​Montgomery County

Seneca Creek State Park
11950 Clopper Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878


Driving Directions:

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.

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.

Pet Policy:

Pets are allowed in Seneca Creek State Park.

Hunting Policy:

  • General hunting permitted in 1,000 acre designated hunting area
  • Archery-only hunting for deer permitted in 2,000 acre designated hunting area
  • Managed shotgun deer hunting program in the Clopper area - lottery system to select hunters - Managed Hunt Permit required to participate in the hunt (not required to participate in the lottery)
  • Shotgun-only hunting for deer permitted in the Schaeffer Farm area (free WHS permit / reservation required ) - Managed Hunt Permit required

Seneca Creek State Park

Fall trees at Seneca CreekThe 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.

Some Trails at Seneca Creek State Park to Temporarily Close

High usage areas near Clopper Lake and relevant trails may be closed from early August 2015 through March 2016 for sewer line maintenance. To be completed in phases, the work will start at the Lakeshore Trail between Birdsong Road and Long Draft Road, and upstream along Long Draught Creek. Work may close the trail to park users, to be indicated by trail entrance signs and barricades. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission will be carrying out the projects. For further information and updates, call the commission’s contract manager is Josh Roll, 301-206-7363.

Seneca Creek State Park Trail Maps

New maps of the trails at Seneca Creek State Park can be downloaded for free from this website. Please make sure to read the printing instructions and information for how to download the file to cell phones. The maps are in a PDF format that requires Adobe Reader. To get the free Adobe Reader go to Adobe.com.

Maryland Green Travel Partner

MGT.JPGMany Maryland State Parks have been approved as partners of Maryland Green Travel, a free and voluntary self-certification program that promotes and recognizes sustainable environmental practices by businesses in the tourism industry. These practices include energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and water conservation methods.

Click on this link to view the green profile and the list of sustainable practices for Seneca Creek State Park.


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 - Private watercraft are permitted on Clopper Lake throughout the year during normal park hours. A hand launch site is available for the lake next to the boat center. A boat concession rents boats for fishing and recreation on weekends in May and September, and Wednesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. 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. 

    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 Girls paddling at Seneca State parkApril 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 - Over 50 miles of trails are open for hiking, horseback riding and bicycling and 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 (click here for map) is considered a favorite place to ride. The Maryland Park Service does not rent horses, and only provides the trails as a means of recreation. 
  • Disc Golf Course - A 32-acre, 27-hole course, for both the amateur and the professional is at the park.
  • 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

General Rules for all Hunting Areas

  1. You may enter the area one hour before shooting time to set up. Legal shooting time begins one half hour before sunrise.
  2. You must be out of the area by one hour after legal shooting time. Legal shooting time ends one half hour after sunset.
  3. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the hunting area boundary lines, safety zones and established trails throughout the hunting area.
  4. 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.
  5. Maps depicting hunting areas are provided for your reference only. Observe posted hunting and boundary signs. All acreage figures are approximate.

Check-in Procedures

  1. 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).
  2. 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.


  1. 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
  2. Maryland State Parks are “Trash Free”. All trash must be packed out.


  1. All hunters must wear the required type and amount of fluorescent orange during the deer firearms and muzzleloader seasons.
  2. 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.
  3. Do not remove, cut, destroy, prune or deface any vegetation. Do not cut shooting lanes.
  4. 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.

Trail Maps

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.

Heron at Seneca Creek State Park

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.

Online Services

Contact the Park Service

  • To Report Violations of Park Rules: 1-800-825-7275 (Park Watch) or 1-410-260-8888 (Communications Center)
  • General Information: 1-800-830-3974 (Annapolis Office)
  • Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
  • Email Us