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Nearly 350-acre Belle Vue Farm in Harford County, slated to be turned into parkland, to open for ticketed tour Oct. 2

Tickets are now available for a one-day preview tour of the nearly 350-acre Belle Vue Farm, which Harford County purchased last year for conservation and conversion to a public park, the Harford Land Trust announced.

The property, acquired by the county in September 2020, is not yet open to the public, but people will have an opportunity to visit it Oct. 2 before its formal opening, the date of which has not been announced, according to the Harford Land Trust.

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The county plans to turn the farm into a public park, and the purchase was decades in the making. Harford County first expressed interest in buying the land in 1994, but it was not until last year that the property came into the county’s hands.

The county paid $6.27 million for the 347-acre farm, which includes one mile of Chesapeake Bay coastline.

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While on the farm, visitors can participate in bird walks, guided nature meditation, history talks, self-guided nature walks, outdoor painting and decoy carving demonstrations among other activities, according to a news release from the Harford Land Trust.

Tickets to the event cost $25 per car before Sept. 15, after which the price increases to $35 a car, according to the land trust. Visitors can tour the farm property between 8:30 and 11 a.m. or 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 2 by reservation only. Tickets can be purchased on the land trust’s website.

Belle Vue Farm had been privately owned and operated by the same family since before the American Revolution and is contiguous with public parkland at Swan Harbor Farm to the north and Tydings Park to the south. Collectively, the three parks will make up approximately 1,250 acres of preserved land on the Oakington Peninsula, including 2.5 miles of coastline.

Because of its location between the two other public parks, Belle Vue was called “the missing puzzle piece,” in promotional material.

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One of Belle Vue’s American holly trees is listed as a Maryland’s Big Tree, a program sponsored by the state Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. The property also contains a boxwood estimated to be more than 300 years old.

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