Located on 232 acres of rolling hills with a variety of habitats, the Conservancy is ideally suited for nature study and exploration. Home to more than 140 species of birds and wildlife, offering beautiful vistas of the Patapsco Valley, and all just 15 minutes from Columbia. Here, history and nature set the pace for your learning experience.
Hiking and Exploring
- We have 5 miles of trails, which are open dawn to dusk daily. Download our overview trail map and core area map. For a richer experience, use our Self-Guided Hike brochures to identify points of interest along the way!
- East – Woodland Trail Self-Guided Hike
- West – Meadowlands Self-Guided Hike
- Explore our historic farmstead through a virtual tour!
- See the list of geocaches hidden on our property here and visit www.geocaching.com to learn more
Please follow these rules during your visit:
1. Grounds and trails are open from dawn to dusk daily
2. No parking along driveway
3. Pets must be on a leash and under control at all times
4. For your safety, stay on marked trails
5. Please leave no trace
6. No horses/bicycles/scooters/or motorized vehicles on trails
7. Clean up after pets and place waste in dumpster located at the Tulip Poplar trail head near the Bank Barn
8. Groups of 10 or more must reserve spaces for picnics, parties, meetings, etc to include picnic areas, patios, gardens. Spaces may not be available if already reserved.
9. No grills, open flames or alcoholic beverages
10. Professional photographers must be registered and have their permit visible while onsite.
Nature and Wildlife
- Learn about our animals with this walking tour guide – Visit our Animal Residents. The Conservancy is home to goats, chickens, a diamondback terrapin, barred owl and black rat snake.
- Discover our Butterfly Garden, founded by Girl Scout Troop #1744. Click here to read the full history of this beautiful habitat.
- View the Howard County Bird Club’s Site Guide to the Howard County Conservancy site, also called Mt. Pleasant. Bring it with you or view it before you come so you are on the lookout for these species.
Grounds and Facilities
- Our expanded Nature Center and offices are open Monday – Saturday, 9am-3pm, closed Saturdays during the winter.
- Walk on our trails to Hodgepodge Lodge – the cabin from one of the first nature TV shows for children.
- Visit our gift cart in our nature center.
- Explore historic Montjoy Barn and farm outbuildings.
- Visit our Bank Barn to see our solar panel display.
- Walk around the west side of our Farmhouse to see the display window showing the original logs dating back to the 1700s log cabin.
- If you are planning an organized group visit to Mt Pleasant, please call our offices before to confirm there are no Conservancy field trips or events that would conflict with your visit. Grounds contracts are available to assure your group has dedicated access to an area of our grounds.
Posed/Commercial Photographers: All photographers MUST obtain an Annual Photo Pass before coming onsite. See full photography policy here.