|HIKES IN THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METRO AREA
PISCATAWAY NATIONAL PARK
Although I generally go for less managed areas for hiking, I enjoyed my visit to Piscataway Park.
The park has several short trails, all well maintained and well marked with blazes. The trails lead you
through a variety of habitats. Walk along the bank of the Potomac River, on a boardwalk through a
wetland habitat, through woods, and across open fields. The variety of
habitats supports a wide variety of birds year round. The birdwatching is especially good during the
fall and spring migrations.
The park hosts the National Colonial Farm, which is a replica of a 1700’s small farm. Heirloom crops
are grown in the gardens, and cows, chickens, and other farm animals are raised here.
Piscataway Park is very close to Washington DC, about 10 miles east of the Beltway.
Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a 6 foot leash at all times.
As the sign says, you might want to start at the Visitor Center to look at the exhibits and pick up a trail map.
The trails around the National Colonial Farm are well maintained for easy walking.
The park lies on the Potomac River. Walking along the riverside you might see Osprey,
Herons, Cormorants, and Bald Eagles.
Cows graze in the fields at the National Colonial Farm.
Some of the trees along the trails have name tags to aid identification.
Apparently Bald Eagles are a relatively common sight at Piscataway Park. I saw a half dozen Bald
Eagles fly overhead during my visit in mid-October. I expect these may have been migrating birds
passing through on their way south for the winter, rather than residents of the park.
This replica plantation home has a garden in the fenced backyard and chickens running around
the front yard. A woman in 1700’s attire was cooking over a fire outside (picture below).
A woman in colonial attire talks to park visitors at a replica plantation home.
Bring a picnic lunch in your day pack and enjoy eating at relatively secluded picnic tables
placed along the trail.