Pocomoke River State Forest

Pocomoke River State Forest

Pocomoke River State Forest and Park provides 17,676 acres for exploring stands of loblolly pine, cypress swamps, and the beauty of the Pocomoke River, a major Eastern Shore tributary. The Pocomoke (which means "black water" for the stream tinted by tannins leached from fallen leaves) originates in the Great Cypress Swamp in Delaware and flows southwesterly 45 miles to the Chesapeake Bay.

The state forest and park offer a great variety of plant and animal life, including white dogwood and pink laurel in the spring, river otters and bald eagles, and over 50 species of fish. The two major use areas, Shad Landing and Milburn Landing, provide starting points for canoeing, boating, fishing and hiking.

Pocomoke State Forest Pocomoke State Forest has a very small remnant area of Old Growth Forest approximately 5 acres in size. The goal on PSF is to expand Old Growth Forest by connecting a series of forest stands identified as “nearly old growth forest”.

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Image Credit: Pocomoke River State Forest


The forest is accessible from sunrise to sunset.

(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.)


There are no entrance fees. There are fees for use of campsites and other selected facilities.


Pocomoke River State Park offers boat launch, boat rental, camp fire programs, camp sites, park store, dump station, food & beverage, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trails, electrical hook ups, picnic areas, playgrounds, picnic shelters, swimming pool, and nature center.

Nearby Gateways Nassawango Creek Preserve/Furnace Town and Sturgis Memorial Park can be reached from the park by water.

Additionally, there are numerous opportunities for hunting deer, turkey, forest game and ducks in Pocomoke River State Forest.


Boating: The Shad Landing Marina has 23 boat slips with water and electrical hookups, launching ramp, lighted dock area, and a fuel and transient pier. Rowboats and canoes may be rented. Milburn Landing has a launching ramp.

Fishing: The Pocomoke River and nearby creeks are available for fishing. A Chesapeake Bay Sports Fishing License is required to fish the Pocomoke River and nearby creeks. A "Fish for Fun" pond is located across from the marina parking lot and requires a freshwater license; a trout stamp is required to possess trout.

Camping at Shad Landing: Shad Landing has 175 campsites. The camp loops at Robins Nest and Waters Edge remain open for winter camping. All campsites are equipped with a picnic table and fire ring. Centrally located washhouses have hot water showers, flush toilets and a laundry tub. All types of camping units are welcome. Some campsites have electric hookups. Sites are limited to six persons per site. All camping units must fit on the camping pad. Dumping stations are available for sewage and potable water.

Camping at Milburn Landing: Milburn Landing has 32 campsites, some with electric. Amenities are limited at Milburn Landing and pets are allowed in the campground.

Youth Group Camping: Camping sites are available at Shad Landing and Milburn Landing. Advance reservations are required for all youth groups. Groups with a Maryland Youth Group Pass camp free.

Picnicking: Milburn Landing and Shad Landing have picnic areas with tables, grills, playground equipment, pavilions, and comfort stations. Pavilions are available for rent by advance reservation. Reservation fees cover the rental of the pavilion but not the surrounding areas, which are on a first come, first served basis.

Concessions: Concessions are operated daily May through September, and weekends only in April, October, and November. Snacks, souvenirs, camping equipment, groceries, canoe rentals, gas, firewood, and boat slips with electric and water hookups are available

Cabins: There are 12 mini-cabins, four at Milburn Landing and eight at Shad Landing. Cabins have one double bed and one set of bunk beds, to sleep four. No linens are provided. All cooking must take place outside the cabin. A picnic table and campfire ring are provided. ADA cabins have two bunk beds. Cabins at Shad Landing are available year round.

Swimming Pool: The pool opens for weekend use on Memorial Day and daily beginning mid-June. The pool closes Labor Day weekend. The 25-meter pool ranges from three to twelve feet. There is a wading pool for small children. There is a service charge to use the pool. The pool is available for rentals for larger gatherings. Contact the park for further information

Off-road Vehicles: Motorcycles and four-wheeled ATV's are permitted in the Chandler Land Use Tract, located across from the Shad Landing entrance. A permit is required and off-road vehicle standards apply.


Pocomoke State Park offers accessible picnic areas, shelters, boardwalk fishing, boat lift, campsites, mini cabins, swimming pool lift, bathhouse and pond fishing.



Milburn Landing - Pets are allowed Shad Landing - Pets are allowed in the marina day-use area, including the boat ramp area to board vessels. Pets are allowed in the Acorn Trail Area camping loop. Pets are allowed in day-use areas after Labor Day to Memorial Day weekend.


Before the establishment of the State Forest much of the land had been cleared for farming or used as farm woodlots. When the depression era hit many of the farmers fell on hard times, resulting in the acquisition of large amounts of land by the Federal Government. In the mid to late 1930's, two Civilian Conservation Camps were located on the Forest. The camp workers did considerable road and trail work, established boundary lines, provided for fire protection and suppression, planted trees and performed recreation improvements at Milburn Landing. At this same time the State was purchasing lands for management activities. In 1954, the Federal Government deeded its holdings to the State. In 1964, the Milburn Landing and Shad Landing areas were separated from the Forest and developed for intensive recreational use as State Parks. The State continues to purchase in-holdings and other ecologically important areas along the Pocomoke River.​


Last updated: August 20, 2017
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail