Cranesville Swamp Preserve

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Cranesville Swamp Preserve
Nature Conservancy Preserve
Cranesville Swamp - Bog.jpg
Bog at Cranesville Swamp
Country United States
States Maryland, West Virginia
Counties Garrett MD, Preston WV
Elevation 2,547 ft (776.3 m) [1]
Coordinates 39°31′53″N 79°28′55″W / 39.53139°N 79.48194°W / 39.53139; -79.48194Coordinates: 39°31′53″N 79°28′55″W / 39.53139°N 79.48194°W / 39.53139; -79.48194
Area 1,600 acres (647.5 ha) [2]
Established 1960 [2]
 - National Natural Landmark October 1964 [3]
Owner The Nature Conservancy
IUCN category III - Natural Monument
Nearest city Friendsville, Maryland
Location of Cranesville Swamp Preserve in West Virginia
Wikimedia Commons: Cranesville Swamp Preserve
Website: Cranesville Swamp Preserve
Designated 1964

Cranesville Swamp Preserve is a 1,600-acre (650 ha) preserve situated in Preston County, West Virginia and Garrett County, Maryland.[4] It is one of the few remaining boreal bogs in the southern United States, [5] unusual in harboring many plants and animals that are normally only seen in more northern climates.[4]


The Nature Conservancy purchased the 1,600 acres (650 ha) beginning in 1960.[2] In October 1964, the site was designated as one of the first National Natural Landmarks in the country.[2][3]


Cranesville Swamp is situated in a natural bowl, or "frost pocket," creating a climate that is more consistent with more northerly regions.[3][4]



Cranesville Swamp's unusual setting allows 19 different plant communities to flourish, [6] with the most dominant species being, among others, sphagnum moss, speckled alder (Alnus rugosa), various sedges (Carex folliculata, and C. stricta) and grasses. Bog species include round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) and narrowleaf gentian (Gentiana linearis).[2]

The swamp is also home to the southernmost natural community of larches.[2]


In addition to black bear, porcupine, snowshoe hare and a wide variety of birds, the rare northern water shrew has been documented here. Birders have also noted the golden-crowned kinglet and Nashville warbler, rarely seen in this area.[2]


  1. ^ "Cranesville Swamp". Elevation Query. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Cranesville Swamp Preserve". The Nature Conservancy. Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  3. ^ a b c "Cranesville Swamp Nature Sanctuary". National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  4. ^ a b c "Cranesville Swamp". West Virginia University Extension Service. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  5. ^ Fuller, KB; Frank, PS Jr. (Autumn 1974). "The Cranesville Pine Swamp". Atlantic Naturalist. 3. 29: 101–105. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  6. ^ Colbert, Judy (2004). Maryland and Delaware: Off the Beaten Path : a Guide to Unique Places (8, Illustrated ed.). Globe Pequot. p. 10. ISBN 0-7627-4418-9. Retrieved 2009-03-05.