Rock Creek Park a National Treasure at Your Footsteps

Sometimes the best things in life are right under our noses, familiarity making us blind to treasures taken for granted.

For city renters, Rock Creek Park is such a place. Know how good it is? It even made National Geographic’s Top 10 Urban Escapes, culled from their 2011 book “The 10 Best of Everything—National Parks.”

Jogging, biking, skating, golf, soccer, horseback riding, and tennis are among the more popular activities, while picnicking and bird-watching offer more contemplative pursuits.

Rock Creek Park (TrailVoice via Flickr)

Morning commute: This weekend, make a break from the congested city and escape to Rock Creek Park, where the stoplights are always green. (TrailVoice via Flickr)

That about nails it. One of the first federal parks, Rock Creek Park was founded in 1890, “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States.”

[ Related: Walk This Way: 4 Fall Hikes for the D.C.-Area Renter ]

And enjoy it they do, doing any number of the things mentioned in our above quote. A Piedmont stream valley, Rock Creek Park is home to a cornucopia of wildlife, critters like deer, coyotes, beavers, both gray and red foxes, and more birds than you can shake a finch at. Its site claims that “Rock Creek Park has the largest density of raccoons in the United States.” That’s good, now maybe they’ll stay out of my trash.

If you didn’t already know, the park is huge, with the main section encompassing 1,754 acres. It’s slightly more than nine miles long (including its expanse in Maryland) and up to a mile wide. Rock Creek Park also has several other sites under its banner outside the main park for you to enjoy.

You can catch a performance at Carter Barron Amphitheatre (this year beginning on August 8) or check out a ranger-led program, some of which take place at the park’s Nature Center.

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Rock Creek Park is open during daylight hours. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Metrorail station next to the park proper, but you can still check for the nearest station or bus stop.

There’s writing about this gigantic, natural oasis in the city, and then there’s experiencing it. Whether you rent an apartment in the District or the comfy suburbs, take a Saturday or Sunday and enjoy Rock Creek Park’s pristine beauty.

Be sure to use Apartment Showcase if you are looking to move into the area.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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