Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Aspen Hill, MD

  • Published 2023/03/09

Aspen Hill is a small unincorporated community that lies a few miles from the border of Maryland and Virginia.

This small community is one of the surrounding suburban areas of the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.

Aspen Hill is roughly six miles north of Washington, D.C., making this place an ideal residential area to settle down.

Aspen Hill is home to over 54,000 inhabitants who primarily work and study in Washington, D.C.

Aspen Hill was one of the central locations of the prominent pet cemeteries on the nation’s East Coast from the 1920s to 1930s.

However, today, this small community is home to the most gorgeous neighborhood parks in Montgomery County, Maryland.

In addition, Aspen Hill is home to unspoiled natural areas and hidden gems, which are all worthwhile discovering.

It’s your go-to travel destination near Washington, D.C., which won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Learn why with this list of the best free things to do in Aspen Hill, Maryland.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Parkland Local Park

Parkland Local Park is one of Aspen Hill’s best outdoor recreational destinations.

You can visit this park along Renn Street.

The entire park, which the local government of Aspen hill acquiredthe local government of Aspen hill acquired, spans over nine acres.

It’s adjacent to the Parkland Middle School and Brookhaven Elementary School.

Expect a busy and active scene at this park which is home to numerous sports fields.

The students of both middle and elementary schools nearby usually hang out at this place to play sports or enjoy the outdoors.

It has a soccer field, a softball diamond, and plenty of green open space, perfect for outdoor activities you and your loved ones can enjoy.

Start your Aspen Hill travel adventure at the Parkland Local Park for excellent outdoor activities.

Catch Fish at Rock Creek

Rock Creek is a river system that runs through Aspen Hill and neighboring areas in Montgomery County.

This river, with many access points in Aspen Hill, is an ideal fishing spot.

Many anglers love to cast their line at this creek because of the abundance of various fish species.

Remember to bring your fishing gear when visiting Aspen Hill and enjoy the peaceful environment along Rock Creek.

Above all, try to catch bluegill, blue catfish, or largemouth bass.

Besides fishing, it’s also a popular outdoor destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers because of its pristine natural environment.

Play Soccer at the Earle B. Wood Park

Earle B Wood Park is one of the several community parks you can visit in Aspen Hill.

You can visit this park near Rock Creek Village and Sycamore Creek.

This park is home to a top-notch soccer field where many locals love to play friendly matches.

Pack your soccer gear when you’re planning to visit Aspen Hill.

Besides soccer, Earle B. Wood Park has a vast playground that becomes a winter wonderland during the holiday season, offering parkgoers different outdoor activities.

It also has plenty of green open space and a children’s playground for everyone to enjoy.

Hike the Rock Creek Trail

Rock Creek Trail is not only famous for fishing and nature-related activities.

This creek is also known as an excellent place for hiking.

It has an asphalt trail, one of the best trails in the Washington metro area.

The entire trail stretches from Beach Drive to the District of Columbia’s north line leading to the Rock Creek Regional Park, north of Rockville.

The entire trail spans 19 miles, mostly comprised of asphalt surface.

Hiking through this trail allows you to see more of Montgomery County’s unspoiled natural areas, neighborhoods, and parks.

At the same time, you can make numerous stopovers to take photos of its scenic views.

Or perhaps, visit one of the parks and lakes you’ll pass by.

Pack your hiking gear and head to the Rock Creek Trail for a fantastic outdoor adventure.

Explore the Matthew Henson State Park

Matthew Henson State Park features the unspoiled natural beauty of Montgomery County.

You can visit this park along Georgia Avenue.

This park is a publicly owned greenway that features numerous recreational activities.

The park, which runs through one of Rock Creek’s tributaries, Turkey Branch, is known for its hiking and biking trails.

Its trails meander Turkey Branch, leading to the neighboring Winding Creek Local Park along Dewey Road.

Many hikers, joggers, bikers, and even equestrians love to traverse its trails and regularly explore its unspoiled natural environment.

The 4.2-mile trail features a mixture of natural and hard surfaces ideal for seasoned and newbie hikers or bikers.

Explore Matthew Henson State Park and enjoy a worthwhile hiking or biking experience.

Play Sports at the Strathmore Local Park

Strathmore Local Park is an idyllic location for various outdoor activities, particularly sports.

You can visit this park along Beaverwood Lane.

The park, which Montgomery County acquired in 1971, spans over 13 acres.

It mainly features numerous sports facilities such as tennis courts, a softball field, a soccer field overlay, and a basketball court.

It also has a children’s playground and a picnic area.

If you want to engage in highly-physical outdoor activity, head to Strathmore Local Park.

It’s where you can enjoy plenty of sports activities either with your friends or with some locals.

Commune with Nature at Manor Park Neighborhood Conservation Area

Manor Park Neighborhood Conservation Area is among the numerous Aspen Hill and neighboring communities dedicated to conserving nature.

You can visit this natural area along Carrolton Road, between Aspen Hill and Norbeck’s borders.

The whole place spans over two acres, offering a small open space next to the Manor Country Club.

This conservation area is maintained by locals residing there.

It serves as their way to conserve nature and provide a thriving natural area for local flora and fauna to thrive.

Visiting this natural area allows you to experience some of the most peaceful spots in Aspen Hill.

It has a tranquil atmosphere that completely contrasts with its outside environment.

The Manor Park Neighborhood Conservation Area is a perfect spot to take a break from exploring Aspen Hill’s attractions.

Stretch Your Muscles at the North Gate Local Park

North Gate Local Park is another worthwhile outdoor attraction you can visit for more fun outdoor activities.

You can visit this park along Connecticut Avenue.

Like most community parks in Aspen Hill, this one offers a lovely children’s playground, a picnic area, and some passive recreation areas.

However, most locals who spend their time at this park enjoy playing basketball at one of its courts.

Meanwhile, others love to hike or jog at its exercise trail, which takes you to the 8.4-acre park that opened in 1973.

You can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities at North Gate Local Park.

Drop by the park whenever you want to get active and sweat out.

Wander the Lake Bernard Frank

Lake Bernard Frank is probably one of the most extensive outdoor attractions in Aspen Hill.

You can visit this lake northwest of Aspen Hill.

The entire lake, which serves as a water reservoir, spans over 54 acres.

It covers numerous communities, including Aspen Hill and Derwood.

The lake was renamed after Bernard Frank.

He was one of Montgomery County’s well-known wilderness activists and one of the founders of the Wilderness Society.

Today, the lake and its natural area, particularly the Meadowside Trails, are popular outdoor destinations.

It has hiking trails that offer parkgoers and outdoor enthusiasts a top-notch hiking experience.

While hiking, you’ll appreciate the area’s natural beauty and the cultural significance of this lake.

It features a pioneer homestead, mill ruins, a covered bridge, and a raptor aviary along the way.

Besides hiking, Lake Bernard Frank is famous for biking, rollerblading, sightseeing, and fishing.

Pass the Time at Aquarius Local Park

Aquarius Local Park is ideal for hanging around and enjoying the outdoors.

You can visit this park along Connecticut Avenue.

Unlike most parks you’ll visit throughout Aspen Hill, this one offers a small but peaceful ambiance.

It’s your go-to place if you’re yearning to clear your mind from your busy life.

It has green space with plenty of trees to shade you from the sun and benches to relax.

Whether you’re looking for a spot for relaxation or more outdoor activities, visit the Aquarius Local Park.

Otherwise, you can pass the time at this park while enjoying its charming appeal.

Look for the Storm Drain Art

The Strom Drain Art is a collection of quirky public art installations scattered throughout Aspen Hill.

There are three storm drains painted with colorful murals throughout Aspen Hill.

Each of the murals also has positive environmental messages besides colorful wildlife scenery.

It’s part of the artists’ way to raise awareness about the prevention of litter and pet waste dumped on the streams.

Any waste dumped into the storm drains ends up at the nearby Rock Creek.

The accumulated waste could pollute the entire river and streams in Montgomery County.

So, local artists started to paint storm drains with colorful and meaningful murals to discourage the public from irresponsibly throwing their pets’ waste.

Thanks to the Department of Environmental Protection and Rock Creek Conservancy, the Strom Drain Art adds more vibrance to Aspen Hill’s local arts scene while protecting the environment.

Appreciate the Beautiful Flower Valley Neighborhood Park

Flower Valley Neighborhood Park is another place you might enjoy during your trip to Aspen Hill.

You can visit this park along Hornbeam Drive, just in between the borders of Aspen Hill and Rockville.

This park is known for its multi-use ball fields, sports facilities for tennis, and picnic areas, which locals love.

However, most parkgoers return to this park for its natural sceneries, particularly its scenic stream, which runs through Rock Creek.

The park spans over 17 acres of multi-use recreational space, offering parkgoers a scenic background of Rock Creek.

Remember to list Flower Valley Neighborhood Park for a one-of-a-kind park experience.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

Aspen Hill could be your preferred jumping-off point to explore the rest of Montgomery County, including Washington D.C.

Here are some recommended nearby attractions you can explore once you’re finished with Aspen Hill.

Visit the Famous Washington D.C. Monuments and Memorials

Exterior of the U.S. Capitol

Jon Bilous /

The Washington D.C. Monuments and Memorials are probably the most recommended places you visit in the nation’s capital.

Since Washington, D.C. is roughly 30 minutes south of Aspen Hill, you mustn’t forget this memorable experience.

These primary historical attractions remain relevant to the entire nation.

You can start your self-guided tour from the National Mall to the massive U.S. Capitol, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial.

Exterior of the White House

Orhan Cam /

Of course, you’ll come across plenty of memorials and monuments along the way, such as the World War II Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and plenty more.

Over a hundred monuments and memorials are scattered throughout Washington, D.C.

You can explore and see up close to learn more about the nation’s great history.

Exterior of the Lincoln Memorial

jorik /

Follow the Underground Railroad Experience Trail

Before returning home, make one last stop at the Underground Railroad Experience Trail.

You can visit this historical attraction within ten minutes or six miles northeast of Aspen Hill in Sandy Springs, Maryland.

This trail, established in 1998, serves as a multi-use trail for hikers, joggers, and bikers.

The trail takes you through the rural landscape of Montgomery County.

While hiking, you’ll see the historical attractions passing through the entire trail.

Historically, the “Underground Railroad” referred to a 19th-century secret network for enslaved people who escaped their plantations.

Today, you can still see plenty of old railroad remnants of the network.

The Underground Railroad Experience Trail is a fascinating hiking experience you mustn’t miss.

Celebrate Arts at Glenstone

Exterior of the Glenstone museum

Sdkb, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Glenstone is a world-famous art museum that features marvelous architectural and visual arts.

You can visit this attraction in 24 minutes or 12 miles west of Aspen Hill in Potomac, Maryland.

This art museum is a beautiful and seamless place that celebrates nature, architecture, and arts with its contemplative environment.

A sculpture on the grounds of Glenstone museum

Sdkb, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s most famous for its vast collection of post-World War II masterpieces in its pristine quality.

At the same time, you would also appreciate the tranquility of its environment, which is part of its charm.

Remember to include Potomac in your itinerary and explore the artistic beauty of Glenstone.

People approaching the Glenstone museum

Fuzheado, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Aspen Hill is an idyllic travel destination for those who want to relax and relieve stress from their busy city lives.

Since it’s a few miles from Washington, D.C., Aspen Hill is a convenient travel destination.

Above all, you can enjoy plenty of exciting activities for free at Aspen Hill, making it a top-tier place for budget travelers to explore.

Start planning your adventure with this list of free things to do in Aspen Hill, Maryland.

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