Greenbelt National Park
Greenbelt National Park was dedicated in the early 1960’s as a park offering camping amid a natural setting easily accessible to city dwellers. At the same time, the ROW for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway was laid out across the planned park boundary. Unfortunately, neither agency budged, so the park ended up bisected by the full width of the parkway into a western 2/3 parcel containing all the roads, trails, and facilities, and a little-visited eastern 1/3, inaccessible by vehicle and scarcely by foot - wild, overgrown, and forgotten. Greenbelt Park is unusually large at ~ 700 acres for a close-in suburban park. The park is primarily wooded and boasts some fine, tall timber. Clearings are along roads and around campsites. Bounded by Kenilworth Ave, Greenbelt Rd, and the BW Parkway, traffic noise can be distracting. Note the inholding on the east side of Kenilworth Ave – the Westchester Apts. Approaching this boundary from the park and looking out into the open space beyond is a traditional venue for American Woodcock in late March. The campsites are sometimes good migrant magnets. Come early and walk quietly so as to avoid waking the campers. The adventurous may like to try the eastern parcel. Walk along Good Luck Road east from the Baltimore-Washington parkway overpass a short way to the gated-off old entrance road, now abandoned. This road affords some access, though much encumbered by fallen trees and standing water. But a sizable marshy section may harbor wetland birds, and surprises may await the keen-eyed.
Woodland birds generally; in migration good for all 4 migrant thrushes. Low-lying areas along streams may have breeding Barred Owl, Yellow-throated Vireo and Louisiana. Waterthrush. But the park is best for a chance fall-out during spring and fall migration.