UPDATE 7:15 a. m., March 10, 2014: All park roads are open.
All park roads are open. Beach Drive from Porter Street to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway will be closed from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. for Zoo tunnel work. Conditions on all park roads will continue to be monitored for safety.
March 10 Road Closure: Beach Drive between Rock Creek & Potomac Parkway and Porter Street, NW
On March 10th from 9:30 a. m. until 2:30 p. m., Beach Drive will be closed between Rock Creek & Potomac Parkway and Porter Street, NW for maintenance work on the zoo tunnel.
Road Closures during Rock Creek Park Deer Reduction Operations
Temporary night-time road closures will be in effect during reduction activities which may occur January 2 through March 31, 2014.
Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Lane Closures and Construction Update Winter 2013/2014
Construction work on Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway at Waterside Drive continues. There will be lane closures between rush hours to accommodate work on the roadway, multi-use trail and infrastructure. More »
History & Culture
The Rock Creek Valley has a long and varied history. For millennia, American Indians quarried rock outcroppings to make tools, fished the creek, and hunted wild game in the woodlands. In the 1600s and early 1700s, European Americans claimed title to the land. As tobacco farming and African American slavery became more widespread, Georgetown was chartered at the mouth of Rock Creek. In the late 1700s and into the 1800s, tobacco farming exhausted the soil, resulting in many farmers switching to wheat and corn production. Gristmills, the most successful being Peirce Mill, were constructed along Rock Creek to convert grain into flour.
The Rock Creek area was deforested during the U.S. Civil War. Logs and branches were felled and then laid out systematically throughout the soon-to-be park by Union soldiers to make a Confederate march through the valley impossible. Civil War fortifications in and around the valley bombarded General Jubal Early's Confederate troops during the July, 1864 Battle of Fort Stevens.
In 1890, Rock Creek Park became one of the first federally managed parks. Since then, citizens seeking recreation and re-creation in nature have sought out this 1700 acre park. As an administrative unit of the U.S. National Park System, Rock Creek Park now manages Meridian Hill Park, Dumbarton Oaks Park, Montrose Park, Old Stone House, the Francis Scott Key Memorial Park, Fort Stevens, and many more sites throughout northwest and even northeast D.C. Each of these parks has significant history of their own; find out more by clicking on the links below.
Did You Know?
When the National Park Service bought the Old Stone House in the 1950's it was occupied by the Parkway Motors used car lot.