Plan Like a Park Ranger: Ten Tips for Visiting Rock Creek Park
Learn more tools of the trade for planning your visit.
Rock Creek contains high levels of E. coli, other bacteria, and algae that can be harmful to humans and pets. Learn more about how to Stay Dry, Stay Safe!
Learn more about why it's important to Hug a Tree!
Stay on official, designated trails. As visitors try to spread out, it can be tempting to use unofficial (‘social’) trails to get away. These paths are not part of Rock Creek Park’s official trail system, which is maintained for your use.
Unofficial trails (known as social trails) fragment the forest, making them vulnerable to invasion by non-native plants. This can lead to the loss of trees, which support our health and provide critical habitat for wildlife.
The forests cool our city and clean the air – please help protect the forest so it can protect you. Please see this map of Rock Creek Park trails. Consider finding a trail that’s new to you if your regular hikes tend to be crowded, or visit at a different time of day. Always check current conditions to see what is – and isn’t open – in the park.
Learn more about how to Social distance--not social trails.
Rock Creek Park welcomes your leashed, furry friends and family! Discover what you can (and can’t) do with your pet and follow the B.A.R.K. principles. They help keep your pet, you, other visitors, and the park safe.
Learn more > Yep, your pet can be a B.A.R.K. Ranger
Let us know if your dog and you would like to serve as a good example for others and help educate other dog owners!
Learn more > Seven principles to Leave No Trace
For picnic grove problems, car troubles, injured wildlife, or non-emergency safety concerns, call the United States Park Police. They can be reached 24-hours-a-day at 202-610-7500.
Learn more > One app, every park at your fingertip
Last updated: June 11, 2021