matthew henson state park

Matthew Henson State Park: Explore Maryland

Welcome to Matthew Henson State Park, a stunning greenway nestled in the heart of Montgomery County, Maryland. Spanning 100 acres, this publicly owned park is managed by the Montgomery County Department of Parks and offers an array of recreational features and picturesque views. Named after Matthew Henson, a renowned Maryland native and arctic explorer, the park beckons outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Key Takeaways:

  • Matthew Henson State Park is a publicly owned greenway in Montgomery County, Maryland
  • The park covers 100 acres and is managed by the Montgomery County Department of Parks
  • It offers a range of recreational activities and beautiful scenic views
  • The park is named after Matthew Henson, a Maryland native and arctic explorer
  • It is a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers

Essential Information about Matthew Henson State Park

Matthew Henson State Park

Matthew Henson State Park is a picturesque green oasis located in Montgomery County, Maryland. Situated along Turkey Branch, a tributary of Rock Creek, the park offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

One of the key attractions of the park is the Matthew Henson Trail, a stunning 4.5-mile hiking and biking trail that winds its way through the park’s natural beauty. The trail features an 8-foot-wide hard surface, making it ideal for both hiking and biking enthusiasts. For those who appreciate a unique experience, the trail also includes 0.6 miles of wooden boardwalk that meanders through environmentally sensitive areas.

To access Matthew Henson State Park, visitors can head to the town of Aspen Hill in Maryland. The park is easily reachable from Aspen Hill and offers ample parking for visitors. Its coordinates are 39°04’40″N 77°03’53″W, making it easy to locate on maps and navigation systems.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, cyclist, or wildlife enthusiast, Matthew Henson State Park has something to offer everyone. From its scenic views of Turkey Branch and Rock Creek to its lush greenery and peaceful atmosphere, the park is a haven for nature lovers. Visitors can partake in a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, birdwatching, and wildlife photography. It’s the perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway in the heart of Maryland.

Within the park, you’ll find picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by nature’s beauty. There are also playgrounds for children to let off some steam and stretch their legs. The park’s family-friendly amenities make it an excellent choice for a day out with loved ones.

Matthew Henson State Park is open year-round, allowing visitors to experience its natural wonders in every season. Whether you’re exploring the park’s vibrant foliage in the fall or basking in the warm sunshine during the summer, there’s always something to discover.

In summary, Matthew Henson State Park is a hidden gem nestled in Montgomery County, Maryland. With its scenic trails, abundant wildlife, and serene ambiance, the park offers an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor activities. Whether you’re a hiker, cyclist, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, this park is a must-visit destination.

Park Highlights at Matthew Henson State Park

park highlights matthew henson state park

Matthew Henson State Park offers a variety of highlights that make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. One of the main highlights is the stunning scenic views of Turkey Branch and Rock Creek. These picturesque waterways provide a tranquil backdrop for visitors to enjoy while exploring the park.

The park’s lush greenery is another standout feature. The dense forests and vibrant foliage create a serene and immersive atmosphere, making it the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re hiking along the trails or simply taking in the surroundings, the park’s natural beauty is bound to captivate you.

A unique highlight at Matthew Henson State Park is the wooden boardwalk sections of the Matthew Henson Trail. These elevated pathways offer a one-of-a-kind hiking experience as you navigate through environmentally sensitive areas. Walking on the boardwalk allows you to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings while minimizing any impact on the delicate ecosystem.

“The scenic views, lush greenery, and wooden boardwalk sections of the Matthew Henson Trail make Matthew Henson State Park a truly remarkable destination for nature enthusiasts.”

Another highlight of the park is the abundance of wildlife that can be spotted throughout the area. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the diverse bird species that call the park home, including songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors. Wildlife enthusiasts can also keep an eye out for other animals such as foxes, deer, and squirrels that inhabit the park.

Matthew Henson State Park is not only a natural oasis, but it also offers family-friendly amenities such as picnic areas and playgrounds. These facilities provide the perfect setting for a fun-filled day with loved ones, where you can enjoy a picnic while the children play and explore.

Overall, Matthew Henson State Park stands out for its remarkable park highlights, including scenic views, lush greenery, unique boardwalk sections, abundant wildlife, and family-friendly amenities. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in nature, experience tranquility, and create lasting memories.

Activities at Matthew Henson State Park

activities at Matthew Henson State Park

Matthew Henson State Park offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast, a fishing aficionado, or a nature photographer, there is something for everyone at this beautiful park.

Hiking and Biking

One of the main attractions at Matthew Henson State Park is the Matthew Henson Trail. This 4.5-mile-long trail is perfect for both hikers and bikers, offering a scenic route through the park’s natural surroundings. The trail features a well-maintained hard surface and includes wooden boardwalk sections that add to the unique hiking experience.


If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’ll be delighted to know that Matthew Henson State Park provides opportunities for fishing in Turkey Branch and Rock Creek. However, please note that a valid Maryland fishing license is required to fish in these areas. Cast your line and enjoy a peaceful day of fishing surrounded by the tranquility of nature.

Wildlife Photography

For nature lovers and photography enthusiasts, Matthew Henson State Park offers abundant opportunities to capture stunning shots of the park’s flora and fauna. From colorful birds to graceful deer, you’ll have plenty of subjects to photograph. Explore the park’s trails and keep your camera ready to snap those perfect shots.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, Matthew Henson State Park has it all. From hiking and biking to fishing and wildlife photography, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you engaged and entertained. So pack your gear, grab your camera, and prepare for an unforgettable outdoor experience at Matthew Henson State Park.

Accommodations at Matthew Henson State Park

While Matthew Henson State Park does not offer overnight accommodations such as campsites or cabins, visitors have several options in the surrounding area. These options include hotels, motels, and campgrounds that cater to different preferences and budgets. Here are some popular choices:


  • Hotel A – This modern hotel offers comfortable rooms with amenities like free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant. It is conveniently located within a short drive from Matthew Henson State Park.
  • Hotel B – Situated near the town center, this hotel provides easy access to shopping and dining options. Guests can enjoy spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and a complimentary breakfast.


  • Motel A – This budget-friendly motel offers clean and simple accommodations. It is ideal for travelers looking for a no-frills stay close to the park.
  • Motel B – Conveniently located near major highways, this motel is a great choice for road trip enthusiasts. It offers comfortable rooms and a 24-hour front desk.


  • Campground A – Nestled in a serene natural setting, this campground provides tent and RV sites. It is equipped with facilities like showers, picnic areas, and a camp store.
  • Campground B – This family-friendly campground offers a range of activities for all ages, including swimming, fishing, and hiking. It features spacious campsites and modern amenities.

These accommodations provide convenient access to Matthew Henson State Park, allowing visitors to explore the park during the day and retreat to comfortable lodging in the evenings. Whether you prefer a hotel, motel, or campground, there is an option to suit every traveler’s needs.

Accommodation Location Amenities Price Range
Hotel A Adjacent to the park Free Wi-Fi, fitness center, on-site restaurant $$$
Hotel B Town center Swimming pool, complimentary breakfast $$
Motel A Close to the park Basic amenities $
Motel B Near major highways 24-hour front desk $
Campground A Natural setting Showers, picnic areas, camp store $
Campground B Family-friendly Swimming, fishing, hiking $$

Exploring the Area around Matthew Henson State Park

exploring the area

In addition to the natural beauty of Matthew Henson State Park, visitors can explore the surrounding area to further enhance their experience. Just a short distance away is the charming town of Aspen Hill, offering a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Take a leisurely stroll through the town’s streets to discover local boutiques, cafes, and art galleries, or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the town’s many restaurants.

For those seeking outdoor adventures beyond the park, Wheaton Regional Park is a must-visit destination. With its sprawling botanical garden featuring a wide variety of plants and flowers, nature enthusiasts will find themselves immersed in a world of vibrant colors and delightful scents. The park also houses a nature center where visitors can learn more about the local flora and fauna, as well as a miniature train ride that is sure to delight both children and adults.

If hiking and biking are your preferred activities, Sligo Creek Park is the perfect place to explore. With its extensive trail network, you can embark on a scenic adventure through lush forests and alongside the picturesque Sligo Creek. And for families looking for a place to relax and have a picnic, Long Branch-Arliss Neighborhood Park offers spacious playgrounds and picnic areas where you can enjoy quality time with loved ones.

Exploring the Area: Nearby Parks

Park Features
Wheaton Regional Park Botanical garden, nature center, miniature train ride
Sligo Creek Park Hiking and biking trails, scenic views of Sligo Creek
Long Branch-Arliss Neighborhood Park Playgrounds, picnic areas, family-friendly atmosphere

Services and Facilities at Matthew Henson State Park

services and facilities at Matthew Henson State Park

At Matthew Henson State Park, we strive to provide visitors with a range of services and facilities to enhance their experience. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, our park has amenities to cater to your needs. Here are some of the services and facilities available:

Parking and Restrooms

We understand the importance of convenience, which is why we offer ample parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles. You can rest assured knowing that your car is safely parked while you enjoy all that the park has to offer. Additionally, we have well-maintained restrooms throughout the park for your comfort and convenience.

Picnic Areas

Matthew Henson State Park is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with family and friends. We have designated picnic areas where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy a delicious meal surrounded by the beauty of nature. Whether you prefer a sunny spot or a shaded area, we have options to suit your preferences. So pack a picnic basket and make lasting memories in our picturesque park.

Information Boards and Maps

We want our visitors to have the best experience possible, which is why we have information boards and maps located throughout the park. These resources provide valuable information about the park’s trails, attractions, and wildlife, allowing you to navigate and explore with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned visitor or a first-time explorer, our maps and information boards will guide you on your adventure.

Matthew Henson State Park is committed to providing exceptional services and facilities to ensure an enjoyable visit for all. With convenient parking, well-maintained restrooms, picnic areas, and informative resources, we aim to make your time at the park as comfortable and memorable as possible.

Park History and Conservation Efforts

I’m excited to share with you the fascinating history and ongoing conservation efforts of Matthew Henson State Park. Established in 1989, this remarkable park spans 200 acres, with 83 acres designated as a state park and 117 acres designated as a county park. Its name pays homage to Matthew Henson, a renowned arctic explorer and Maryland native.

Originally, the land was purchased by the state in the 1950s for the proposed Washington Outer Beltway. However, a decision was made to preserve the stream valley corridor, leading to the creation of this stunning park. Managed by the Montgomery County Department of Parks, Matthew Henson State Park aims to promote the conservation of natural resources and wildlife in the area.

The park’s commitment to conservation is truly commendable. Efforts are underway to protect and preserve the diverse ecosystems within the park, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its natural beauty. From monitoring and managing wildlife populations to implementing sustainable practices, Matthew Henson State Park is at the forefront of environmental stewardship.


Is Matthew Henson State Park open year-round?

Yes, the park is open year-round for visitors to enjoy.

Is there an admission fee to enter Matthew Henson State Park?

No, admission to the park is free.

Are there any overnight accommodations available at the park?

No, the park does not offer overnight accommodations. Visitors can explore nearby hotels, motels, and campgrounds for their stay.

What activities can I engage in at Matthew Henson State Park?

Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife photography at the park.

Is a fishing license required to fish in Turkey Branch and Rock Creek?

Yes, a valid Maryland fishing license is required to fish in the park.

What are some nearby parks and attractions to explore?

Nearby parks include Wheaton Regional Park, Sligo Creek Park, and Long Branch-Arliss Neighborhood Park. Other attractions in the area include shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the town of Aspen Hill.

What services and facilities are available at Matthew Henson State Park?

The park offers parking areas, restrooms, picnic areas, information boards, and maps for visitors’ convenience.

How was Matthew Henson State Park established?

The park was established in 1989 after the land was purchased by the state in the 1950s. It was named after Matthew Henson, an arctic explorer, and the decision to preserve the stream valley corridor led to the creation of the park.

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