Pocomoke River State Park Quest

Swamp Survival

How do you think you would fare in a survival situation? Could you build a shelter? Could you light a fire without matches? Could you forage for food and purify water? In the book Hatchet, the main character (Brian Robeson) does not have any luxury items; he did not have tarps and matches and camping supplies. He did not have any tools except his own two hands and a hatchet. If you were stranded in the wilderness how would you make sure that you ended up a survivor? We will use some of the lessons learned by Brian as we explore Pocomoke River State Park. Stop at each post along the trail to the marina and along the canoe trail and complete the activities listed.

Introduction To Quest

The Park Quest at Pocomoke River State Park will start at the Nature Center located at the Shad Landing Area of Pocomoke River State Park. The Nature Center will be open and ready to assist Park Quest teams from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday - Tuesday. The Quest may be completed at other times by appointment only, but must it be completed by sunset. To request an appointment please call the park at 410-632-2566.

Quest Information

turtles in the swamps at Pocomoke River To complete the Quest you will walk approximately one mile and canoe another mile. Quest teams will receive their survival bags in the Nature Center then use a map located in the bag to precede down a trail to the boathouse. Along the trail, teams will make several stops as they learn survival related skills. Upon arrival at the boathouse, teams will be provided with a canoe, lifejackets, paddles, and basic safety instructions before heading towards the river. Teams are limited to 2 vessels, but may rent more if needed. Along the water trail, teams will make several stops as they learn more survival related skills. When the Quest is completed, teams will head back to the Nature Center to share their adventure with staff and receive their stamp.

Swimming in the river is prohibited. Make sure to keep valuables in a dry bag while canoeing or leave them in your vehicle. Backpacks are limited- there will be 4 packs.

Park Quest is available Thursday-Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an hour break at the Nature Center at 12 p.m. Wednesday the Nature Center is closed but arrangements can be made by call the park at 410-632-2566. We ask that canoes/kayaks are not rented after 3 p.m.

Park Information

The scenic Pocomoke River is the backdrop for the Shad Landing area of Pocomoke River State Park. Mature stand​s of bald cypress trees surrounded by their protruding knees form a mysterious, primeval, yet idyllic setting for a paddle through the swamp. Bald eagles, osprey and other birds of prey are often seen nesting in the top of the bald cypress trees. The common prothonotary warbler builds nests in the cavities of decaying cypress knees. Largemouth bass, trout, perch and bluegills swim through the dark water of the Pocomoke River. The forest environment of the swamp provides a rich habitat for a variety of both small and large mammals. Today the swamp is home to a plethora of animal and plant species that find the swamp a useful place to hide and make their homes.

The area around Pocomoke River State Park also boasts of a rich history of human interactions. Records indicate that ancestors of the Pocomoke, Nanticoke, and Nassawattox tribes inhabited the area more than 10, 000 years ago. In fact, the name Pocomoke is believed to be an Algonquian word meaning “broken” or “pierced” ground, possibly referring to the cypress knees protruding up from the swamp. By the mid 1800’s the largely inaccessible swamp had become an important link in the underground railroad used by freedom seeking slaves and their guides. It was also a convenient hiding place for a number of miscreants, including deserting troops from the north and south, outlaws, and bootleggers! The state assumed control of the land in the mid 1950’s

Pocomoke River State Park - Shad Landing
3461 Worcester Highway
Snow Hill MD 21863

Directions to Pocomoke River State Park

Pocomoke River State Park is located in Worcester County. The Shad Landing area of Pocomoke River State Park is located on Rt. 113 between Snow Hill to the north and Pocomoke City to the south.

  • From points south: Take Rt. 13 north to Pocomoke City; turn right on to Rt. 113 (towards Berlin); nine miles on the left – watch for signs.
  • From points north: from Salisbury, take Rt. 12 (Snow Hill Road) to Snow Hill; at stop light turn right on Business 113; take Business 113 to Rt. 113 south; one mile on the right – watch for signs.


  • Make a reservation to stay at the park.