Temporary Suspension of Reference Collection Research
Due to the park archives and research room/library space move, new public research requests will not be filled until at least May 30th, 2014.
Change in Park Hours
The park is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last shuttle bus departing Lower Town at 5:45 p.m. More »
Almost anywhere you visit in the park will have various fern species to observe since they occupy a wide variety of habitats. On the rock ledges and crevices of outcrops, woolly lip fern (Cheilanthes tomentosa), the locally rare lobed spleenwort (Asplenium pinnatifidum), and the common polypody (Polypodium virginianum) are likely to be found. But on the steep, rocky, and partially shaded slopes of Short Hill, Maryland Heights, and LoudounHeights, marginal shield fern (Dryopteris mariginalis) and Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) are more common. The floodplains and moist, shaded, low slopes surrounding the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers support even more fern species, including intermediate shield fern (Dryopteris intermedia), New York fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), and fragile fern (Cystopteris protrusa).
Did You Know?
Robert Harper operated a ferry across the Potomac River in 1747. His heirs, the Wagers, maintained the operation until 1824 when a bridge was built across the Potomac.