Officially owned and operated by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Gilbert Run Park is a place renowned for offering many wonderful outdoor activities. This Maryland park is also known as Wheatley Lake and is about an hour from Annapolis and an hour south of Silver Spring. Gilbert Run Park MD history trails back to the early 1960s and 1970s when it was first built. It was originally used as a flood management area and also had a "multi use" designation as a recreational area. The biggest attraction in the summer months is the fresh water lake, a more than sixty-acre body of water used for many exciting activities like Maryland fishing.
The main origin of water for Gilbert Run Maryland flows swiftly in from Wheatley Run. This run is a part of the Gilbert Run Park swamp drainage which streams into the Wicomico River and ultimately ends at the well-known Potomac River. The lake at Gilbert Run Park MD is mostly shallow, making it a hit for families with children. Closer to the dam the water becomes deeper and is a pleasant place to enjoy some morning or afternoon fishing. The Maryland park also provides a convenient boat ramp so visitors can haul in their own vessels with electric motors only. Bait, fishing supplies, licenses and other concessions are all offered at the park.
Though it's possible to fish the Gilbert Run Maryland shoreline, it has become increasingly difficult due to a large amount of lake vegetation taking over many areas. These large patches of growth make it hard to fish from some spots with snags being an ongoing hassle yet the growth lures in fish that feed off the varied underwater plants. The different species of fish include sunfish, catfish, bluegill, redear and black crappie. Pedalboats, rowboats and canoes are all available for rent at the lake as well. One of the biggest highlights is the nature center, showcasing a 150-gallon aquarium brimming with a fascinating number of species.
Though fishing is certainly one of the most popular things to do at the park there are many other fun things to occupy an entire day out. There are a number of excellent hiking and nature trails available at Gilbert Run Park MD. Walking, running and especially mountain biking are most popular. The woodland area is especially scenic and many cyclists love the available routes. To the right of the boathouse there is a trail suitable for experienced bikers. The trail is fast paced and technical. Other cyclists often build log jumps to test their skills while the area's wooden bridges and plenty of trail roots along the single dirt trail offer up more challenges. There are also a number of picnic areas with both tables and grills, pavilions and play areas available for use. The park is open from March through November.
Visitors who plan on spending a morning or afternoon at Gilbert Run Park can spend the rest of their day exploring the many other La Plata attractions. Both Silver Spring hotels and Annapolis hotels are great bases from which to thoroughly explore the county. Founded in 1790, the Mount Carmel Monastery is a top area attractions and one of the first monasteries in the region. Although la Plata can be explored without a vehicle, a car rental is ideal for touring the area. Thomas Stone National Historic Site, historic Friendship House, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Museum, African-American Heritage Society and Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area are all great places to visit and enjoy a full tour of La Plata.