nature trips

mountain biking




trail running



wild flowers

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. 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 river. During May, the Schwartz peony gardens and field plants are in bloom.

This is a great hike with significant variations in the terrain. You walk through meadows and woods, cross the creek by jumping from stone to stone, and climb up and down relatively significant hills. You also get a nice (albeit brief) walk past the C&O canal.

The only reason this doesn’t get a 5 is because I like to have some bouldering or scrambling and there really isn’t any on this trail. Also it was very muddy but that’s my own fault for going out in the midst of a wet January. It is a long trail. Not sure if it clocks in as high as the 12.9 miles as posted, but it’s definitely in the double digits.

A lot of fun running, walking a dog, mountain biking

Great workout for people just starting to hike. The trail around the lake provides some beautiful views. Just be aware that the park closes at sunset. You will get locked in if you aren’t out in time. Fortunately, the rangers are really nice and helpful.

A little under 4 miles around the lake but with climbs so it’s a good running work out.

trail running
22 days ago

I love this trail for running but have yet to do the entire route as I always take a wrong turn at one of the river crossings.

Super fun

3 months ago

Pleasant trail with rolling hills while occasionally following large streams. This trail ended up being 22.5 miles even after making a couple shortcuts. Much longer than anticipated and ended up not bringing enough water or snacks. With a 30lbs pack it took me 9 hours. There was a bike race so I was continually stopping to let the cyclists pass which probably added an extra hour in total. I averaged 2.3 miles per hour in total. There was a couple old historical sites which were nice to break up the hike. Mosquito's were terrible, forgot to bring a long sleave shirt which was my fault and with sweating so much the bug spray didn't last long. There were numerous parking lots along the trail if you only wanted to visit small portions on the trail. Trail was a great bike trail as well and when I ran out of water half way through my hike (which has never happened before) one of the cyclist refill stations was kind and let me top off my 3.5L camel back. I would recommend very comfortable boots or shoes. There is a couple stream crossings and it is possible to get a little wet.

4 months ago

Not a bad trail by any means, but little in the way of views or destination goal. Crop field crossing doesn't do it for me, but the covered woods are nice single track. Saw a few mountain bikers, but all passing was safe and in control (just know that this is a very popular off-road riding destination).

I think a moderate rating is proper. I run and bike regularly and I still felt my quads the next day. Worth going back, perhaps next time on two wheels.

Trail was beautiful. Early part was more secluded. recommend pants if you don’t like grass brushing you. We wore shorts and were fine though. When we went (summer) some of the old pond trail was not completely cleared.

The lake is beautiful and as a result can get crowded.

Great day hike, packing route. Plenty of campsites to stop along the way or call for the night. Great views of the Potomac, some fishing opportunities on both the Canal and the River. Great family hike. No noticeable slope, packed terrain. North of Seneca Landing gets bad after rainy weather. Going to try an overnight bike ride soon

we only walked half yesterday, but will go back and finish the rest. I love walking and biking the C&O and plan on doing all of the C&O before the summer is out. Very easy walking, very clean trail, beautiful view of the river and the canal.

10 months ago

Section hike Montevideo Rd to Old River Road.
Nice Parking lot at the Montevideo Trail head. Shoulder parking at Old River Road. Also there is no signage at Old River Road (Trail starts across a bridge). Trail is marked with orange blazes. Hike is high along the ridge and never really gets down to creek.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Beautiful views of the "frozen" lake. It was very cold, but still a great New Year's Day hike.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Warning -- might be closed for hunting right now. I haven't been there, but the DNR website says it's closed for the 2 week firearm hunting season, which looks to be 11/24/17 through the second weekend of December.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Parked at playground area. Bathroom was clean (enough). Dirty toilets are a deal breaker for me. Nice easy hike, decent views of lake with some really beautiful little inlet pond areas that were surprisingly free of mosquitoes. Lots of company on trail that day-- families with little kids, seniors, pets, mountain biking. No areas too steep or tricky but still managed to strain my ankle a bit. Amateur hikers like me should invest in real hiking shoes not just sneakers. I prefer shorter more intense hikes than longer easier ones. Not sure it's worth the $3 entrance fee when Black Hill Regional is free but it's another good option.

mountain biking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Really fun- definitely on the intermediate side, but well worth it, and a perfect place for people newer to the sport to cut their teeth

excellent trail

Nice hike once you are on the trail located in the park.

Nice scenery by the lake. Also, the trail had pleasant ups and downs in elevation.

Just a really great trail and 4 minutes from our house - wish we found it earlier

Did the east side & turned around at Germantown Rd. Excellent 7 miles. Will do the southwest side next time down to upper Potomac.

mountain biking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

Been riding Schaeffer Farm for 10 years. One of my favorites. However, it is very popular with a lot of clubs, student riding groups, and summer camps. So expect a fairly high degree of traffic during prime season. Watch out for inexperienced riders back there in some of the blind corners and hills. There are some spots where riders get moving a bit too fast and have trouble avoiding collisions. It's an intermediate trail and some go a little faster than they should in spots with poor visibility.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Great trails. needs some clearing work in parts. hanging brush was a little much. whoop section was awesome

Great, easy hike. Beautiful lake views. Lots of shade. Perfect for a hot day!

A beautiful hike around the lake. Easy beginner hike and great for dogs! Note: it's $3/person for MD residents and $5/person for all others to drive into the park but there is a small parking lot before the ranger gate you can park in and walk into the park for free!

Good one!

Monday, June 05, 2017

A bit awkward sharing the trail as it seemed like mountain bikers were the main users of the trail, but I don't mind. I loved the change of scenery on this trail. One minute, you're in the woods, next a cropfield, next a river. I don't mind views, but some might not be overly impressed.

$3 per person to get in but the lake is beautiful and peaceful. Great spots for hammocking off the main trails next to the water.

Would definitely come back for a picnic-not a fan of the power lines. It was a good exercise regardless!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Great trail!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

length and view of lake were nice but this trail is heavily worn, felt like we had to look down the entire time so we wouldn't trip on the tons of roots showing through.

Load More