While Montgomery County, Maryland offers all the sights and sounds of an urban, metropolitan community, it is also equal parts rural and rustic. From scenic lakes and wild animals, to hiking trails and whitewater kayaking, our many public parks have a lot to offer. Go out, explore, and you will be sure to have an adventure to last a lifetime!
Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park. The gardens also features two conservatories for year-round enjoyment. A horticultural reference library is located in the airy Visitors Center. Admission to the gardens is free.
Rock Creek Regional Park
Open from sunrise to sunset all year round, Rock Creek Regional Park stretches across 1,800 acres and includes beautiful Lake Needwood and Lake Frank. Enjoy all that the park has to offer by trekking along its 13 miles of woodland trails along the lake shores. Spend the afternoon picnicking, fishing, or boating – you might just catch a glimpse of the resident wildlife. Rock Creek Regional Park is also home to Go Ape, an interactive treetop adventure course that features various obstacles, including five zip lines, Tarzan swings, rope ladders, bridges, and trapezes.
Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park is a beautiful 800-acre park that surrounds Great Falls, where the Potomac River builds up speed as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. Nearly half a million people visit the park each year to hike the trails that overlook the falls in all their glory. Great Falls Park is also popular with bicyclists, birdwatchers, rock climbers, equestrians, and fishers. The Potomac River’s currents, standing waves, and hydraulics also make the park a top destination for whitewater kayaking and canoeing.
Seneca Creek State Park
The 6,300-acre Seneca Creek State Park extends along 14 miles of Seneca Creek, as it winds its way into the Potomac River. The park includes forests, fields, and the 90-acre Clopper Lake. Park goers can have a picnic, rent a boat on the lake, or play in the tire playground. There is also a restored 19th century cabin and a self-guided path to explore the history of the area. Hikers can take on the 12-mile Schaeffer Farm Trail Area. For the more daring, there is the 16.5-mile Seneca Creek Greenway Trail that follows the entire course of the creek. Between mid-May and June, you can revel in the majesty of the Schwartz peony gardens in full bloom.
Black Hill Regional Park
Black Hill Regional Park has more than 2,000 acres of land perfect for outdoor recreation and family gatherings. Enjoy spectacular views of Little Seneca Lake from the many picnic shelters, volleyball courts, playgrounds, and trails in the park. Or, rent a canoe, kayak, or rowboat from Black Hill Boats for an afternoon on the lake. Black Hill Regional Park also has over 20 miles of hard and natural surface trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Dog owners and their canine companions will love the half-acre dog park!
Agricultural History Farm Park
Learn about the past, present, and future of Montgomery’s farming community at the Agricultural History Farm Park. The 455-acre park features rolling hills, open fields, an apple orchard, and a variety of farm animals for visitors. Get a unique perspective on the area’s rich farming heritage while visiting barns, historic 19th century farmsteads, a modern farming activity center, and other facilities in the park. It also includes 4 miles of natural surface trails, perfect for hiking and horseback riding.
Patuxent River State Park
Located in Montgomery and Howard counties along the upper 12 miles of the Patuxent River, the Patuxent River State Park is comprised of 6,700 acres of natural areas and farmlands. Recreational use is primarily hunting, fishing, hiking and horseback riding.