Overview

Rock Creek Park is in Washington, D.C. Its Nature Center is located at 5200 Glover Rd NW, Washington, D.C. 20015. Visit the National Park Service’s website for Rock Creek Park to find current park alerts.

A favorite destination for birders, geologists, and all kinds of naturalists, Rock Creek Park is an outdoor classroom for studying nature, history, and the effects of an urban setting on a park. This forested oasis in Washington, D.C., boasts a wealth of subjects for exploration—from flora and fauna to abandoned quarries, old mill sites, and Civil War forts. Trails wind through the park’s diverse terrain, revealing patterns in the landscape—natural communities, which are predictable combinations of plants and animals that occur in different habitats.

Ready to see the park through the eyes of a naturalist? Explore below, and make your next hike an adventure!

Rock Creek rapids

At a Glance

Meet Rock Creek Park and learn how it came to be.

Rock Creek rapids – Gary Fleming
interactive map of Rock Creek Park

About Maps and Trails

Find recommended hikes, trail descriptions, and detailed information about the interactive Map Viewer.

Basic Mesic Hardwood Forest

Natural Communities and More

Discover Rock Creek Park’s 8 natural communities—predictable combinations of plants and animals found in different habitats. Meet the park’s semi-natural communities and not-so-natural communities as well.

Basic Mesic Hardwood Forest – Sam Sheline
pink azalea in bloom

Natural History

Welcome to the world of Rock Creek Park’s native plants and animals, and the landscape that sustains them! Learn how interactions among them (“natural processes”) shape natural communities.

Pink azalea – Sam Sheline
white-tailed deer

Stewardship and Ecological Threats

Non-native invasive plants? Excess stormwater runoff? Insect pests? Learn about ecological threats—past and present—to the natural communities of Rock Creek Park. How can park staff and YOU make a difference?

White-tailed deer – Sam Sheline
eastern tent caterpillar podcast

Videos and Podcasts

Watch and listen to learn more!

Eastern tent caterpillar – Matt Jones