At a Glance
Hours: 5 am — 11 pm, daily. Restrooms close at dusk.
Tips: Bring a scope for waterfowl in the winter. ◾ This is a very popular park. Visit in early morning and on weekdays if you can. ◾ Portable restrooms are located in the parking lot.
Best Seasons: Winter and spring.
Breeding Bird Atlas Block: Beltsville SE
Greenbelt Lake Municipal Park (Buddy Attick Lake Park)
555 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Greenbelt Lake Municipal Park, also known as Buddy Attick Lake Park, has been a cherished part of the city of Greenbelt, a planned community from the New Deal projects of the 1930’s, since its inception. The 105-acre park is centered on the 23-acre Greenbelt Lake, impounded by a dam at its west end, narrowing downstream to a rivulet.
A 1.3-mile packed-earth trail circumnavigates it, making for a pleasant level walk, albeit muddy in places in early spring. Mature trees line the path most of the way around. In nice weather, the part of the park near the entrance is a favorite recreation area for dog walkers, frisbee, kids – and can be crowded. But the farther reaches of the trail around the lake are less frequented. The trail is open to biking as well as hiking. In addition to the lake and the surrounding woodlands, the park contains some brushy habitat and a good variety of native shrubs that provide berries and seeds to support birds, and there is a pollinator garden near the entrance.
Visitor amenities include picnic pavilions with grills, tables and benches, a paved court area, tot lot, and playground, and restrooms.
The park is named in memory of local resident Buddy Attick, whose family are long-time residents of the area. He was one of the first policemen in the town and later became the Director of Public Works.
Note that there are many side trails that connect the trail around the lake to the local streets, and in fact the whole town is permeated with foot-trails that run between the residential areas and businesses. Greenbelt residents are proud of the walkability of their community. A good spot to explore is the wooded Belle Point Tract at the southwest corner of the lake, where a number of foot-trails criss-cross the area. The Belle Point Tract is one of five tracts that make up the Greenbelt Forest Preserve, 254.8 acres of forested land that are protected and conserved in their existing natural state; for detailed information on the Forest Preserve, including maps and habitat descriptions, see https://www.greenbeltmd.gov/community/greenbelt-forest-preserve.
Over 180 species have been reported on eBird from the Greenbelt Lake- Buddy Attick Lake Park hotspot.
In winter, there is a good variety of ducks and loons, with an occasional rarity. The relatively small lake provides a rare opportunity to see Canvasbacks and Redheads and American Wigeons up close.
The wooded trail can be good for migrant passerines in spring and fall.
Breeding birds include Wood Duck and the ubiquitous Canada Goose. Rusty Blackbirds are a specialty of the park, and can be seen along the lake edge in early spring, rooting around in fallen leaves and probing in the mud.
Gravel lot at entrance. Note that part of the gravel lot is designated as a permit area and is set aside for local residents with permits. DO NOT PARK IN THE PERMIT AREA if you do not have a permit (available only to Greenbelt residents)
Part of the lakeside trail is appropriate for wheelchairs. ◾ There is a pollinator garden near the park entrance. ◾ Greenbelt residents may obtain permits for canoes and kayaks, but paddling permits are not available to non-residents. Fishing is allowed (license required), but swimming is not allowed. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Patuxent Bird Club, which offers field trips and meetings with informative programs, all free and open to the public.
From the Capital Beltway/I-495,: Take Exit 23-B (Kenilworth Avenue/Greenbelt Road). When you come off the ramp, make a right at the stop light onto Kenilworth Avenue/MD Route 202. Go to the first stop light and make a right onto Crescent Road. The park entrance is up the hill, the first right turn from Crescent Road. You will see a big wooden sign indicating the park.
Prince George’s County: Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (restricted access) ◾ Bladensburg Waterfront Park, Colmar Manor Community Park & Anacostia River Trail ◾ Fort Foote Park ◾ Fort Washington (National) Park ◾ Fran Uhler Natural Area ◾ Governor Bridge Natural Area ◾ Greenbelt (National) Park ◾ Lake Artemesia Natural Area ◾ Merkle Natural Resources Management Area ◾ Milltown Landing Natural Resources Management Area ◾ Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm ◾ Patuxent Research Refuge – South Tract (National Wildlife Visitor Center) ◾ Patuxent River Park – Jug Bay Natural Area ◾Patuxent River Park – Mount Calvert Historical & Archaeological Park ◾ Piscataway MOS Sanctuary ◾ Piscataway (National) Park: National Colonial Farm, Boardwalk, Wharf Road/Farmington Landing & Marshall Hall ◾ Rocky Gorge Reservoir – Supplee Lane Recreation Area & Duckett Dam ◾ Rosaryville State Park ◾ Schoolhouse Pond
Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerows Garden or ArboretumLawn, Ballfields, Golf CourseUrban or Small Town Landscape Old Fields, Shrubby Meadows Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainFreshwater Pond, Lake, or ReservoirRivers & Streams
Features:Ball Fields or Other SportsBeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)FishingFree - No Entry Fee at Any TimeHiking/Walking TrailsNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaPlaygroundRestroomsWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Type:Community and Urban Parks