Southern Maryland: National Colonial Farm to Oxon Cove Park

For the first time since leaving the mouth of the Potomac at Point Lookout, the Potomac Heritage Trail enters suburbia. Still, the route does not leave the river or experience of nature behind. Thanks to early and innovative conservation efforts — like Piscataway, established to conserve the view from ount Vernon across the river — the trail route is an interesting show of the urban-rural interface. Yes, there are houses and cars, but there also are significant leafy scenes and waterfront parks. And the network of conservation lands owned by the National Park Service, Maryland and Prince George's County, offer plenty of opportunities taking the long stretches of the PHT off-road in the future. Parks along the way include Fort Washington, Potomac Waterfront Conservation Area, Riverview Park, and stream valley parks following Piscataway and Henson creeks.


Start: Entrance to National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park
End: Oxon Hill Farm
Miles: 19
Points of Interest: Piscataway Park, Fort Washington Park, Fort Foote
Parking: Piscataway Park, National Colonial Farm, Fort Washington Marina, Fort Washington Park, Fort Foote
Water, restrooms: Piscataway Park, National Colonial Farm, Fort Washington Marina, Fort Washington Park, Fort Foote, Oxon Hill Farm
Provisions: Livingston Square Shopping Center
Camping: None


Hike Data

Mile Navigation
0 Junction of Bryan Point Rd. and Cactus Hill Rd. Go east on Bryan Hill Rd.
2.6 Turn left on Farmington Rd.
3.1 Farmington Landing (National Park Service)
4.1 Turn left on Route 210.
6.2 Turn left on Old Fort Rd.
8.3 Junction with Fort Washington Rd. Fort Washington Park (NPS) is 1 mile west on Fort Washington Rd. To continue on PHT, turn right and follow Fort Washington Rd.
8.5 Turn left on Tantallon Rd.
9.5 Turn left on Arrow Park Rd.
9.8 Turn left on Hollybank Rd.
9.9 Turn left on Swan Creek Rd.
10.7 Turn right on Riverview Rd.
11.5 Keep right on Riverview Rd.; pass Potomac River Waterfront Conservation Area on left.
12.0 Riverview Park
12.4 Junction, Henson Creek Trail.
12.5 Turn left on Fort Washington Rd.
12.9 Turn left on Livingston Rd.
13.0 Harmony Hall Arts and Community Center.
13.3 Piscataway House.
13.9 Turn left on Oxon Hill Rd.
14.4 Turn left on Fort Foote Rd.
15.6 Keep right at Thornton Parkway.
16.1 Fort Foote Historic Site.
17.3 Turn left on Oxon Hill Rd.
17.5 National Harbor.
18.0 Oxon Hill Manor Historical Site.



Fort Washington Park
This 341-acre park preserves a military site first constructed in 1809 and used during the War of 1812. It was rebuilt during the 19th century and was a critical part of the circle of forts protecting Washington during the Civil War. During World War I, troops mustered here in preparation for deployment in France. The fort was de-commissioned in 1939. There are picnic areas, fishing, hiking and biking trails, and a playground for children. Eagles are regular visitors, too.

Henson Creek Trail
This 5.5-mile greenway, connecting the PHT corridor with the Branch Avenue Metro, is open to bicyclists, hikers and equestrians. Fort Foote Historic Site. Constructed to defend the capital during the Civil War, Fort Foote was constructed on Rozier's Bluff from 1863 to 1865 to strengthen the circle of defenses around Washington, D.C. Fort Foote was designed to protect the river entrance to the ports of Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington and replace the aging Fort Washington as the primary river defense. The fort was named for Rear Adm. Andrew H. Foote who died in 1863 from wounds he received in combat the previous year. Managed by the National Park Service, the site contains the ruins of what is considered the best preserved Civil War fort in the region.

Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm
The main attraction at Oxon Cove Park, this working farm interprets farm life in the early 20th century. Originally founded as a working farm for the patients of the former St. Elizabeth's hospital, the farm's barns, stable, outbuildings and farmhouse are now open to the public. Exhibits in the visitors barn display farming techniques and principles; educational programs cover such topics as animal husbandry and cropping methods.

Last updated: July 7, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Potomac Heritage NST Office
P. O. Box B

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


(304) 535-4014

Contact Us