The park, comprised of 6,300 acres, extends along 14 scenic miles of Seneca Creek, as it winds its way to the Potomac River. The Clopper Day-Use Area contains many scenic areas, including the 90-acre Clopper Lake, surrounded by forests and fields. Picnicking, boat rentals, trails and a tire playground are just some of its recreational opportunities. A restored 19th century cabin and a self-guided path interpret the history of the area. Nearby, the Schaeffer Farm Trail Area offers 12 miles of marked trails for hiking and mountain biking. For the more adventuresome hiker, the 16.5-mile Seneca Creek Greenway Trail follows the entire course of the creek. About mid-May through June, the Schwartz peony gardens and field plants are in bloom.
June 2013 Events
- Pets are allowed in Seneca Creek State Park, with the exceptions of playgrounds and buildings. Please keep them leashed at all times.
The North Face Launches Explore Your Parks
The North Face announces the launch of the Explore Your Parks program, a partnership with the Maryland and Virginia State Parks, American Hiking Society and The National Park Trust, to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy state parks in the Washington, DC, area this fall. By providing families the tools they need to enjoy the open spaces near them, these groups are actively supporting Let's Move Outside, the outdoor recreation component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to end childhood obesity.
Hiking and biking trails, boat rental, fishing, flatwater canoeing and kayaking, historic interest, hunting, picnicking, playgrounds, riding trails, picnic pavilions, a restored 19th century cabin, and cross-country skiing.
- Boating & Fishing - A hand launch site is available for the lake. Private watercraft are permitted throughout the season. A boat concession on
Clopper Lake rents boats for fishing and recreation on weekends beginning May 5, 2012, and Wednesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from June 13 through Labor Day weekend. Fish include:
largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, tiger muskie and crappie.
Seneca Creek is stocked with put-and-take trout.
- Picnicking - Picnic areas with tables, grills,
and comfort stations are open daily until sunset.
Playgrounds are located near the picnic areas.
Picnic pavilions for group picnics are available for
rental. Click here for season beginning and ending dates, and shelter service charges.
- Park Office - A 140-seat auditorium may be rented weekdays for meetings.
- Service Charges - Our shelters are open from April through October; 50 person capacity shelter-$50/day; 150 person capacity shelter-$150/day; 200 person capacity shelter-$200/day. Our picnic grove area is open from April through September; 200 person capacity-$100/day; 100 person capacity-$50/day. Our Visitor Center has 140 person capacity and is $280/day. Our day use service charge for weekends and holidays April-October is $3/person, $5/person out-of-state residents; there is no charge November-March.
- Trails - Trails for hiking and bicycling wind through a
variety of habitat. A detailed trail map is available
at the park office. Mountain bikes may be used on some trails.
- Disc Golf Course - A 32-acre, 27-hole course,
for both the amateur and the professional is at the park. If you would like to view a map of the course, please click here.
- Hunting - See below for more detailed information. Statewide wildlife/hunting regulations apply.
- The Black Rock Mill, located on Seneca Creek at Black Rock Road, is partially restored with outdoor interpretive exhibits.
- The Seneca Schoolhouse, located on Route 190 west of Seneca, is a restored 19th century one-room schoolhouse, originally built for children of the Seneca Sandstone quarries along the Potomac River.
- The Woodlands, a short self-guided trail located at the Clopper Day-Use Area park office, interprets the life and the estate of the Clopper Family.
Hunting at Seneca Creek State Park,
Patuxent River State Park and Monocacy NRMA
- Seneca Creek State Park
- River Road Area – Approximately 1000 acres open for all seasons and weapons.
- Game Preserve Area – Approximately 80 acres open for bow hunting only for deer.
- Riffle Ford Road to Black Rock Road Area - Approximately 1100 acres open for bow hunting only for deer
- Berryville Road to Montevideo hunting area – Approximately 1100 acres open for bow hunting only for deer.
- Schaeffer Farm Tract – Only open during the firearms season, November 24-December 8, 2012 and January 4-5, 2013. Contact the Wildlife Service at 410-356-9272 for details and reservations.
- Special Managed Hunt - see managed hunts for details.
- Patuxent River State Park
Over 5,000 acres of hunting land open for forest Game, upland game, dove and deer hunting (Bow, muzzleloader and shotgun).
- Monocacy Natural Resource Management Area
Over 1800 acres of hunting land open for forest game, upland game, dove and deer hunting (Bow, muzzleloader and shotgun).
General Rules for all Hunting Areas
- You may enter the area one hour before shooting time to set up. Legal shooting time begins one half hour before sunrise.
- You must be out of the area by one hour after legal shooting time. Legal shooting time ends one half hour after sunset.
- You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the hunting area boundary lines, safety zones and established trails throughout the hunting area.
- Portable tree stands and steps are permitted, but cannot be screwed or nailed into trees. All stands must be removed at the end of each day. The use of tree stands is recommended, especially when hunting near established trails.
- Maps depicting hunting areas are provided for your reference only. Observe posted hunting and boundary signs. All acreage figures are approximate.
- All harvested deer must be checked in before midnight on the harvested day by using the internet (www.gamecheck.dnr.state.md.us ) or the Maryland Big Game Registration Phone Line (1-888-800-0121).
- The public land code used for harvested deer from Seneca Creek State Park is 442. Patuxent River State Park, the code is 440 and for Monocacy NRMA it is 282.
- All State and federal hunting laws, as well as park regulations, will be strictly enforced. Call Park Watch 1-800-825-7275 to report violations
- Maryland State Parks are “Trash Free”. All trash must be packed out.
- All hunters must wear the required type and amount of fluorescent orange during the deer firearms and muzzleloader seasons.
- Scouting is permitted from sunrise to sunset only. No weapons are to be carried while scouting. In order to avoid interfering with fellow sportsmen, Sunday scouting is recommended.
- Do not remove, cut, destroy, prune or deface any vegetation. Do not cut shooting lanes.
- Please report all violations of game laws or these hunting rules to the Natural Resources Police or Tawes Communications Center (1-800-628-9944) 24 hours a day.
The Seneca Creek State Park Trail Guide, complete with a topographical map of the hiking and biking trails, is available for sale at the park headquarters.
Seneca Creek State Park offers an accessible park office, six picnic shelters, and many family picnic sites. Three picnic sites have been designed specifically for wheelchair access. Seven of 11 restrooms in the park are accessible via paved walkways. The Boat Center has a paved lakefront walkway for fishing access.
For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
Join the Seneca Creek State Park Friends Of Group and support your park.
Seneca Creek State Park is located in Montgomery County.
From Washington, D.C, Virginia and points south, take I-270 north towards Frederick, Maryland. Take Exit 10, Clopper Road (Route 117). Turn right at the light at the bottom of the ramp. The park is approximately 2 miles on the left.
From points north, take I-270 south towards Washington, D.C., take Exit 11 (MD Route 124 west). Turn right at the light at the bottom of the ramp. At the second light, turn right onto Clopper Road (Route 117). The park is approximately 1.5 miles on the left.
Seneca Creek State Park
11950 Clopper Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Contact Seneca Creek
Phone: (301) 924-2127
Hours of Operation
8 a.m. to Sunset, March-October
10 a.m. to Sunset, November-February
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us