Nature Preserve


Nature Preserve

At ThorpeWood, our mission is to share the bounty of our natural resources with others, allowing groups and individuals access to the opportunities for personal and team growth that can only occur in nature. Providing accessibility to our 155-acre mountain retreat and the 18,000 acres of adjacent public and privately conserved land, with its native brook trout streams, hiking paths, forests, arboretum, pond and hybrid American chestnut orchard—the ThorpeWood experience becomes your personal exploration and discovery. Some of our hiking trails take our visitors to an area that is truly remote, feeling so much like wilderness—a rarity being within such close proximity to major urban populations. Come experience for yourself …you will not be disappointed!


The hybrid American Chestnut Orchard and Reforestation Project is a collaboration with the American Chestnut Foundation and Maryland Charter of the American Chestnut Foundation. American chestnut trees were important both economically and ecologically in American forests until a fungal blight that entered the U.S. in 1904 decimated all American chestnuts by 1950. The first long-term goal of the project is to produce a Catoctin hybrid that is resistant to the American chestnut blight. The second goal is to introduce this hybrid into local eastern forests.

In 1997, ThorpeWood established a 374-tree orchard to help scientists develop a resistant strain of chestnut trees that would be viable in the microclimate of the local region. ThorpeWood supports volunteer activities that maintain the orchard and serves as a host facility for youth and adult organizations committed to the study of chestnuts and the success of our orchard.


For more information about American chestnuts, use these links:
American Chestnut Foundation (Maryland Chapter)
American Chestnut Orchard at ThorpeWood
Backcross Breeding