At a Glance

Hours: October through February:10 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday. March through June: 9 am – 6 pm, daily. July through September: 10 am – 5 pm, Mon – Saturday. Closed all major holidays & Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day; may be closed for inclement weather. See Lilypons website.

Cost: Free. Remember that you are a guest on private property.

Tips: There will be lots of walking in grass and on uneven trails; wear sturdy, waterproof boots. In warm weather, be prepared for ticks and lots of sun. Winter conditions can be windy.

Best Seasons: Year-round, although summer can be hot and buggy.

Local MOS Chapter: Frederick Bird Club

Lilypons Water Gardens

6800 Lily Pons Road, Adamstown, MD 21710
(800) 999-5459

Lilypons Water Gardens, a privately owed business, has been selling plants and supplies for water gardens since 1917. There are a large number of man-made ponds on the property, as well as open fields and riparian woodlands along the Monocacy River and Bennett Creek. The staff at Lilypons Water Gardens have been remarkably hospitable and gracious to birders over the years. If you visit, please be on your best behavior and thank the staff for allowing the visit. Hint: if you garden, please consider making a purchase.

Due to its size and range of habitat, Lilypons has an abundance of bird species in all seasons, and is famous for rarities. In fact, Lilypons is the #1 eBird hotspot in Frederick county, in terms of number of species reported.

Birders are welcome to walk the property when the gardens are open for business. There is a viewing platform and kiosk near the main building. Be sure to check the trail maps provided by the Frederick Bird Club Trail Map link at left. When Lilypons is closed, using a scope from the Monocacy Bridge gives a good view of many of the garden center ponds and can provide productive birding.

Birdlife:

About 250 species have been reported from Lilypons Water Gardens. Birds regularly seen in the warm months include: Wood Duck, Green Heron, Great Egret, Least Bittern, Virginia Rail, Osprey, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blue Grosbeak, White-eyed, Red-eyed, Yellow-throated and Warbling Vireo, Willow and Acadian Flycatcher, most woodpecker species and many sparrow species. Raptors are abundant. Northern Rough-winged Swallows nest under the adjacent Monocacy River Bridge.

During migration, there are a variety of waterfowl, rails, and shorebirds including American Black Duck, American Wigeon, Gadwall, American Coot, Sora, plovers, sandpipers and yellowlegs. Almost 30 wood warbler species have been reported in migration. Lincoln’s Sparrow is regularly seen in the fall.

In winter, look for a variety of ducks (including Hooded and Common Merganser), Wilson’s Snipe, kinglets, Winter Wren, Fox Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and Purple Finch. Rarities in recent years include Anhinga, King Rail, Common Gallinule, Red Phalarope, Golden Eagle, Cliff Swallow, Vesper Sparrow, and Mourning Warbler.

Parking:

Parking lot next to the main building.

Special Features:

Did you know: the gardens and a nearby village are named after the famed opera star Lily Pons (1898-1976), hence there is no “d” in the word “Pons.” ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Frederick Bird Club, which hosts fields trips and meetings with informative presentations, all free and open to the public.

Directions:

From I-270 in Frederick, take MD Route 85 south for 5 miles. Turn left on Lilypons Road (a sign for Lilypons is at the intersection). Go 1.3 miles to the main entrance on the left. From the Washington, DC Beltway (I-495), take Exit 35 to I-270 north for 25.6 miles. Take exit 26 onto MD Route 80/Fingerboard Road toward Buckeystown. After 1.9 miles, turn left onto Park Mills Road. After 3.5 miles, turn right onto Lily Pons Road. The gardens will be on the right.

Nearby Sites:

Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary; Fred J. Archibald Audubon SanctuarySugarloaf Mountain; C&O Canal -Mouth of Monocacy to Brunswick; Little Bennett Regional Park.

Habitats:

Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerows Garden or Park Old Fields, Shrubby Meadows Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainFreshwater Pond, Lake, or ReservoirRivers & Streams

Features:

BeginnersFree - No Entry FeeHistorical FeaturesLake, Pond, Bay, River, OceanNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsParkingPicnic AreaPlaygroundYoung People / Families

Type:

#1 Hotspot in County or CityGardens & ArboretaPonds, Lakes, and ReservoirsWater Trails