Greenbelt Park is a retreat from the pressures of city life and a refuge for native plants and animals just twelve miles from Washington, D.C. Long before colonial settlers appeared here, trees and flowers covered these rolling hills and wildlife roamed the woodlands.
Algonquin Indians hunted this land in competition with other smaller tribes. A balance existed between the land and its plants, animals, and native people. Then the colonists arrived. Trees fell and forests gave way to farmland. Wildlife retreated to the frontier. For the next 150 years, people cleared the land, plowed the fields, and planted tobacco, corn, and other crops. The rich fertile soil returned high yields. The people did not give back to the land as much as they took. The land wore out, producing less each season and farming ceased. The land was left bare and defenseless. Erosion caused many scars before nature could slow the process with new growth. Since the early 1900's the land has been recovering.
Today the mixed pine and deciduous forest testifies to the land's ability to recover. The land of Greenbelt Park was acquired by the National Park Service in 1950 under Public Law 643.
Seasonality / Weather
The park is open from dawn to dusk each day of the year. The Sweetgum unreserved Picnic Area gate is open by 8 am and closes at dusk. The campground is open every day and a campground host and U.S. Park Police are available. Park Headquarters is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 4 pm and closed on federal holidays. The Park Ranger Station near the campground is open 8 am to 3:45 pm seven days a week and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
The park address is 6565 Greenbelt Road Greenbelt, Maryland 20770.
* Take Exit 23 Route 201 Kenilworth Avenue South (toward Bladensburg).
* Take a left on Greenbelt Road. (Greenbelt Road is an overpass over Route 201 that is also known as Route 193.)
* The park is a quarter mile on the right hand side of Greenbelt Road across from Fridays restaurant and Marriott Courtyard.
From Washington, D.C.:
* Take (Route 295) Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
* Take Greenbelt Road west ( It's the exit right after I-95)
* Veer right onto Route 193 Greenbelt Road West.
* The Greenway shopping center on the left.
* Proceed on Route 193 Greenbelt Road west.
The park is on the left hand side at the third traffic light across from Fridays restaurant, Capitol Cadillac, and Marriott Courtyard.
The University of Md/College Park Metro station is a 2.5 mile walk to the campground. The F-6 bus headed toward the New Carrollton Metro station runs on weekdays only. Tell the driver to let you off near Parkdale High School. There is a entrance with parking area. Take the paved trail to the chain linked fence and take a left. The Ranger Station is two hundred yards on your right. The Greenbelt Metro station is 3 miles from the park. It has a very large parking lot.