundred miles to the north. The bedrock under the recreation area consists primarily of sandstone and shale resulting in soils that are typically rocky and acidic.
A variety of wildlife can be found along the Fork Run trail system, although many species are not readily observed. Two common larger mammals that may be encountered are white-tailed deer and black bear, and smaller mammals such as chipmunks and squirrels can often be seen. Wild turkey, ruffed grouse, a variety of birds of prey, woodpeckers, and many species of songbirds may be seen or heard. Several reptiles and amphibians, including eastern garter snake, red-backed salamander, and American toad, may also be found.
**Located at each of the 18 Points of Interest along this Natural History Hike, hikers may find, if they are carefully observant, affixed to a tree and approximately 10-feet above the ground, the Point Number for each of the 18 points.
Tours created by the Adventure Sports Institute and Garrett College Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology students and staff. www.adventuresportsi.org; www.garrettcollege.edu
Trail construction and maintenance coordinated by Garrett Trails. www.garretttrails.org