How often are you given the opportunity to experience prehistory? To reach out and touch something from an age long past and see the world as it was thousands of years ago? When you take a hike through the Cranesville Swamp, located at the border between Maryland and West Virginia, you are transported back 15,000 years to the last ice age of the Pleistocene Epoch.
The Cranesville Swamp is a boreal peat bog that formed during the last ice age when colder temperatures and glacial winds brought colonies of northern wetland flora into the area; these migratory plant species were able to take root and thrive, transforming the landscape for thousands of years. Even following the resurgence of warmer temperatures at the end of the ice age, the Cranseville Swamp remained a fertile bog, fixed in time and preserved within a frost pocket. The plants that cover this lush swamp land are virtually untouched by time and are largely the same as they were 15,000 years ago.
To help protect the fragile ecosystem, a 1,500 foot boardwalk has been constructed through the marsh to keep wandering feet dry and plants safe and strong. On your visit, be sure to keep an eye out for the local wildlife that call this swamp home, including ravens, beavers, and the endangered bog copper butterflies indigenous to the area.
Be sure to snap some photos of your explorations
and share them with us using the hashtag #DCL