by Katherine O. Rizzo (first published in the August 2022 Equiery)

When we polled Equiery readers in 2021 about their favorite public parks to trail ride in, the votes for Queen Anne’s County were tied between the Conquest Preserve and the Nemo Equestrian Trail at Price Creek Environmental Area. This month, we will highlight both parks.

Conquest Preserve
The Conquest Preserve is located on Spaniards Neck near Comegys Bight on the Chester River. The park entrance is located at 500 Conquest Beach Road in Centreville. Although it is a public park, the land, including the trails, is currently only available for use by reservation. The park features a main pavilion, clubhouse, smaller park pavilions, stage, bleacher and several trails.

Trail access is available for groups and organizations to rent for special events and/or fundraisers, but rental does not give groups exclusive use on the day of the rental. A rental deposit fee of $100 is required and will be refunded if no damage and/or trash is found on the park property at the end of the rental day.

The park offers a total of 31 miles of multi-use trails, all of which offer spectacular views of the river and fantastic bird watching opportunities. The trail surface and lengths vary but the main Conquest Equestrian Trail is a 1.5 mile natural surface trail.

Blue Heron Nature Preserve
Price Creek Environmental Area was recently renamed the Blue Heron Nature Preserve and contains the popular Nemo Equestrian Trail. The Preserve is 300 acres and is located to the east of Rt. 8 South/Romancoke Rd. The park’s entrance is just south of Blue Heron Golf Course on Romancoke Road in Stevensville. The multi-use trails are all natural surface and wind through wetlands, pollinator habitats, meadowlands and forest areas.

The Preserve is protected through a Maryland Environmental Trust Easement. Trail riders can see waterfowl and migratory birds as well as an abundance of native flora and fauna.