Rock Creek Park
Washington, DC
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

[ Print this page ]
Brief Description:

Rock Creek Park is truly a gem in our nation's capital. It offers visitors an opportunity to reflect and soothe their spirits through the beauty of nature along a tributary of the Potomac River, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Fresh air, majestic trees, wild animals, and the ebb and flow of Rock Creek emanate the delicate aura of the forest.

Our country's history abounds within the park. Visitors walk in the footsteps of Piscataway Indians, the Old Stone House attests to a time when Washington, D.C. was a new capital, Peirce Mill reminds us how a new technology aided the economic growth of the nation, and Civil War remnants divulge stories of unrest. Ultimately, the establishment of Rock Creek Park in 1890, “...for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States” served as an inspiration for the creation of future National Parks. Although people come to the park for different reasons, they all have a common love for Rock Creek Park. The park fosters memories of the past while creating new memories for the future. You are encouraged to visit your national park, Rock Creek Park often, and to discover ways that you can help protect this special “common ground” for all who visit. Come see how it serves as a true gateway to the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Location / Directions:

Plane: The local airports are Reagan National, Dulles International, and Batimore and Washington International.

Car: From downtown DC, take the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway north to Beach Drive. Exit onto Beach Drive, north, and take it to Broad Branch Road, make a left and then a right onto Glover Road, follow the signs to the Nature Center. Note: The Parkway is oneway south on weekdays from 6:45 am to 9:45 am . During this time you can use 16th Street to Military Road west then turn left on Glover Rd., as an alternate. The Parkway is oneway north from 3:45 pm to 6:30 pm. You can take Glover Rd to Military Road east then south on 16th to downtown DC as an alternate.

Public Transportation: For public transportation to the Nature Center, take the red metroline to either the Friendship Heights or Fort Totten Metro stops. Transfer to the E2 bus line, which runs along Military/ Missouri/ Riggs Road) between the two stations. Get off at the intersection of Glover (also called Oregon) and Military Roads. Walk south on the trail up the hill to the Nature Center (approximately 100 yards).

Address: Rock Creek Park
3545 Williamsburg Lane NW
Washington, DC 20008
Visitor Phone: (202) 895-6070
Business Phone: (202) 895-6000
E-mail: ROCR_superintendent@nps.gov
Activities: Rock Creek Park is a place to play soccer, picnic, hike, bike and rollerblade, play tennis, fish, golf, horseback ride, listen to a concert, or attend programs with a park ranger.

Biking Fishing Hiking Tours / Walking Tours

Operating Hours:

The Park is open during daylight hours, 7 days a week.

Nature Center and Planetarium: Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Closed on New Year's, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Call 202-895-6070 for more information.

Old Stone House: Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00 PM. Groups may make reservations for 10:00 to 11:30 AM by calling 202-426-6851. Closed on New Year's, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

Peirce Mill: Closed for repairs until further notice.

Peirce Barn: Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00 PM. Groups may make reservations for 10:00 to 11:30 AM by calling 202-895-6070. Closed on New Year's, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

Fees: Free admission
Visitor Facilities:

Nature Center and Planetarium:

  • Open All Year Wednesday through Sunday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Phone: 202-895-6070
  • Location: 5200 Glover Road, NW Washington, DC 20015
  • Closures: Mondays and Tuesdays, New Year's, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
  • Special Programs: Public programs, including nature programs and planetarium shows, available weekdays at 4:00PM and throughout the weekend. Additionally, groups may reserve educational programs Wednesday through Friday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • Exhibits: Nature exhibits (Exhibit Hall with plants and animals found in the park and a new, bilingual and interactive, Discover/ Descubra Rock Creek Park exhibit on the habitats found in the park), nature trails, trail for the visually impaired and a Discovery Room for preschool children.
  • Available Facilities: Information desk and Restrooms.

Old Stone House

  • Open All Year Group tours (10 or more) available by reservation.
  • Phone: 202-895-6070 for info
  • Location: 3051 M Street, NW Washington, DC
  • Special Programs: Group(10 or more)tours of the Old Stone House by reservation only. For information call 202-895-6070
  • Exhibits: Colonial house, displays on 18th century living, flower/ herb garden.
  • Available Facilities: Information desk, Book Store

Peirce Barn:

  • Open All Year Saturday and Sunday noon to 4:00PM
  • Phone: 202-282-0927
  • Location: Tilden and Beach Drive
  • Special Programs: Public Ranger led nature and historical programs. Environmental, Cultural and Historical education programs by reservation. Call (202) 895-6070.
  • Exhibits: Mills of Rock Creek Park and The Peirce Estate
  • Available Facilities: Information desk, Rest Rooms

Peirce Mill

  • Phone: 202-282-0927
  • Closed for repairs until further notice. For futher information contact the Rock Creek Park Nature Center at (202)895-6070
Size: 1,755 acres
Accessibility: All sites are handicapped accessible.
Website: http://www.nps.gov/rocr

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY