Derwood is a community in Montgomery County northwest of Washington, DC. As part of the Washington Metro area, Derwood serves mainly as a residential village, with little industry except tourism.
Derwood’s largest attraction, especially for dogs and their humans who love the outdoors, is Rock Creek Regional Park. This approximately 1800-acre park joins with Rock Creek Park at Washington’s city limit, with continuation of its trails and B&O canal-side path. Contained within the dog-friendly Regional Park are 13 miles of trails, some paved, some unmarked and somewhat difficult, and all are open to your canine companion on leash. There are also fields where she can romp with you, and many picnic areas, some with shelters, all equipped with tables and grills. Beautiful Lake Needwood and Lake Frank offer opportunities for fishing with Fido by your side, or getting out onto the water in a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat, all of which can be rented in the park. One word of caution for pooch-owners: the Microcystin algae bloom in the lakes is very dangerous for doggos, so do not let your pup swim in or drink the water unless signage tells you it's safe to do so.
Although no one expects their pups to get sick or injured, be sure to check out the locations of the more than 25 veterinarians and veterinary hospitals in the Derwood region so you’re ready if you need them to help get Fido up and running again. Arf!
Rockville City Center in the town of Rockville is host to Welsh Park, a beautifully landscaped expanse of open space interspersed with a nature trail and other paths, athletic facilities, picnic areas and drinking fountains. What makes it different from some of the other parks in the area is that its 33.3 acres also house a forest preserve, and Art in Public Places exhibits to interest the humans and doggos alike. For a delightful dining experience with your BFF (Best Furry Forever), head on over to Crem Café where you will find an outdoor table just right for the 2 of you. They serve breakfast fare like waffles, plus sandwiches, salads, bagels – they will have something for you and the pooch if you choose to share. Stop by on your way to, or from, Welsh Park for a perfect day.
This neighborhood in the town of Rockville hosts the Rockville Dog Park. Open only to dogs registered within Rockville, the fenced dog park features water stations, benches and picnic tables, and lots of room to socialize and expend some extra energy. There are kiddie pools for cooling off and play-splashing, and the surface is foot-friendly grass, with paved walkways near the benches. There is a separate section for small dogs, too, and trees for shade. Adjacent to the dog park is the Mattie JT Stepanek Park, with 26 acres dedicated to the memory of Mr. Stepanek who was a well-known poet. Dog-friendly and featuring a peace garden with a sculpture of Mattie and his dog, the park also offers a Mutt Mitt waste disposal station, drinking fountains, benches, paved pathways and athletic fields. This quiet and peaceful park is perfect for a walk or some play with your leashed fur-pup.
The Derwood neighborhood of Rockville is located directly adjacent to Derwood itself, and shares small portions of Rock Creek Regional Park and Crabbs Branch Stream Valley Park with it. It is also home to the 12-acre King Farm Park, which offers paved walkways, picnic tables with grills, drinking fountains and benches, and surrounding expanses of lawn and shade trees. The park provides restrooms, and there are works of art scattered throughout to make this a unique space. There is a playground and athletic fields for the humans, and lots of room for Fido to get his exercise, on leash only. The King Farm Stream Valley Park nearby is a 28-acre forested stream valley, with walking paths for those interested in exploring the stream and its environs for wildlife. There is a park shelter for rest out of the sun or an impromptu picnic lunch. Woofderful!
Located in Derwood's Avery neighborhood, the Crabbs Branch Stream Valley Park is 138 acres of undeveloped land that provides opportunities for exploration and enjoyment of nature without the necessity of trails and marked paths, signs or restrictions, other than the one that states all dogs must be leashed. This lush park offers woodlands, meadows, and wetlands along the Crabbs Branch Stream, buried old stone walls jutting out of the ground, and foliage from shrubs to ferns, to saplings to mature trees. Filled with wildlife, this is an ideal spot for a meandering walk with your pooch, away from the urban busy-ness of Derwood, but still within it.