Alerts & Conditions

Visit national parks responsibly. Park in designated areas. Take everythign you bring with you home. Practice social distancing.
Please visit national parks responsibly

NPS

Your Visit to Rock Creek Park during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance listed below applies through October 9, 2020, unless otherwise noted.


The National Park Service (NPS) is following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, as we begin to increase recreational access and services. The NPS is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Plan to #RecreateResponsibly

As parks make more areas available to the public, the NPS encourages you to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and follow Leave No Trace principles when you visit:

  1. Know before you go. Visit NPS.gov/findapark for current park conditions and availability of restrooms and other facilities. Make a plan, follow the 10 Essentials, and if you are sick, stay home.
  2. Keep it close. Follow the state and county orders governing the open status of the area you’re considering visiting. The National Park Service is working closely with governors and state and local health departments as we increase access and services across the National Park System.
  3. Keep your distance. Recreate with the people in your household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, at a boat launch, or in a parking lot. Follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for staying six feet away from others. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth if you’re near others.
  4. Know your limits. Postpone challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks, and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.
  5. Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas. Follow Leave No Trace principles.

Open Areas

  • NOTE: Rock Creek Park manages 99 different pieces of land, so it isn't possible to list all open areas separately. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest federal, state, and local health guidance, outdoor spaces, including trails, will remain accessible to the public.
  • Park trails
  • Most bathrooms - Signs on doors list recommended occupancy during COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Montrose Park
    • Meridian Hill Park (16th Street NW & Euclid Street NW) - bathrooms close at 8:00 p.m. daily
    • Picnic Grove 24 (across the street by playground next to the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center at 1610 Kennedy Street, NW, Washington, DC)
    • Picnic Groves 6 (can drive or hike to it within 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile from the Nature Center - Military Road / Joyce Road & Beach Drive)
    • Picnic Grove 1 (near Peirce Mill, 2401 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC)
    • Bathrooms at Picnic Grove 10 remain closed.
  • Some roads
    • Beach Drive from Joyce Road NW to Picnic Grove 10 (to include all roadway between Picnic Groves 6-10) is open to both recreationists and vehicles on a daily basis.
    • Morrow Drive open to vehicles as of August 9, 2020
    • Vehicles must share roads throughout the park with recreationists!
  • Some parking lots
  • Tennis courts (23rd & N Street)
  • Picnic groves and shelters in Rock Creek Park
    • Picnic Groves 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 24 are limited to a maximum of 50 people.
    • All other picnic groves (Picnic Groves 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and picnic groves in the Civil War Defenses of Washington at Fort Slocum, Galloway Street NW east of South Dakota Avenue NW) are limited to 25 persons or less
  • Exercise facilities, 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW
  • Exercise facilities, Shoreham Drive and Cathedral Avenue NW
  • All playgrounds (Montrose Park, Woodley Park, Grant Circle NW, Picnic Grove 24, Fort Bayard)
  • Rock Creek Park Horse Center - By reservation only (trail rides, private instruction, and small classes up to 10 people at a time with reservations). No camps available at this time. Info: https://rockcreektennis.com/ (Opened May 29, 2020)
  • Thompson Boat Center - By reservation only (rentals, private slip holders, instruction up to 10 people per hour). Upstairs areas such as locker rooms and gymnasium closed at this time. Info: https://boatingindc.com/boathouses/thompson-boat-center/ (Opened May 29, 2020)
  • Rock Creek Park Tennis Center - By reservation only (court rentals, private lessons). Clinics and classes by reservation only will open on June 8 for up to 6 participants. No camps available at this time. Info: https://rockcreekhorsecenter.com/ (Opened June 5, 2020)
  • Rock Creek Park Golf Course - By reservation only (9-hole golf course, practice area, instruction up to 10 people). Clubhouse and camps closed at this time. Info: https://www.golfdc.com/rock-creek-gc (Opened June 5, 2020)
  • Key Bridge Boathouse - By reservation only (rentals, private slip holders, instruction up to 10 people per hour). Info: https://boatingindc.com/boathouses/key-bridge-boathouse/ (Opened June 6, 2020)
  • Special Events - Special events in Meridian Hill Park, Georgetown Waterfront Park, Fort Reno Park, and Montrose Park are limited to a maximum of 50 people. These events require park permits.

Ranger's Tips

  • Bring a map - Download or take a photo of a park map. You may not have a cell signal when you get to the park.

  • Park in a designated parking area only--not on the grass and not in the street. Violators may be ticketed or towed.

    • Rock Creek Park Nature Center - 5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC - Parking lot is open--approximately 120 parking spots available. Nature center is closed. Excellent access to park trails.

    • Picnic Grove 13 - no address, see map - This parking lot is located on Glover Road / Ridge Road (depending upon your GPS) at the closest picnic grove with a large shelter near the Nature Center. Approximately 60 parking spots are available here.

    • Rock Creek Park Tennis Center / Picnic Grove 24 / Carter Barron Amphitheatre - 1610 Kennedy St NW, Washington, DC 20011 or the big lot immediately adjacent to 4850 Colorado Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20011 - This is an extremely large parking lot with over 250 parking spaces. Walk down Morrow Road, which is temporarily closed to vehicular traffic at this time. Be careful--this is a very steep road--walk with any recreational equipment with wheels instead of riding down the hill. Exercise on this road is not recommended for visitors with heart conditions, bad knees, difficulty breathing, or other serious medical conditions affected or exacerbated by traveling on steep inclines.

    • Beach Drive NW & Military Road, NW @ Parking Lots 6-10 - Share the road with recreationists as you drive very slowly to access over 200 parking spaces.
    • Paved Pull-out Spaces - Various small paved pull-outs spots for 1-10 cars may be open for parking in various locations in Rock Creek Park. Park in designated areas only--on pavement, not on the grass. Cars parked outside of designated paved parking areas may be ticketed or towed.
    • Street Parking: Some park sites have very limited to no parking. In this case, park on city streets following all posted and citywide laws and regulations.
    • NOTE: Parking areas may close at any time without notice.

Closed Areas & Activities

The following facilities are temporarily closed until October 9, 2020. See park map and plan to #RecreateResponsibly.

  • Rock Creek Park Headquarters, 3545 Williamsburg Lane NW
  • Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium, 5200 Glover Road NW
  • Peirce Mill, 2401 Tilden Street NW at Shoemaker Street NW
  • Peirce Barn, 2401 Tilden Street NW at Shoemaker Street NW
  • Old Stone House, 3051 M Street NW
  • Center for Urban Ecology, 4598 MacArthur Boulevard NW
  • Basketball courts, 23rd and N Street NW
  • NOTE: Professional sporting events with spectators are prohibited.
  • NOTE: Organized Recreational Sports permits are suspended for all Rock Creek Park sports field

Restricted Areas

The following facilities are temporarily restricted until October 9, 2020. See park map and plan to #RecreateResponsibly.
  • Beach Drive NW
    • closed to motor vehicles from Broad Branch Road NW to Joyce Road NW
    • closed to motor vehicles from Picnic Grove 10 to Wise Road
    • closed to motor vehicles from West Beach Drive NW to the Maryland boundary
    • NOTE: The roadway between Joyce Road NW & Beach Drive and Picnic Grove 10 is open to both recreationists and vehicles. Share the road!
  • Sherrill Drive NW, closed to motor vehicles
  • Ross Drive NW, closed to motor vehicles

Other Considerations

 

Last updated: August 15, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

5200 Glover Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Phone:

(202) 895-6000
Rock Creek Park administrative offices can be reached at 202-895-6000. For general information call 202-895-6070 Wednesday - Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dial 0.

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