Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park Welcome to the official page of Rock Creek Park, a unit of the National Park Service--www.nps.gov/rocr. This page is maintained by park staff.

An oasis in our nation's capital, the park offers hiking and biking trails, historical sites and exhibits, nature and planetarium programs and more.

Operating as usual

When Rock Creek Park was first established in 1890, photography was entering a new age. George Eastman had developed a p...
05/05/2021

When Rock Creek Park was first established in 1890, photography was entering a new age. George Eastman had developed a point-and-shoot-style camera marketed to anyone that could press a button. These cameras were then mailed to the Eastman-Kodak Company and the developed pictures returned to customers. People anxiously awaited their return to view and share precious memories.

Today, photography is much easier. With the push of a button or wave of a hand photographs and videos are easily taken and uploaded to social media, including and often from smartphones and other mobile devices. We can edit and share images and memories almost instantly.

May is National Photo Month. Feel free to share your favorite Rock Creek Park memories below.

#NationalPhotoMonth #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque

In case you are wondering about the injured owl at Rock Creek Park...🦉 He is a young, male barred owl approximately four...
05/03/2021

In case you are wondering about the injured owl at Rock Creek Park...

🦉 He is a young, male barred owl approximately four-weeks-old.

🦉 The raptor center staff said he has a simple leg fracture (one break). This is a good thing compared to many breaks.

🦉 He is resting comfortably.

We hope he will heal quickly.

Feel free to share good thoughts for the owl and his caregivers below.

Rock Creek Conservancy
Friends of Peirce Mill
Friends Of Chevy Chase Circle
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - PATC
Washington Parks & People
Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy
Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park
Georgetown Heritage
America's National Parks
Alice Ferguson Foundation
National Park Foundation
United States Park Police

In case you are wondering about the injured owl at Rock Creek Park...

🦉 He is a young, male barred owl approximately four-weeks-old.

🦉 The raptor center staff said he has a simple leg fracture (one break). This is a good thing compared to many breaks.

🦉 He is resting comfortably.

We hope he will heal quickly.

Feel free to share good thoughts for the owl and his caregivers below.

Rock Creek Conservancy
Friends of Peirce Mill
Friends Of Chevy Chase Circle
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - PATC
Washington Parks & People
Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy
Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park
Georgetown Heritage
America's National Parks
Alice Ferguson Foundation
National Park Foundation
United States Park Police

Sometimes Mother Nature needs a little help—professional help, that is.Today, several visitors told a park ranger about ...
05/02/2021

Sometimes Mother Nature needs a little help—professional help, that is.

Today, several visitors told a park ranger about a young owl on the ground. Besides being out of its nest, the owl displayed signs of injury. It had trouble standing and was laying on the ground with one outstretched wing.

With advice from park resource management staff and City Wildlife, rangers gently handled and transported the injured young barred owl to a wildlife rehabilitation center for assessment.

So, what should you do if you find a potentially injured animal in Rock Creek Park? At this time, please contact U.S. Park Police Dispatch at 202–610–7505 (24-hour line). You can try the main park phone lines at 202-895-6000, but do not leave a voicemail message in this type of emergency situation.

Do not pick up the animal or transport it anywhere. Leave this to the professionals. You could do more harm than good in the process.

Stay tuned for additional updates about this topic, both on this page and on our park website.

Photo Caption 1 and 2: Wildlife rehabilitator holds young injured barred owl during initial assessment.

Photo 3: Young owl found laying on the ground with one wing outstretched.

Rock Creek Conservancy Friends of Peirce Mill Friends of Chevy Chase Circle, Inc. Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - Rock Creek Crew Washington Parks & People Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park Georgetown Heritage America's National Parks Alice Ferguson Foundation National Park Foundation United States Park Police

#DidYouKnow that several of the historic Civil War Defenses of Washington are protected as part of Rock Creek Park?
04/26/2021

#DidYouKnow that several of the historic Civil War Defenses of Washington are protected as part of Rock Creek Park?

Happy Earth(works) Day from the Civil War Defenses of Washington!

The capital forts were constructed of earth and timber during the war. Sites were selected; trees were felled, and the soldiers and civilians excavated earth to construct the walls, often using the dirt from the ditch to create the parapets. The walls were reinforced with wooden planks or posts called revetments. By the end of the war, Washington DC was one of the most heavily fortified cities in the world.

Brevet Major General John G. Barnard, Chief Engineer, proudly describes the full scope of the defenses in his after-action report, issued in 1871:

"At the termination of the war in April 1865, the 'Defenses of Washing­ton' consisted of 68 enclosed forts and batteries, having an aggregate perimeter of 22,800 yards, (13 miles,) and emplacements for 1,120 guns, 807 of which and 98 mortars were actually mounted; of 93 unarmed batteries for field-guns, having 401 emplacements; and of 35,711 yards (20 miles) of rifle-trenches, and 3 block-houses. Thirty-two miles of military roads, besides the existing roads of the District and the avenues of Washington, served as the means of com­munication from the interior to the defensive lines, and from point to point thereof. The entire circuit, including the distance across the Potomac from Fort Greble to Fort Lyon, (four miles,) was, as has already been stated, thirty­ seven miles."

#NationalParkWeek #Earthday #FindYourFort

IMAGE:
2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery at Fort Slemmer in the Northern Defenses during the Civil War. The parapet, ditch, sallyport, abatis, revetments are all visible in the image.
Courtesy: The Library of Congress

Rock Creek Park wants dogs and their humans to have a pawsitive experience in the park, while keeping people, pets and w...
04/25/2021

Rock Creek Park wants dogs and their humans to have a pawsitive experience in the park, while keeping people, pets and wildlife safe using the B.A.R.K ranger principles.

It’s easy to BARK!

B = Bag Your Pet’s Waste and Dispose of it Properly

A = Always Leash Your Pet

R = Respect Wildlife

K = Know Where You Can Go

Visit the https://www.nps.gov/subjects/pets/index.htm for (de)tails.

#BarkRanger #NationalParkWeek #findyourpark

It's National #JuniorRangerDay! Who in your family has a Junior Ranger badge? This weekend, both our basic Junior Ranger...
04/24/2021

It's National #JuniorRangerDay! Who in your family has a Junior Ranger badge?

This weekend, both our basic Junior Ranger book (appropriate for those ages 5-8) and our advanced Junior Ranger book (appropriate for those ages 9+) will be available on the table outside the Rock Creek Park Nature Center at 5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC.

Junior Rangers can mail completed books to the park, and staff will send them their badges and some extra fun Junior Ranger goodies!

Learn more at www.nps.gov/rocr/learn/kidsyouth/beajuniorranger.htm

#FindYourPark #NationalParkWeek

In our third and final National Park Week Friendship Friday post, we continue to highlight some of our wonderful partner...
04/23/2021

In our third and final National Park Week Friendship Friday post, we continue to highlight some of our wonderful partner organizations. To learn more about these and other partners, please visit the partners page on our website: https://www.nps.gov/rocr/getinvolved/partners.htm.

Friends of Chevy Chase Circle, Inc. – This partner is a philanthropic group that works with the National Park Service to “renew, beautify, maintain and protect Chevy Chase Circle, a historic landmark and a gateway to the Nation’s Capital.”

Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park – Established in 2005, this philanthropic partner works to “raise awareness of the park and to help support park enhancement and maintenance.”

Georgetown Heritage – This partner works with both Rock Creek Park and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, which intersect near the Key Bridge in Georgetown. This group’s first goal is “to restore and revitalize the mile-long section of the C&O Canal that runs through Georgetown.”

The activities of our partners are as diverse as both the park and the organizations themselves. Many of these groups offer volunteer opportunities. Although COVID has limited many of their activities, please check our partners’ websites for current and future events as the gradual lifting of COVID restrictions allows for more activities. Be sure to check out our posts from earlier today to learn about more of our partners!

#NPSFriends #NationalParkWeek #ConnectedConservation

In our second National Park Week Friendship Friday post, we continue to highlight many of our wonderful park partners. T...
04/23/2021

In our second National Park Week Friendship Friday post, we continue to highlight many of our wonderful park partners. To learn more about these and other partners, please visit the partners page on our website: https://www.nps.gov/rocr/getinvolved/partners.htm.

Friends of Peirce Mill – This partner works with the park to restore, preserve, and maintain Peirce Mill. The Friends of Peirce Mill are involved with many activities such as working with Rock Creek Park on joint development, presentation, and scheduling of educational programs; providing volunteer docents to give tours and answer questions at the mill; providing engineering expertise, as needed; and raising funds for the continued restoration of the mill. In addition, they manage the demonstration orchard near the mill.

Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington – The Alliance is an “association of people interested in the Civil War and historic preservation of the Civil War Defenses of Washington.” The Alliance works with the National Park Service to present the annual commemoration of the Battle of Fort Stevens.

Rock Creek Conservancy – This partner’s purpose is “to restore Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect.” Their activities include recruiting and training volunteers to care for the creek and surrounding parks, working on restoration projects, and advocating for Rock Creek Park and the creek’s watershed.

The activities of our partners are as diverse as both the park and the organizations themselves. Many of these groups offer volunteer opportunities. Although COVID has limited many of their activities, please check our partners’ websites for current and future events as the gradual lifting of COVID restrictions allows for more activities. Be sure to check our partner post from earlier today, and come back later to learn about more of our partners!

#NPSFriends #NationalParkWeek #ConnectedConservation

Here at #RockCreekPark, we work with several wonderful partner organizations, and we’d like to highlight many of them fo...
04/23/2021

Here at #RockCreekPark, we work with several wonderful partner organizations, and we’d like to highlight many of them for National Park Week’s Friendship Friday. Rock Creek Park is an urban park with diverse resources, including natural and historical resources, buildings, trails, and creeks. Our partners are passionate about the resources they help preserve and often consider the park to be their front yard or backyard. Many of our partners help care for specific areas of the park or a specific type of resource such as trails. We have so many partners that will have three posts about them today. To learn more about these and other partners, please visit the partners page on our website: https://www.nps.gov/rocr/getinvolved/partners.htm.

Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy – This partner, established in 2010, is working to restore the “naturalistic” garden landscape design of Dumbarton Oaks Park. The park was once part of the Dumbarton Oaks estate, which was designed by Beatrix Farrand, the first professional female landscape architect in the U.S.

Washington Parks & People – Created in 1990, this group worked to revitalize Meridian Hill Park. In addition, they manage revitalization and clean-up projects in parks and green spaces across DC, with the goal of providing people with access to fresh air and safe parks.

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - PATC – In addition to having helped build the Appalachian Trail and continuing to maintain it, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club maintains many trails in the Potomac River area, including trails in Rock Creek Park.

The activities of our partners are as diverse as both the park and the organizations themselves. Many of these groups offer volunteer opportunities. Although COVID has limited many of their activities, please check our partners’ websites for current and future events as the gradual lifting of COVID restrictions allows for more activities. Be sure to check back later to learn about more of our partners!

#NPSFriends #NationalParkWeek #ConnectedConservation

Close to 99% of the Extreme Cleanup statistics are in now. It seems only fitting to announce the results on #EarthDay. (...
04/23/2021

Close to 99% of the Extreme Cleanup statistics are in now. It seems only fitting to announce the results on #EarthDay. (Drum roll, please!)

Please show some love by leaving a comment below for our partners and volunteers...

Thank you to the Rock Creek Conservancy, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy, and the Alice Ferguson Foundation for their efforts to coordinate trash removal from the park this month!

A total of 350 volunteers spent an average of 2 hours each to remove a collective 1.8 tons of trash from Rock Creek Park this month.

Overall, the Rock Creek Conservancy managed 568 volunteers (in 77 individual cleanups) to remove an overall 3.6 tons of trash from the Rock Creek Watershed (both DC and Montgomery County, MD) this month.

The Extreme Cleanup is part of the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, which occurs in four states and the District of Columbia each April.

#NationalParkWeek #cleanup

Rock Creek Conservancy Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy Alice Ferguson Foundation

Do you recognize this building?   This photo was taken in July 1959, before the structure was altered into a building st...
04/21/2021

Do you recognize this building?

This photo was taken in July 1959, before the structure was altered into a building still in Rock Creek Park today.

If you guessed this is the Nature Center, you’d be correct! Usable portions of a five-room caretaker’s house, which had been built in 1936, were incorporated into the design of the Nature Center. Previously, the Nature Center was located at Klingle Mansion, the current site of Rock Creek Park Headquarters.

This new nature center was dedicated on June 4, 1960, at a total cost of $333,500.

#WaybackWednesday

#NationalParkWeek

Careful construction transforms places into parks. Learn about our work to protect Rock Creek Park and see before/after ...
04/21/2021

Careful construction transforms places into parks. Learn about our work to protect Rock Creek Park and see before/after photos from the Beach Drive Rehabilitation project at: go.nps.gov/BeachDrive.

#TransformationTuesday #NationalParkWeek #NPSOnTheMove #rockcreekpark

04/19/2021

Have you ever wondered where the road names in Rock Creek Park come from? Several roads were named to acknowledge Army officers responsible for managing the park before the park was turned over to the National Park Service in 1933. Captain Lansing H. Beach, Lt. Colonel Clarence O. Sherrill, Major Ulysses S. Grant III, Major Jay J. Morrow, and Colonel Theodore A. Bingham were all honored by having their names bestowed on park roadways. On this #MilitaryMonday, we salute them and all our service members.

#MilitaryMonday
#NationalParkWeek

Alt Text: Slideshow showing the men mentioned in the post in their military uniforms. Last image in slideshow is official Park Week 2021 graphic for Military Monday showing an image of a soldier saluting, filled in with a camouflaged pattern.

Thank you to the Rock Creek Conservancy, Alice Ferguson Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy, Washington Parks & ...
04/18/2021

Thank you to the Rock Creek Conservancy, Alice Ferguson Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy, Washington Parks & People, and the hundreds of volunteers that have helped pick up litter in Rock Creek Park in the month of April. These efforts have been part of the #ExtremeCleanup, #PotomacCleanup, and ongoing volunteer activities.

By the end of the month, small socially-distanced groups will have participated in over 40 litter pickup events in the park, plus others will have picked up trash individually or as families. While the final numbers aren’t in yet, it is safe to say that at least a ton of trash has been removed from the park already!

If you would like to help by picking up trash on your own or joining one of the remaining events later this month, visit: https://www.rockcreekconservancy.org/what-we-do/upcoming-events.

For other events in the DC metro area, visit www.potomaccleanup.org

Thank you for showing how much you care for your national parks!

Happy National Park Week (April 17-25, 2021)!

Photo of volunteers used with permission from the Rock Creek Conservancy.

#NPSVolunteer #NationalParkWeek #rockcreekpark #loverockcreek

Rock Creek Park has quite the nightlife, but not the kind you may be thinking of! There are bugs to catch out there, and...
04/17/2021
Species Spotlight: Northern Long-Eared Bat

Rock Creek Park has quite the nightlife, but not the kind you may be thinking of! There are bugs to catch out there, and bats are on the job!

Let’s hear it for #BatAppreciationDay!

Listen to this short podcast (2:30) for more info:
https://www.explorenaturalcommunities.org/parks-places/rock-creek-park/videos-and-podcasts/species-spotlight-northern-long-eared-bat

The transcript is available on the webpage.

Photo Caption / Credit: Hibernating northern long-eared bat by Ann Froschauer/USFWS

@BatCon @NatureServe @USFWS City Wildlife
#RockCreekPark #bats #bat

Credits Created by Erin Ziegler, Explore Natural Communities Intern Summer 2015, NatureServe. Featuring Micaela Jemison, Bat Conservation International.

Address

5200 Glover Road NW
Washington D.C., DC
20015

Metro Bus accessible

General information

Page Expectations and Guidelines: Welcome to Rock Creek Park's page. We hope this will become a place where fans feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about Rock Creek Park with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other fan's opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines here. If you do not comply, your message will be removed. We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. Posting of external links on this site that are intended as advertising (or to drive traffic to websites unrelated to Rock Creek Park), or do not contribute to dialog and discussions about Rock Creek Park may be deleted. People who continue to post such links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. External links do not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. National Park Service or the U.S. Department of Interior.

Opening Hours

Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(202) 895-6000

Alerts

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Videos

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Comments

Does anyone know if the trails leading out of the nature center are clear of ice and snow? We want to walk there tomorrow.
Can you tell me what these are? Anchored in concrete, almost in the creek bed - off Beach Drive near the Jusserand Memorial. UPDATE: Remains of a 1901 footbridge destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Thanks to John De Ferrari for his help.
Boulder bridge. #rockcreekpark
Is the Old Stone House still closed?
Do you have any maps for your trails? 😊☺️
How best to report a super stinky dead deer in RCP, just south of the Klingle Ford Bridge? Been there since Saturday...