At a Glance

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Cost: Free in winter; Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend: daily admission $3 per carload Monday-Friday; $4 per carload on Saturday and Sunday. There are some exceptions including July 3rd Fireworks and other special events.

Tips: Bring scope. ◾ Restrooms are available only in summer.

Best Seasons: Winter and spring

Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Deer Park CW, Deer Park SW, Oakland SE

Local MOS Chapter: Allegany-Garrett Bird Club

Broadford Lake

134 Recreation Lane, Oakland, MD 21550
(301) 334-2691
GPS: 39.4073364, -79.37438

Located near Oakland, Broadford Lake is a small man-made lake in the Appalachian Plateau, located in a park owned by the town of Oakland. Broadford Lake was built in 1972 as a water supply reservoir for the town and opened for fishing and recreation in 1975. Adjacent woodlands provide good habitat for songbirds. It is a popular birding site throughout the year and is known to be a good spot for finding waterfowl and songbirds. In fact, it’s the #1 eBird hotspot in Garrett County in terms of number of species reported.

The lake covers 140 acres of the 400-acre park and public access is allowed along the entire shoreline. The upper shallow end contains submerged stumps, lily pads, and flats with heavy growth of aquatic vegetation, providing ideal habitat for fish as well as birds that eat fish. The lake is stocked with fish every year.  Brush piles created by beavers near deeper water also provide excellent habitat for birds. In addition to fishing, Broadford Lake Park offers swimming, biking, canoeing, and kayaking. The park has one boat ramp and rental boats are available at the park’s concession stand. Gasoline-powered outboard motors are prohibited. Broadford Lake Park also has picnic facilities.

Upon arriving at the Lake, work along the entire western shore (the developed side of the lake), checking the water as well as the trees and other vegetation around the parking areas and ball fields. After checking that side of the park, it often pays to walk across the dam at the south end of the lake to check the small woodland at the south end, where a stream flows into the woods from the lake. There is a good brushy field at the southeast corner that often holds sparrows.

Birdlife:

Over 210 species have been recorded on eBird at this small park and lake. Broadford Lake is a great spot for waterfowl in the winter. It can also be a good place for finding songbirds in spring and fall. There are often large flocks of hundreds of Canada Geese and many ducks of various species. The beach area could turn up a shorebird or two in migration and the little wetland across Broadford Road at the intersection with Memorial Drive is also worth checking for ducks and shorebirds. Some of the rarer species known to show up here include Red-necked Grebe, Red-throated Loon, Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, and all three scoters. There have also been sightings of Eurasian Wigeon and American Avocet (not reported in eBird).

Parking:

When the park is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, park in the lot at the south end of the lake. Do not park at the ballpark area (off limits if not attending a game).

Pet Policy:

Dogs are permitted in the parking lot but not elsewhere.

Restrictions:

No bikes, skateboards, or roller blades. No alcohol.

Special Features:

The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Allegany-Garrett Bird Club, which hosts field trips in the region and meetings with informative presentations, all free and open to the public.

Directions:

From MD Route 219 north of Oakland, turn east onto Memorial Drive. Follow Memorial Drive to its end at Broadford Road; turn right (south) onto Broadford Road. Turn left at Recreation Lane into the park. Go past the ballfields to the parking lot at the south end of the lake. Note that the park is officially open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Nearby Sites:

Loch Lynn Heights Wetland Trail, Mt. Nebo WMA, Herrington Manor State Park, Swallow Falls State Park.

Habitats:

Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerows Garden or ArboretumLawn, Ballfields, Golf CourseUrban or Small Town Landscape Old Fields, Shrubby Meadows Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainFreshwater Pond, Lake, or ReservoirMud Flats (Tidal or Non-Tidal)Rivers & Streams

Features:

Ball Fields or Other SportsBeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)Boat or Canoe/Kayak LaunchBoat RentalsFishingParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaPlaygroundRestroomsSwimmingWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families

Type:

#1 Hotspot in County or CityCommunity and Urban ParksPonds, Lakes, and Reservoirs