Where is it?
Not to be confused with
the upper Dumbarton Oaks garden, the garden surrounding the Dumbarton
Oaks Mansion, the lower garden is a public park. It is located
on 32nd Street, N.W., near 17th Street. Official access is via Lovers' Lane
and R Street just east of 31st Street. The park is contained within the
larger administrative boundary for Rock Creek Park, a unit of the National
Capital Region, National Park Service. The private upper gardens are open
to the public, but visitors are charged a nominal fee to tour the site.
Montrose Park shares
a border with Dumbarton Oaks Park at the base of Lovers' Lane. Montrose
Park has both gardens and recreational features, whereas Dumbarton Oaks
Park was designed by a notable landscape architect.
When to go
During migration, also
in late fall and winter.
Where to go
The following is adapted
from the Cultural Landscape Report for the park which was prepared
by the National Park Service in September 1997, and updated in December
1997 and August 1998.
follow a circular walk through Dunbarton Oaks Park. Starting at the main entrance to the
park off Lovers' Lane, visitors follow the stream paths up to the designed
woodland. From the designed woodland they cross through the westernmost
meadow. They can then decide whether to return by either the path along
the top of the meadows or the farm track over the stone bridge. Both routes
return them to the Beech Grove and the Lovers' Lane entrance.
After visitors pass
through the main entrance gate, they walk under a canopy of American beech.
At the stone bridge you can see the stream, including several of the waterfalls.
There is a large open space of the meadows extending to the right and beyond.
The path at this point
splits into two separate trails. The left-hand path--generally referred to
as "the stream path," "lower stream path," or "south stream path" continues
through the woods along the south side of the stream. The other, on the
right, crosses the bridge and runs on the old farm track to the west/northwest,
following the base of the meadows.
The stream path follows
the southern bank of the stream, running for most of its course through
an open woodland. Certain sections of the path, particularly along the foot
of Forsythia Hill, allow views up into Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. The woods
generally become denser as the path progresses west, particularly on the
south side of the path. To the north, looking across the stream, visitors
can see glimpses or views up into the meadows on the Clifton Hill for the
entire length of the path.
Just before the Laurel Pool, a wood plank laid across the stream leads to the Gray arbor memorial
on the northern bank of the stream. From the arbor, a stepping-stone path,
paralleled by a worn trail, connects back to the old farm track. From the
Laurel Pool to the Tulip Glen, the path width along the stream increases
to six feet.
Opposite West Laurel
Falls is the overgrown remnant of the Hazel Walk, that runs up the southern
slope to the boundary fence and is covered by a thick stand of brush. The
path narrows again from Laurel Pool to the Old Pump House. The path then
continues from the pump house to the spring grotto area, passing over the
pebble stream. Crossing over the pebble stream there is an uphill slope
along the path to the Stream Arbor.
Beyond the Stream Arbor
the path narrows to two-and-a-half feet. Most people ford the stream at
Clapper Bridge Falls, since the south stream path continues for only a short
distance up the streambank before ending abruptly where the vegetation becomes
too thick. The north bank of the stream is a more open woodland of primarily
deciduous trees and shrubs. Wide swathes of herbaceous material grow beneath
the trees. Another path parallels the stream on the north bank, starting
at West Laurel Falls, where people ford the creek from the south side, then
running to the Old Water Wheel Falls and on to Clapper Bridge Falls, the
other fording spots from the south side. Visitors commonly use the dam structures
to cross the stream.
A minor path from West
Laurel Falls connects with the old farm track. The land is level for an
extent of 100 feet or so between the stream and the foot of Clifton Hill.
The farm track runs along the base of the hill. This south-facing slope
of Clifton Hill is an open meadow area which is broken into separate meadows
or compartments by lines of trees running north-south down the hill, generally
following small ravines.
A dense woodland border
along the crest of the hill defines the northern boundary of the park. The
hill is fairly steep in the eastern part of the park on the far side of
the stone bridge. It becomes even steeper in the central section of the
park in the areas defined as the second, third, and fourth meadows. Here
the hill also thrusts out to the south, before sweeping back around to the
north and leveling out into the broad expanse of the fifth meadow. From
Clapper Bridge Falls, the stream path (the "upper stream path") continues
upstream along the foot of the fifth meadow before entering an area heavily
overgrown with vines. The path runs through dense shrub and vine growth
along the northern bank of the stream. Once past the last Jungle Falls,
the vegetation changes drastically. Invasive shrubs and vines run rampant,
blanketing the stream valley and the opposite side of the stream, including
the steep slope behind the retail development (the Safeway store) which
fronts on Wisconsin Avenue.
The path then leads
eventually to a fairly dense woodland, identified as "the designed woodland."
The first section of the path through the woods is still lined by overgrown
rhododendrons and passes by a small island, or "Islet" in the course of
the stream. Beyond this first section of the designed woodland path, a secondary
path breaks off to the west, following the stream and ending abruptly when
the stream course curves to the south. The main path soon forks, with one
path continuing northwest up a steep hill to Whitehaven Street, and the
other turning back toward the east through the woods. The path winds up
to Whitehaven Street to a trailhead sign that directs visitors to either
Dumbarton Oaks Park or to another trail that follows the northernmost boundary
fence of Dunbarton Oaks Park. This path then leaves the woodland, passing to the south of
the hidden Animal Graveyard and into the broad, flat, open area at the top
of the fifth or westernmost meadow.
There are two options
for making the return journey: taking the path which runs through the middle
of this meadow back to the Clapper Bridge crossing, or following the path
which runs over Clifton Hill along the edge of the woodland to the old farm
track. On the latter path, a boardwalk spans an intermittent stream to keep
visitors from having to tramp through mud or water. This path joins the
farm track, continuing on the other side as the Clifton Hill path. The Clifton
Hill path skirts the upper portion of the fourth and third meadows before
running downhill through the third and second meadows and rejoining the
old farm track near the stone bridge. A few other social trails meander
through the stream valley and designed woodland, connecting with the more
What to see
Tall trees around the
tennis courts and lawns: warblers.
By the stream: look
for migrating warblers that may come here to bathe in midmorning; in winter
look for Winter Wrens.
Mixed lawns, hedgerows
and thickets; look for sparrows and migrants, in season.
North hemlock grove:
Pine Siskins and other finches; Great Horned or Barred Owls; accipiters.
grove: migrating thrushes and woodcock.
Anywhere in winter:
large flocks of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings.
and Notable Sightings: None reported.
How to get there
By car: From M Street,
N.W. in Georgetown travel travel north on Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. until you
reach R Street, N.W. Turn right on R Street and park near 31st Street. Look
for Lover's Lane just east of 31 Street on R, although this alley may be
unmarked, and walk north to the entrance.
By Metro: Take
the Red Line to Dupont Circle and then the D2, D4, D6 or D8 bus west on
Q Street to 30th Street. Walk north on 30th (uphill) to R Street. Go left
on R Street to Lover's Lane at the east end of the brick wall. Follow the
lane north and downhill to the park.
There are three entrances
into the park, one historic and two non-historic. The main, official entrance
is on the eastern boundary at the bottom of Lover's Lane, where visitors
enter through a pair of wooden gates hung between stone piers. Of the two
non-historic entrances, one is located on the west, where visitors approach
the site by descending a steep path leading from the western branch of Whitehaven
Street (near Wisconsin Avenue) and entering through a gate opening in a
chain-link fence on the park's boundary. The other connects from the eastern
branch of Whitehaven Street to the north part of the farm track. A trail
connecting the west and east sections of Whitehaven Street follows the northernmost
park boundary fence, but does not connect to any of the internal path systems.
Most visitors enter
the site by going down Lover's Lane from R Street, where they pass around
a metal NPS gate located at the top of the lane. Others follow social trails
worn down the slopes through Montrose Park. Once visitors reach the bottom
of the hill, the entrance to Dunbarton Oaks Park is on the left. On their right is a path
that follows the stream to Rock Creek. Lovers' Lane continues across the
stream, then leads up to Whitehaven Street and Massachusetts Avenue.
Accessibility and Comfort
To be determined.
Naval Observatory, National
Cathedral, Embassy Row.
Where is it?
The National Zoo is
located on Connecticut Avenue, just north of Cathedral Avenue. Weather permitting,
the Zoo is open every day except December 25. From May 1 to September 15,
the grounds are open 6 am to 8 PM. Buildings are open from 10 am to 6 PM.
From September 16 to April 30, the ground are open 6 am to 6 PM; building
from 10 am to 4:30 PM, unless otherwise posted. Entrance to the grounds
and buildings is free, but there is a charge for parking. Parking is very
limited. From May to September lots may be filled by 10:30 am.
When to go
Winter is a good time
to visit; also Spring/Summer for certain breeders.
Where to go
From entrance, walk
to the bird house and waterfowl ponds. Check the trees around the pond and
those that overhang cages.
Watch other cages for
birds attracted by the bird seed and heated drinking water.
Check the mammal compounds.
Check out any feeders
on the property. In the past, some were reported on the path that leads
to the seal house.
Check ornamental plantings
of holly, cedar, and hemlock that are scattered throughout the zoo.
There is a bridge near
the Polar Bear cage that crosses Rock Creek. The bike path there will take
you through some fields and wooded areas that may be productive in winter.
What to see
There is a Black-crowned
Night Heron colony, usually present from later march to July or August,
in the trees by the waterfowl pond and eagle cage. Some may be present during
the winter and Yellow-crowned Night Heron has been seen here in August.
In the heated cages
with seed you may find Song, White-throated, Field, Fox and Tree Sparrows,
although the latter two are more rare.
In the waterfowl pond
look for Wood Duck, American Black Duck, American Wigeon, and Gadwall. Be
sure to separate the captives from the wild ducks if you intend to count
these birds on your lists.
Vultures, and Red-tailed,
Cooper's, and Sharp-shinned Hawks have been known to frequent the mammal
Look at the ornamental
evergreens for a Barn or Saw-whet Owl, but these are extremely rare.
and Notable Sightings: Yellow-crowned Night Heron (4/5/98).
How to get there
By car: Take
Connecticut Avenue, N.W. north to the Cleveland Park Area. The Zoo is on
the right; street number 3001. Be sure to turn into the correct driveway
to the parking lot. Unwary visitors often turn into the driveway for the
Kennedy-Warren apartments garage. You can also access the parking lots from
the George Washington Memorial Parkway, but be mindful that this parkway
is one-way travel during rush hours. Take Virginia Avenue, N.W. towards
the Kennedy Center and continue to the t-junction. Turn right into the parkway
and continue until you reach the parking lot exit past the Cathedral/Connecticut
By Metro: Take
the Red Line to the Woodley Park--Zoo Station. Walk north about two blocks.
The zoo is across the street. You really can't miss it.
Accessibility and Comfort
Food is available inside
the zoo and on Connecticut Avenue. There are rest areas throughout the premises
and many parts are accessible. You can obtain a guide for disabled visitors
and a guide to using a wheelchair on premises from the information booths.
Where is it?
Fessenden and 39th Street
in NW Washington.
When to go
both in May and in August/September.
Where to go
The site is adjacent
to Fort Reno, a Civil War relic of which no trace remains. It is the highest
point in the District of Columbia. The reservoir is underground and there
is no visible water, but there is a fenced in field on top that attracts
open-country birds in migration. From street level, climb to the top of
the hill at a point where you have clear view to the fence. The area just
below 39th Street should be accessible. If you climb up to the fence just
south of 39th Street, the shrubbery is low and you can see over most of
the grassy field. Watch the field from any point where you have a clear
view. You may continue around the fence towards 39th Street and Belt Road.
You will enter an area abounded on both sides by shrubbery, much of it with
berries, through which a narrow trail will run. Eventually, you will reach
a barbed wire barricade that will prevent you from going further. This section
is at the top of a steep incline, and although the shrubbery presents good
possibilities, especially for sparrows, you must watch your footing and
take care not to become entangled in loose snags. Proceed slowly and carefully.
When you reach the barbed wire fencing, return to your starting point.
What to see
Field, Chipping, White-crowned, Grasshopper), Killdeer, Eastern Meadowlark
and Cattle Egret if the grass has been allowed to grow. Bobolinks in May;
Common Nighthawks during August/September eves. The site looks like a good
point for hawk watching, but we saw none during the time we visited in late
Sightings: None reported.
How to get there
By car: Take
Connecticut Avenue North to Fessenden Street and turn left. Proceed to 39th
Street. The reservoir is on your left. Park on any street. There is a two-hour
limit for parking for non-residents Monday to Friday.
By Metro: Find
your way to Tenleytown Station on the Red Line. Walk north two blocks on
Fort Drive to Chesapeake Street. You will find yourself at the south edge
of the reservoir.
Accessibility and Comfort
The site is up a steep
incline, and very little can be seen from the street. Food is available
on Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues.
Where is it?
At 1700 acres, Rock
Creek Park is one of the largest urban parks in the nation. The park runs
due north and south from the MD/DC line, between Oregon Avenue and 16th
Street, through the Zoological Park, almost to the Potomac River. It is
the major migration route of birds through the urban desert of Washington,
and thus has become famous as a site to view warblers and other migrants.
Claudia Wilds called it the best migrant trap in the area. In autumn 1998,
a bird survey conducted by two observers, in just 27 days recorded over
10,000 individuals of over 60 neotropical migrant species passing along
the West Ridge. Over 180 species, including all the northeastern breeding
warblers, flycatchers, vireos and thrushes, have been reported here, including
several species rare in the region.
The area of greatest
interest to birders is the West Ridge, from Military Road south to Broad
Branch Road, encompassing Military Field, the Nature Center, Maintenance
Yard, Horse Center and a number of adjacent picnic areas. This area is considered
the most important for migrating land birds in the District of Columbia.
Primary access is along Glover and Ross Roads, which are generally free
of the commuter traffic which degrades Beach Drive. Be aware, however, that
during weekends Beach Drive is closed to vehicular traffic and that at times
more cars use Glover Road. Caution should always be used as cars and bicycles
may appear quickly, so bird from the grassy areas. Park in established lots
or in one of the many picnic stops.
Other areas which can
be productive, but which are not as well-watched, include the area around
Pierce Mill, Melvin Hazen Park, and the stream valley along Broad Branch
west of the ridge.
When to go
The park is open during
daylight hours. The Nature Center is open Wednesday through Sunday 9:00
AM to 5:00 PM. It is closed on New Years Day, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving
Day and Christmas. However, during a recent visit on another holiday we
found the Center closed, so it's best to check ahead.
As noted above, this
area is best during migration, that is, in spring from mid-April to the
end of May, and in autumn from mid-August to mid-October. Visit early in
the morning when migrants are concentrated along the high, forested ridge.
Later in the day the birds disperse to rest and feed in the surrounding
forest and lower areas of the park, and can be harder to locate. The park
can also be productive in the summer months. Winter birding is much slower.
In general, migration
birding is best on the days immediately following a front -- a warm front
in spring and a cool front in autumn. When early morning fog or rain follows
an otherwise good night for migration, impressive classic fallouts can occur,
when, as Claudia Wilds wrote, the trees are dripping warblers. On April
30, 1995, in such conditions, over 1000 warblers of 15 species, including
Golden-winged, were estimated in the trees from the Nature Center south
to picnic areas 17/18! Even on slow days a birder may be able to locate
migrants off-passage; one hot day in late August 1998 only five individual
warblers were seen, but one was a Connecticut and another a Golden-winged!
Where to go
There are several areas
to explore. The best sites are the trails behind the Nature/Visitor Center,
the Horse Center/Stables and Maintenance Yard areas, and the "ridge," otherwise
known as picnic areas #17/18. The equestrian corral area by picnic area
#25/26 can also be productive. Military Field, at the junction of Glover
and Military Roads, is being restored as meadow habitat and is especially
good in autumn when vegetation is thick. There is a mowed path running between
the trees and the field edge which is worth careful attention.
Birders in the know
start at dawn on the West Ridge, usually at picnic areas #17/18, although
the area directly around the Nature Center parking lot can also prove exciting.
Action can sometimes be hot and heavy, with scores or sometimes even hundreds
of birds moving through the trees, which are just catching the rising sun.
Usually by midmorning this first activity slows as birds begin to disperse
to feed. Birders themselves disperse to other areas, looking and listening
for feeding flocks. The blacktop path north of the Nature Center crosses
a small meadow with a little pool which attracts migrants. It is wheelchair
accessible and there are also benches from which you can peer into the treetops
in relative comfort. The Woodlands Trail behind the Nature Center, is also
worth exploring for feeding warbler flocks, and is especially good for Migrating
thrushes in mid-May. On hot days the drip/birdbath directly behind the Nature
Center attracts bathing birds of many species.
The edge habitat around
the stable, the indoor riding ring, and the horse paddocks should also be
investigated. From the Horse Center follow the bridle trail which runs from
the stable east along the fenced Maintenance Yard, cutting in by an obvious
path into the open area beyond the fence. The stone blocks, columns and
carved panels you see stacked here are from the original west front of the
Capitol Building! The vegetated area, runoff pools, and secondary growth
around the clearing form one of the best traps for migrants, especially
in the autumn, and a number of rarities have been seen here.The bridle trail
continues down to Rock Creek where Louisiana Waterthrush sometimes breeds.
The woods edge near
the equestrian corral by picnic sites #25/26 should also be investigated.
This lower clearing often proves better for migrants than area #17/18 on
windy days. In autumn, fruiting chokecherries are attractive to a wide range
Other areas: In Broad
Branch check the bushes and areas along the creek. Explore the thicket around
the Art Barn by Pierce Mill.
The Melvin Hazen Park
area is also a good migrant trap. Check the snags around Klingle House and
the area around the barn. Walk through the woods and meadows around the
House. You can further explore the park via trails that lead north to Pierce
Mill up a shaded ravine or west to Connecticut Avenue.
What to see
Migration: Rock Creek
is exciting in spring from about mid-April to the end of May, and in autumn
from mid-August to mid-October. The most common neotropical migrants include
Red-eyed Vireo, Swainsons Thrush, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green,
Black and White, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Bay-breasted and Canada Warblers,
Northern Parula, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Rose-breasted Grosbeak
and Scarlet Tanager. Twenty-plus species of warbler can often be recorded
on good days in both seasons. Trees and shrubs along the ridge are best
for spring and fall migrant warblers, vireos and flycatchers, while thrushes
seem to favor the wooded areas with good leaf litter and relatively sparse
undergrowth. Field areas are generally most productive in autumn, when vegetation
is mature and when fruiting Devils Walking Stick, Porcelainberry and Chokecherry
attract a surprising variety of migrants. Any overgrown lawn or roadside,
as well as the larger fields at Military Road and the Maintenance Yard,
should be checked for the abundant migrant sparrows, which can include Lincoln's.
Orange-crowned, Mourning and Connecticut (autumn only) Warblers can also
be found in these habitats. Unusual species which are seen virtually every
year in Rock Creek include Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied and Olive-sided
Flycatchers, Black-billed Cuckoo, Philadelphia Vireo and Gray-cheeked Thrush.
Rarities that have been recorded include Whip-poor-will, Clay-colored and
Lark Sparrows, Lawrence's Warbler, Evening Grosbeak and Red Crossbill.
Migrating hawks and
Nighthawks can often be seen flying over, although the view can be somewhat
limited by trees. Sometimes loons, geese, cormorants and swans are also
tallied. During an irruption year, look for passing Pine Siskins, Purple
Finches and Evening Grosbeaks at the Ridge or at the Maintenance Yard. The
Equestrian Corral area can produce many of the same species. Check for migrants
later in the day in areas described above, inclusing areas along Broad Branch.
The Art Barn by Pierce Mill may have woodcock. In Melvin Hazen Park look
for migrants. Olive-sided Flycatcher is sometimes seen near Klingle House.
Also around the house you may find Alder Flycatchers or Mourning and Connecticut
Warblers. The trail north from Pierce Mill is good for Black-throated Blue
Patches of giant ragweed
should be checked especially thoroughly in fall for Connecticut and Mourning
Warblers, Lincoln's Sparrow and other goodies. Unfortunately, in the last
2-3 years some of the best patches have overgrown and sightings of Connecticut
Warblers have diminished accordingly, although they are still reported annually.
In the early 90s, 4-6 were reported each fall. However, both species are
still seen every year, the best locations being the Maintenance Yard and
More about warblers.
Although all the northeastern species have been reported, warblers more
associated with riparian bottomlands, such as Yellowthroated or Prothonotary,
are very rarely seen. Most abundant are the edge and forest species noted
earlier. Birders visiting Rock Creek Park have often reported spectacular
waves of warbler flights. On May 15, 1998, a birder reported Blackburnian,
Brewster's, Black-throated Blue, Ovenbird, Black-throated Green, Magnolia,
Canada, American Redstart, Black and White, and Northern Parula Warblers.
Similarly, on April 28, 1999, a typical spring day, the following warbler
species were observed: Golden-winged, Cerulean, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated
Green, Black-throated Blue, Ovenbird, Hooded, American Redstart, Common
Yellowthroat, Yellow, Palm, Worm-eating, Black-and-White, Nashville, and
Fall migration will
sometimes produce results that are just as rich in warbler sightings. On
August 16, Blackburnian, Canada, Chestnut-sided, Black-and-White, Northern
Parula, American Redstart, Worm-eating, and Yellow Warblers were sighted.
Three days later: Black-and-White, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia,
Ovenbird, Blue-winged, Redstart, Yellow , Tennessee,and Worm-eating were
sighted. Warbler migration continued through September when 18 species were
seen on September 18, with 25 species seen during the week, including Connecticut.
Then from October 12-15 Orange-crowned, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated
Green, and Blackpoll were reported. Best time to catch the action is after
a cold front. Summer visits: Red-shouldered and Broad-winged Hawks, Barred
and Great Horned Owls nest in small numbers. Pileated Woodpeckers are fairly
common. Eastern Screech-Owls nest along the streams, but you are not likely
to see them during the day. Night birding is not recommended here. Songbirds
that may nest include Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Wood Thrush,
Veery, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, and Louisiana Waterthrush. The trail down
to Rock Creek from the Equestrian Corral is often worth checking for the
breeding Louisiana Waterthrushes. Sometimes Brown Creeper and Hooded, Kentucky,
Worm-eating, and Cerulean Warblers can be found. Look for Wood Duck and
Belted Kingfisher along the creek by Broad Branch. In the Melvin Hazen Park
area Broad-winged Hawks sometimes nest in the woods near Klingle House and
House Wrens may nest around the barn. Look for resident Veeries on the trail
north from the Pierce Mill parking lot. Winter visits: Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied
Woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadee, and kinglets. Accipiters winter over and
you may find Red-breasted Nuthatches and lingering warblers in the pine
trees. The feeders at the Nature Center have produced Evening Grosbeaks
and Common Redpolls during an irruption year.
1998-2000 Notable Sightings:
Eastern Phoebe (3/4-6/98), Red-breasted Merganser (5/16/98), Mourning Warbler
(9/13/98, 9/23/98), Red-headed Woodpecker (9/29/98), Least Flycatcher (5/20/99),
Gray-cheeked Thrush (5/20/99), Olive-sided Flycatcher (8/19/99), Broad-winged
Hawk (9/18/99), Philadelphia Vireo (9/19/99), Black-billed Cuckoo (8/10/99),
Red-breasted Nuthatch (1st week of 11/99).
Picnic Areas 17-18:
Brewster's Warbler 5/5-6/98, Philadelphia Vireo (9/5/98), Yellow-bellied
Flycatcher (9/12/98), Connecticut Warbler (9/14/98), Golden-winged Warbler
(9/11-14/98), Wilson's Warbler (9/11/98), Pine Siskin (10/15/99), Warbling
Vireo (10/21/99), Blue-headed Vireo (10/21/99), Hermit Thrush (10/21/99),
Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets (12/21/99).
Picnic Area 14: Red
Crossbill flyover (5/15/98)
Maintenance Yard: Clay-colored
Sparrow (9-4-7/98), Connecticut Warbler (9/15/98, 9/13/99), Philadelphia
Vireo (9/9, 12,18/98), Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (9/18/98), Savannah Sparrow
(9/18/98), Brewster's Warbler (5/20/99), Least Flycatcher (9/19/99), Evening
Nature Center: Connecticut
Warbler (9/13 & 25/99), Philadelphia Vireo (9/25/99).
Stable Area: Mourning
How to get there
Take Connecticut Avenue,
N.W. northbound to Military Road, N.W. Take a right on Military Road to
Glover Road on your right. On your left the street is named Oregon Avenue.
Go right on Glover and follow the signs to the Nature Center, officially
at 5200 Glover Road. You can also reach the park by traveling north on 16th
Street, N.W. until you reach Military Road, where you will turn left. Again,
follow the signs to the Nature Center. They will take you to the parking
lots. There are two fair-size lots around a circle with one-way traffic.
Pick up a trail map at the Nature Center. There are usually some in an outside
container near the front door.
As you leave the parking
lot proceed to the stop sign by the main road and turn left. Notice the
picnic areas along the road. Each has a number. Park first in picnic areas
#17 or 18. This site is just before Ross Drive.
Proceed to picnic areas
#25/26 near the equestrian corral. This site is just after Ross Drive.
Don't attempt to bird these areas from your car; speeding cars abound. Park
at a picnic area and walk.
Return to Ridge Road
and continue south. Turn left on Broad Branch Road and and an immediate
right into the parking lot. Visit the creek and walk down the bicycle path
to Pierce Mill. This area becomes extremely congested in the mid-morning
on weekends and you may find it impossible to park. In any event, your time
will be better spent at the ridge.
To reach Melvin Hazen
Park, leave the Broad Branch Road lot and turn right, then right again onto
Beach Drive. Follow Beach Drive south until you reach Porter Street. Make
another right on Porter and a final right onto Williamsburg Lane. This is
a steep hill which turns to gravel. You can park in the dirt lot at the
These are the most popular
routes. However, there are many more areas to explore. Search out the wider
areas of the park north of Military Road where there are large blocks of
forest where you can look for breeding species.
By Metro: Take
the Red Line to the Friendship Heights Station. From here, grab the E2 or
E4 bus, which will take you east on Military Road to Glover Road. Walk up
the bike path that parallels Glover Road until you reach the Nature Center.
Accessibility and Comfort
The Nature Center is
accessible including the restrooms, the planetarium, exhibit hall, and auditorium.
The first floor of the Old Stone House, the exercise course at 16th and
Kennedy streets, the Carter Barron Amphitheater and Picnic Groves #1, #6,
#23, and #24 are accessible. There is an accessible self guiding nature
trail at the Nature Center. This is a black-top walkway with benches. There
are also toilets at the indoor riding arena, located between the Nature
Center and the stable. It opens very early 7 days a weeks and has toilets
just inside the front door, but these are not wheelchair accessible.
National Zoo (southern
end), Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
thanks to Gail Mackiernan and Barry Cooper for their extensive contributions
to this section.]
1998-2000 Recent and Notable Sightings Not Reported Elsewhere
American Woodcock -- Connecticut
Avenue and L Street, N.W. (10/26/98)
Possible Rufous or Allen's
Hummingbird -- Sherrier Place, N.W. (11/12-21/1998)
Blue Grosbeak -- Washington
National Cathedral (9/30/1999)