The Rock Creek Park Nature Center serves as the park's visitor center and offers hiking information, brochures and maps, a bookstore, exhibits on area plants and animals, and has the only planetarium in the National Park Service. Many of the park's ranger-led programs start or take place at the Nature Center.
The facility includes a children's Discovery Room offering environmental education books and games and a "Discover Rock Creek" bilingual (Spanish and English) exhibit geared for middle school audiences. The Nature Center also includes live turtles, fish, snakes, an active beehive, a bird observation deck, and "water-wise" garden.
A one-half mile self-guiding interpretive trail, the Woodland Trail, begins behind the Nature Center, while a one-fourth mile wheelchair-accessible Edge of the Woods trail begins right out the front door. The Nature Center is wheelchair-accessible.