Whether you are into hiking, soaking up natural scenery, or getting in some playtime with your kids or furry friends, the beautiful parks in Bethesda have plenty to satisfy. Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages will love the variety in the area, each of which is perfect for all types of activities.
No matter where you live in the Bethesda area, there are plenty of parks within easy reach — and all of them feature opportunities to get your steps in, sit with a good book, or explore. This guide provides more information about a handful of local favorites.
1. Booze Creek Stream Valley Park
The Booze Creek Stream Valley Park is quiet and rustic, making it the perfect place to relax, unwind, and get back to the basics of nature. This park is part of the Cabin John Watershed, which feeds into the Potomac River, and covers around 24 acres of stunning waterfront views. While you are here, you can enjoy:
- Beautiful views of creeks, wooded areas, and open fields
- Small hiking trails, designed for park-goers who prefer to explore on foot rather than on a bike or scooter
- Opportunities to see woodland creatures, including chipmunks, raccoons, and even deer from time to time
An environmentally protected area, you won’t find much in the way of bike trails or playground equipment at the Booze Creek Stream Valley Park. You might just see some adorable area wildlife and lose yourself in the peace and serenity of nature, however.
2. Amity Drive Neighborhood Park
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Booze Creek Stream Valley Park is the Amity Drive Neighborhood Park, a recreational area that is fully accessible to park-goers of all ages. The park offers:
- A recently renovated playground area with a slide, swingset, and climbing equipment for active kids
- A gazebo area and picnic tables, fully covered to protect you from the elements as you enjoy your lunch
- A basketball court for those who want to enjoy an afternoon shooting hoops
You will also find plenty of parking. The covered picnic shelter is available to rent, too, so consider Amity Drive Neighborhood Park if you want to host a grand picnic lunch or birthday party!
3. Ayrlawn Local Park
A large neighborhood park located in the residential area surrounding Ayrlawn Elementary school, Ayrlawn Local Park has been a staple in the Bethesda area for years. This park offers activities such as:
- A play train with three compartments that is perfect for active kids and toddlers since it offers smaller steps, buttons, and knobs within easy reach
- Extensive playground equipment, including multiple slides, a merry-go-round, tire swings, and swings designed especially for babies and toddlers
- A soccer field, as well as other sporting areas to burn off some steam
- Plenty of parking lots located conveniently close to the athletic fields
Ayrlawn Local Park is the perfect destination for a family day in the sunshine, with something for everyone to enjoy.
4. Willard Avenue Neighborhood Park
With a little more than five acres of recreational and nature space, Willard Avenue Neighborhood Park is a particular favorite with Bethesda residents. This park offers a lot for younger visitors, including:
- A large basketball court and on-hand fitness equipment
- A multi-use field, which can be used for soccer, football, or any other sport
- A playground with four slides, climbing equipment, and a swingset
Visitors of all ages and activity levels will enjoy the numerous bridges, situated over bubbling streams and picturesque valleys. Head to Willard Avenue Neighborhood Park to revel in one of the most beautiful parks in Montgomery County.
5. Westmoreland Hills Local Park
There are lots of things to do in Bethesda, including a visit to the Westmoreland Hills Local Park. With lots of historical elements on-site — including a man-made hill constructed during the Civil War — this park is a great destination for families, people with pets, and those who appreciate a serene setting. It features:
- An area for softball, two tennis courts, and a multiuse field for other sports and recreational activities
- Large playground with plenty of slides, swings, and climbing equipment for active children
- Hiking trails and a fenced-in walking trail, with signs along the way to help identify trees and other plants of particular interest to nature lovers
- Spacious parking areas that can easily fit larger vehicles or trailers
When you want to enjoy a little bit of history along with your nature trip, Westmoreland Hills Local Park is just the ticket.
6. Cabin John Regional Park
Cabin John Regional Park is full of great activities for park-goers of all ages and is of particular interest to those who love sports. Throughout the year, it hosts everything from summer ball games on the baseball field to ice skating during the winter months, on the fun and fully enclosed ice skating rink. Cabin John Regional Park also offers:
- Environmental nature programs for children throughout the year
- Seven walk-in campgrounds
- Over five miles of hiking and biking trails
Cabin John Regional Park is a must-visit for anyone in Bethesda. Keep an eye on local bulletins for announcements about upcoming events.
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