Description - Oftentimes this 1,078-acre park is described as an urban oasis. At one time, Algonquain Indians who fished the streams and hunted the forests inhabited the land. When colonists claimed the land they chopped down all the trees denuding the land for agricultural purposes. By the late 1800s, all wooded areas had vanished. Erosion and lack of wise agricultural practices left the land void of nutrients and wildlife. Washington, D.C.'s urban sprawl was booming about the same time, the early 1900s. The land was abandoned by corn and tobacco farmers and was destined to become a housing project. A variety of occurrences left the project defunct, thus the land became part of the National Agricultural Research Center. By the early 1950s, the National Park Service administered the parcel, which is now Greenbelt Park.
Copyright: National Park Service
Camping at Greenbelt Park
Reforestation has left urbanites a wonderful playland lush with dogwood, mountain laurel, azalea, oak, hickory, sweetgum, beech, and poplar while providing habitat for resident white-tailed deer, red foxes, raccoons, squirrels, groundhogs, and 320 species of birds.
- Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding dominate nine miles of trails. Three large picnic areas, complete with shelters, stay busy three seasons of the year, yet are available all four seasons.
Greenbelt Park has an amazing amount of wildlife in spite of its urban location. Three habitats contribute to the park's wildlife: scrub, upland forest and riparian forest.
Contact the park office for details about nature walks and interpretive programs.
Recreation - There are variety of recreations available at Greenbelt Park including picnicking, camping, backpacking, biking, bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, interpretive programs, nature walks, and wildlife viewing.
Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.
The park is located 12 miles from Washington, D.C. Take Exit 23 (Route 201) Kenilworth Avenue South to (Route 193) Greenbelt Road East. The park is a quarter mile on the right. The park address is 6565 Greenbelt Road (Route 193).