Rock Creek Park

Location: Washington, D.C.

Webpage: National Park Service

General Description: After deforestation during the Civil War to create a barrier of downed trees and brush as part of the defense around Washington D.C., Rock Creek Park became one of the first federally administered park in 1870.  It is a large natural park of about 1700 acres that extends from the north of D.C. to the National Zoo along the south boundary.  It includes many recreational facilities such as a golf course, tennis stadium, a nature center, a planetarium, and many picnic and walking/jogging/skating trails.  Historical exhibits are also maintained at Pierce Mill, an 1820s water powered grist mill, and Fort DeRussy, a cannon emplacement that was part of the Civil War defenses.



1) Fort DeRussy is probably as large as Fort Stevens that is just outside the park, but it has not been rebuilt or maintained in any way.  The woods have taken over the Fort making it difficult to make out except for the dirt embankments.


2) The nature center and planetarium were closed on Monday, so we were not able to visit them.   However, we did have a nice short walk along Rock Creek.


3) Pierce Mill is a water powered grist mill from the 1820s and looked impressive from the outside.  Again, it was not open to the public on Mondays so all we got to see was the outside.  We were there at lunchtime and there was some families having a picnic lunch along Rock Creek at the mill.  It was a very pleasant location for a picnic.


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