Major Improvements Completed at Morgan Run’s Accessible Fishing Platform

New accessibility features make it easier for anglers with disabilities to cast a line at popular fly-fishing destination

Photo of group of people cutting a ribbon in an outdoors area

The ribbon is cut at Morgan Run’s accessible fishing platform. Photo by AJ Metcalf, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has completed significant improvements to the fly-fishing platform at Morgan Run Natural Environment Area to improve accessibility for Maryland’s anglers with disabilities. 

After several months of work, the area is now open and accessible for all to enjoy. Today, DNR Secretary Josh Kurtz, Maryland Department of Disabilities Assistant Secretary John Brennan, and project partners held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the new improvements.

Working with the Maryland Department of Disabilities and other state and local partners, DNR upgraded the fishing platform at the Eldersburg park to make it ADA-compliant. The upgrades included reconfiguring the slope of the existing pathway, paving the parking lot, and creating a more favorable instream habitat to hold trout closer to the fishing platform. These improvements allow anglers with mobility disabilities to easily and safely access the fishing platform and provide a better fishing experience at Morgan Run.

“The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working to ensure that the state’s magnificent natural resources are accessible to all citizens and visitors,” said DNR Secretary Josh Kurtz. “DNR’s goal was to provide a positive and safe experience for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts regardless of their physical abilities, and I’m confident we achieved that with this project at Morgan Run.”

Morgan Run was the first public land site in Maryland to provide accessibility to anglers with disabilities, such as individuals who use wheelchairs, beginning with the installation of a volunteer-built fly fishing platform in 1996. The site also provides access to the non-angling public with disabilities to be streamside and enjoy nature, expanding benefits to other constituents that the department serves. The new improvements provide increased handicap accessibility to the area, further enhancing recreational opportunities for all Marylanders.

“We are pleased to make this recreational resource available to our local communities and visitors, ” said Carol A. Beatty, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Disabilities. “We want to be a partner in creating spaces where everyone can come together and have fun. Thank you to DNR for partnering with us on this project and we look forward to working together again in the future.” 

DNR and the Department of Disabilities funded the project and built it in partnership with U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.

Located in Carroll County, the Morgan Run Natural Environment Area comprises about 2,000 acres of natural area including hiking and equestrian trails in addition to its catch-and-release trout stream. To locate additional accessible recreational amenities in Maryland state forests and parks, visit DNR’s Accessibility For All website.

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