The 900+ acre Bacon Ridge Natural Area is a true natural gem with expansive marshes, mature forests, and at the center, its namesake creek Bacon Ridge Branch. Positioned in Crownsville and in the headwaters of the South River, Bacon Ridge Natural Area is owned by Anne Arundel County and managed by the County’s Department of Recreation and Parks.
The Bacon Ridge Natural Area is both ecologically and historically significant. Local folklore claims that the creek that runs through the heart of the natural area is named Bacon Ridge Branch because there was a hog farm in the center of the natural area over a century ago.
Portions of the Bacon Ridge Natural Area were once part of the Crownsville Hospital property. The Crownsville Hospital opened in 1911 to serve African American patients needing psychiatric care. Today there remains a hospital cemetery on the grounds of the natural area with over 1,800 patient’s graves, marked only by numbers.
Additionally, Bacon Ridge includes the remains of the Charles S. Waters Mill. The mill race and many foundations are still visible. The County’s Cultural Resources Division has documented 16 discrete archaeological sites with intact evidence of prehistoric or Native American campsites, 18th, 19th and 20th century structural foundations, and artifact scatters within Bacon Ridge.
Hours of Operation:
Dawn to Dusk
Porta pot available at the Hawkins Rd parking area
Cost of Entry: Free
Address and Parking at:
1284 Bacon Ridge Road Crownsville, MD 21032 & 1801 Hawkins Rd, Annapolis MD 21401