Nassawango Creek Preserve - Furnace Town
Snow Hill, MD
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description: Nassawango Creek is one of Maryland's most pristine waterways. Along its banks lie majestic bald cypress swamps and upland forests, making Nassawango one of the most beautiful and tranquil places in the state. The preserve is home to an abundant diversity of life, including many species of orchids, warblers, and other plants and animals. An onsite visitor center and the Paul Leifer Trail provide additional ways to explore Nassawango's treasures.

Inside the visitor center, you can also find information about visiting Furnace Town, an historic village sitting alongside the preserve boundary. From 1828 to 1850, the Nassawango Iron Furnace was in its heyday. Hundreds of people -- miners, sawyers and colliers, molders and firemen, carters, draymen and bargemen -- were engaged in gathering iron ore from the nearby bogs, smelting it day and night in the furnace, and loading cooled pig iron bars into barges to be floated down Nassawango Creek to the Pocomoke River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Location / Directions: Nassawango Creek Preserve - Furnace Town are located on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, about 3 hours from Washington DC.

From Baltimore/Washington: Take Route 50 east across the Bay Bridge to Salisbury. From Salisbury, go south on Route 12 towards Snow Hill for about 14 miles; turn right onto Old Furnace Road. Travel about a mile and you'll find Furnace Town on the left. Park and check in at the visitor center if it is open.

From Salisbury, MD: Go south on Route 12 towards Snow Hill for about 14 miles; turn right onto Old Furnace Road. Travel about a mile and you'll find Furnace Town on the left. Park and check in at the visitor center if it is open.

From Ocean City: Take Rt. 50 or Rt 90 west to Rt. 113. Follow Rt. 113 south to Snow Hill. Take the business route into Snow Hill. Turn right at the traffic signal. Proceed 4 miles north on Rt. 12. Turn left on to Old Furnace Road. Furnace Town in one mile ahead on your left.

Directions for Canoeists:
Continue on Route 12 for one mile further south beyond Old Furnace Road to Red House Road. Turn right; after about one mile, park along the road shoulder near the designated parking sign. Launch next to the sign on the west side of the creek. Two yellow "Nature Sanctuary" signs mark this area.

Physical Address: Nassawango Creek Preserve - Furnace Town
3816 Old Furnace Road
Snow Hill, MD 21863
Mailing Address: Nassawango Creek Preserve - Furnace Town
P.O. Box 207
Snow Hill, MD 21863
Phone: (410) 632-2032
E-mail: kfisher@intercom.net
Activities: Canoe the creek or hike the Paul Leifer Trail at the preserve to look for: bald cypress trees, 12 species of orchids (including pink lady's slipper, grass-pink, and the rose pogonia), stands of Atlantic white cedar, wild lupine, 21 species of warblers (including the prothonotary, Kentucky, hooded, and worm-eating), red-shouldered hawks, river otters, and rockfish.

At Furnace Town explore the daily life of a 19th century village centered around iron-making. Artisans recreate the various crafts and professions that were part of Furnace Town during its life. Visit 13 historic exhibit buildings. An annual calendar includes nature walks, archaeological digs, the Chesapeake Celtic Festival, special events and workshops.

Pocomoke River State Forest and Park and Sturgis Memorial Park can be reached from the preserve by water.

Birding and Wildlife Viewing Educational Programs Hiking Tours / Walking Tours Canoeing / Kayaking

Operating Hours: The preserve is open year round for nature walks, birdwatching, and canoeing. Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum is open from April 1 to October 31 between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm, as is the Nassawango Preserve & Furnace Town Visitor Center. The Furnace Town business office may be reached year-round.
Fees: Admission to the visitor center is free. To access Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum or the Preserve's Paul Leifer Trail in season, Nature Conservancy Members, or member of Furnace Town Foundation, may present their valid TNC membership card for free admission. For nonmembers (or those without their card), there is a $4.00 entry fee for adults / $3.50 for adults over 60 / $2.00 for children 18 months through 18 years.Visitor Center is open from April 1 to October 31 between the hours of 10AM and 5PM.
Visitor Facilities: Visitor center (restrooms, soda machine, water fountain, Museum Shop, nature-oriented exhibits, brochure wall), historic buildings, picnic pavilion, and the Paul Leifer Trail (which begins just beyond the brick furnace at the south end of the village).
Size: 6,000 acres
Websites: http://nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/maryland/preserves/art141.html
http://www.furnacetown.com

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY