Discover La Plata's Gilbert Run Park

Gilbert Run Park in La Plata, MD
Gilbert Run Park in La Plata, MD

Whether you’re a paddle-wielder or an old-fashioned pedaler, the waters at Gilbert Run Park have a vehicle for your aquatic pleasure.

For those who prefer the land, the 180-acre park also features hiking and nature trails. The facility centers around a 60-acre lake.

“We have paddleboats and rent those out to two, three or four people,” says John Snow, park manager. “We also rent rowboats, fishing boats and canoes.”

The prices range from $6 an hour for a two-person paddleboat up to $8 an hour for four people, $6 an hour for canoes and $17 snags you a rowboat or fishing boat for the entire day.

The boats, whether pedaled by foot or paddled by hand, are daily in demand from April through August. Then, the park goes to weekends-only rentals through late October. During the season, the park offers half-price rentals on Thursdays, Snow says.

“We are jam-packed with school groups using the boats, and a lot of people come to the park to have picnics, office parties and reunions, and they use the boats as much as they do the playgrounds and hiking trails,” he says. “The lake is definitely the main feature of the park, and so the boats end up in pretty steady use all the time.”

Renters have a clear favorite.

“The paddleboats are the most pop­ular,” Snow says. “They’re the easiest to use, and you can get up to four people in them, so a lot of small families can all get in and go out together.”

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