Prince George’s is home to dozens of gorgeous natural spaces, and each one offers its own special experience to visitors. From green forests with winding trails to flowing waterways filled with fish, there’s a park for every type of nature enthusiast. Go fishing with friends, take your family camping, or take a break from the city at a miniature golf course — just get outside!
Try one of these eight parks in the region:
- The well-forested Greenbelt Park is run by the National Park Service, and it offers affordable camping just outside the bustling city. The protected space hosts 172 campground sites, nine miles of trails, and three picnic areas — one of which is reservable and can hold groups of up to 200 people. Take the Perimeter Trail, which starts near the entrance of the park and runs for 5.3 miles, or follow the 1.2-mile Azalea trail from the Sweetgum picnic area.
- Watkins Regional Park is all about adventure and discovery. Explore the Old Maryland farm to learn about modern and historic farm life in the region. Ride the historic Gustav Dentzel Carousel at the Wonderful World of Watkins amusement complex, where you can also play a round of miniature golf, or go rollerskating. If sports are more your speed, play year-round in the Watkins Tennis Bubble.
- Observe wildlife in the only sanctuary operated by the Maryland Department of Resources: the Merkle State Wildlife Sanctuary & Visitor’s Center. The refuge covers 1,670 acres and is home to the largest concentration of Canada geese on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore. This unique natural space is an excellent spot for birding, hiking, and wildlife spotting.
- The attractions at family-friendly Cosca Regional Park make it an excellent choice for a day trip or a weekend adventure. With group campsites, a nature center with plenty of learning opportunities, and specialized nature programs run by staff, the park is packed with opportunities to expose children to the wild outdoors.
- Dig into history, literally, at Dinosaur Park in Laurel. The park works to preserve, protect, and interpret the paleontological resources of the region through research, fossil deposit management, and hands-on public programming. Archaeologists at the site protect a rare group of fossils from the Cretaceous period, about 115 million years ago.
- Nature lovers searching for solitude and peace can head to the School House Pond, located across the street from the Prince George’s County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro. The pond is an excellent spot for fishing and birdwatching, the Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department provides a birding checklist for visitors.
- The Suitland Bog is a unique wetland landscape home to carnivorous plants and a variety of plants on the “Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants of Maryland” list from the Maryland Natural Heritage Program. The bog is open to visitors from dawn to sunset, and parking is available at the Suitland Community Center.
- Explore an area that was once a colonial town dating back to 1706. This major river crossing community, called Queen Anne, was a popular transit location of the past, and it’s now known as the Queen Anne Fishing Area. This tidal river is open for fishing along its banks, and a Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport license is required for fishers 16 and older.
To learn more from the experts, visit one of these Prince George’s nature centers.