Palmer State Park (Image courtesy: Cindy Chance)

Palmer State Park

Nestled in the agricultural landscape of central Harford County is a 555-acre unbroken tract of forest known as Palmer State Park. In 1965, Gerald and Ruth Palmer donated 463 acres to the State of Maryland with the desire to see a public park created. During later years, an additional 92 acres were acquired from various landholders.

Under a canopy of second-growth and riparian forests, two miles of scenic Deer Creek runs through Palmer State Park. Historic sites can be found along the creek banks and native flora and fauna thrive in the forested habitat. Though the park is less than 20 minutes from the Town of Bel Air, nature enthusiasts and historians alike will appreciate the recreational opportunities at Palmer State Park.

At this time, access to Palmer State Park is limited. Planning is still in the early stages and there are no maintained hiking trails, parking areas are limited to roadside pull-offs, and maps and interpretive markers are still being developed. Plans are underway to add safe and environmentally friendly recreational activities at Palmer State Park. For future development plans, please see below.

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Image Credit: Cindy Chance

Hours

The park is open 9:00 AM to sunset April to October, and 10:00 AM to sunset November through March.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Activities

  • Canoeing and Kayaing (no launch facilities in the park)
  • Nature Photography, Observation and Study
  • Fishing

Water Flow Info:

Facilities

Future development plans for Palmer State Park may include:

  • Parking area to be located on Forge Hill Road, in former agricultural field
  • Sustainable and multi-use trail system with trail guide
  • Interpretive waysides of selected historic, cultural, and natural sites
  • Managed hunting area 

Pets

Pets on a leash are permitted in Palmer State Park.

History

In 1965, Gerald and Ruth Palmer donated 463 acres to the State of Maryland with the desire to see a public park created. During later years, an additional 92 acres were acquired from various landholders.

Originally built in the late 1800s by Joshua Husband, this historic mill was purchased by George J. Kroeger and rebuilt in 1909. The mill ground quartz, mined from quarries in the surrounding hills, for use in porcelain dishes and pottery. Before being dismantled in the 1920s, the mill was one of the best-equipped mills in the state of Maryland. Two kilns, a chimney, and part of the mill office are still visible today.

he forge was built in the middle 1800s and became a thriving community center with a general store and gristmill until the iron works ceased operations in 1878. The old foundation and covered bridge abutments are still visible today.

Weather

Last updated: September 24, 2019
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