The park provides a refreshing and tranquil retreat any time of year, but it experiences vast seasonal changes in the landscape. Here is a little guide on what you can expect on your next visit.
Spring and Summer
The best times for viewing the flowering aquatic plants. The hardy lilies, plants with strong roots, stay in the ponds year-round, and bloom from early May until mid-September. The stunning sea of pink lotus flowers peaks in late June and lasts until mid August, with the peak bloom in early July around the time of the park’s annual Water Lily & Lotus festival. The tropical lilies, whose roots are more delicate, only bloom from mid-June through early October, but peak in July and August. Lastly, the expansive Victoria water lily blooms for a brief period in August. Be sure to visit on cool days or early in the morning as most of the blooms will close in the mid-day heat.
In addition to the aquatic plants, park features over 40 species of birds, including ospreys, herons, and bald eagles. A variety of turtles, dragonflies, butterflies and snakes can be found, too! Be sure to bring your binoculars and prepare for muddy trails.
Both the aquatic plants and the trees change color providing a wonderful autumn retreat. But perhaps the most unique feature is the shockingly beautiful seed pod heads from the lotus.
The park provides trails for rejuvenating and peaceful walks in the wilderness, views of the Anacostia River, and an opportunity to learn about this historic and natural space.