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. Over 50 miles of trails are open for hiking, horseback riding and bicycling which wind through a variety of habitat.
Recycled Tire Playground
Imagination runs wild at Seneca’s Recycled Tire Playground, a family favorite since 1999. Defend a castle, ride a tire dragon, take a flight on the zip line, and more.
During summer our Park Naturalists and Rangers present frequent nature programs and craft programs at the nearby Nature Shack.
The Recycled tire playground no longer has recycled tire chips as a base. The tire chips have been up-graded to new and improved Fibar wood Chips for safety reasons.
The Tire Playground is located near the Pines picnic grove in the Clopper Day-Use area.
Nature Play Space
Balance, build, climb, connect, and create in our new nature play space at Oriole Picnic Grove. This imagination-centered play area is created from giant oak tree trunks, locust tree logs, and other all-natural materials. The idea of the play space and all of the work was done in-house by park staff, using the talents of our park technicians and park rangers.
Play as you Picnic
Quail Ridge and Chickadee Picnic Areas offer playground areas with climbing features and small slides close to picnic benches.
Over 50 miles of trails are open for hiking, horseback riding and bicycling which wind through a variety of habitat in Seneca Creek State Park. A detailed trail map can be purchased at the park office.
Mountain biking and horseback riding are very popular at Seneca Creek, and the Schaeffer Farm Trails are considered a favorite place to ride. The Maryland Park Service does not rent horses or bicycles, and only provides the trails as a means of recreation.
The Boat Center offers a variety of different vessels for hourly or daily rental on the calm waters of Clopper Lake. Bait, fishing poles and tackle are sold from the Cedar Shed Gift Shop in the boat rental area. T-shirts, disc golf equipment, ice cream, water and other gifts are available as well. Visa and Mastercard are accepted at the Boat Center and Gift Shop.
Programs, including pontoon boat tours, guided paddles, and Take Me Fishing, are held regularly throughout the summer months.
he 90-acre Clopper Lake provides a great venue for small, flatwater boating in the heart of Montgomery County. Private watercraft (no gas motors) are permitted throughout the year during normal park hours. Private watercraft must be removed from the lake at least 30 minutes prior to sunset. Boats are also available for rent at the park’s Boat Center.
Private watercraft including canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and other small vessels, may be launched at the hand-launch area at the bottom parking lot just beyond the Boat Center. You must be able to lift your boat and carry it to the water; as there is no trailer-launch boat ramp at Clopper Lake. USCG-approved life-jackets must be on board for all occupants.
Great Seneca Creek
For those looking for a stream experience, the Class I-II Great Seneca Creek is suitable for canoes and kayaks during wet weather periods. Be sure to check the USGS gauging station at MD-28, which should read 2.1 feet. Parking and a put-in site are available at MD-28. Take out is recommended at the Riley’s Lock boat ramp near the Seneca Aqueduct. Paddling time is approximately two hours.
Public Picnic Groves
Tire PlaygroundNon-reserved, first-come first-served picnicking is available at the Oriole, Chicakdee, Quail Ridge and Pines picnic groves. All of the picnic groves offer tables, charcoal grills (bring your own charcoal), and comfort stations. There is no additional charge to use these picnic facilities; however, normal park admission charges apply. Seneca Creek does not have a camp store or food concession; however, charcoal and ice cream are sold at the Boat Center during normal Boat Center operating days and hours.