Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm
6411 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm is a 512-acre park in Prince George’s County, managed by the National Park Service. The park is nestled on the eastern shore of the Potomac River, just outside the Washington, DC line, and just inside the Capital Beltway. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway runs by the park’s western edge.
Oxon Hill Farm and the natural areas of Oxon Cove Park comprise a rich, diverse ecosystem that supports a wide variety of plant and animal life. The park contains woodlands, hedgerows, and large open fields. Oxon Hill Farm is a historic working farm within the park that has live farm animals and exhibits and demonstrations related to historic farming practices.
The topography of the park consists of two general zones: an area of broad Potomac River floodplain and a high upward terrace. The upland terrace is cut and divided by several small intermittent drainages that descend to the floodplain. The floodplain is crossed by Oxon Run, a stream that broadens into a shallow estuary of Oxon Cove before joining the Potomac River. At low tide, mudflats are exposed along the shore of Oxon Cove and along Oxon Run.
Oxon Cove Park offers two trails that allow visitors to walk at their own pace to explore some of the natural features of the park. These trails are the 0.3 mile Woodlot Trail and the 1.6 mile Hiker-Biker Trail, which descends down a gentle slope from the Oxon Farm area and makes a wide curve to eventually follow the Oxon Cove shoreline. The Hiker-Biker Trail passes through beautiful broad grassy fields.
Over 185 species have been reported on eBird from Oxon Cove Park/Oxon Hill Farm. The waters of Oxon Cove and the Potomac River are good for waterfowl and gulls in winter and for terns in summer. There are breeding Bald Eagles and Ospreys. At the farm field, there may be breeding Eastern Meadowlarks and Grasshopper Sparrows; Bobolinks in migration; and winter sparrows (Savannah, Vesper, White-crowned, American Tree). Up-slope from Oxon Run is a former landfill which may harbor Lincoln’s Sparrows or other sparrows in migration. Oxon Cove is a good spot for migrating shorebirds. The hedgerows are good for spring migrant warblers, and the woodland is a good place to find migrant thrushes as well as breeding Wood Thrush and winter-resident Hermit Thrushes. The farm area attracts swallows in the warm months.
Paved lot near park entrance.
Oxon Hill Farm has interesting exhibits of farm animals. ◾ The Visitor Barn houses a bookstore operated by a concessioner. A wide variety of educational merchandise can be purchased, many of which are geared towards children. A percentage of the purchase amount is returned to the park for development of interpretive programs. ◾ The park emphasizes nature education for children. A variety of children’s activities sheets are provided on the park’s website. In addition, the website has educational materials for teachers and offers field trips for schools. ◾ The park hosts a “Be a Junior Ranger” program for children 6 years and older. ◾ 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.
Since a major widening of the Beltway and its interchanges with I-295 and Rt 210, Oxon Cove Park has become more hemmed in and difficult to access. Follow these directions carefully and see the detailed map of the park entrance area. From the Capital Beltway (I-495/I-95) in Maryland: Stay in the local lanes and take Exit 3 (MD-210/Indian Head Highway). At the light, go straight, over all the lanes of traffic on Route 210. This puts you on Bald Eagle Road. Just before you come to the bridge over the beltway, you will see the entrance to the parking lot on the right. • From the Capital Beltway (I-495/I-95) in Virginia: Stay in the local lanes and take Exit 3B (MD-210/Indian Head Highway north) toward Forest Heights. Make a right at the stop light onto Oxon Hill Road westbound. Immediately get in the middle lane so you do NOT take the exit for MD-210/Indian Head Highway northbound. At the second stop light, make a right onto Bald Eagle Road. Drive across the bridge and the entrance to the parking lot will be on your left. • From I-295 Washington, D.C.: Take I-295 south until it ends at I-495/I-95 and MD-210 Indian Head Highway. Take the exit for I-495/I-95 toward Baltimore. Take exit 3B (MD-210 Indian Highway north) towards Forest Heights. Take a right at the stop light onto Oxon Hill Road west. Immediately get in the middle lane so you do not take the exit for MD-210 Indian Head Highway north. At the second stop light make a right onto Bald Eagle Road. Drive across the bridge and the entrance to our parking lot will be on your left. • From South Capitol St/Indian Head Highway (MD-210) from Washington, D.C.: South Capitol Street will turn into Indian Head Highway (MD-210) at the DC/MD border. Continue on Indian Head Highway (MD-210) through Forest Heights. At the top of the hill leaving Forest Heights, make a right at the stoplight onto Bald Eagle Road. Just before you come to the bridge over the beltway, you will see the entrance to the parking lot on the right. • From Indian Head Highway (MD-210) from Southern Maryland: Take the MD-414/Oxon Hill Rd exit. At the stoplight, turn left onto Oxon Hill Road. Then make a right at the light at Bald Eagle Road. Drive across the bridge and the entrance to the parking lot will be on your left.
Fort Washington Park; Fort Foote Park; Piscataway (National) Park, National Colonial Farm & Wharf Road; Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens; East Potomac Park/Hains Point.
Bottomland DeciduousHedgerowsUpland Deciduous FarmyardLawn, Ballfields, Golf CourseReclaimed Industrial Site Agricultural Crop Fields or Fallow FieldsHay Meadows, Pasture, Grass FieldOld Fields, Shrubby Meadows Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainJetties & SeawallsMud Flats (Tidal or Non-Tidal)Open Ocean, Bay, or EstuaryRivers & Streams
BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)Free - No Entry FeeGift Shop or BookstoreHiking/Walking TrailsHistorical FeaturesLake, Pond, Bay, River, OceanNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsNature CenterParkingPets AllowedRestroomsVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Community and Urban ParksHistorical SitesNature CentersThe Rivers of the Western Shore