Deer management program set to close roads and trails in Rock Creek Park

Commuters should expect road closures starting Monday as the National Park Service begins to reduce the local deer population throughout Rock Creek Park in D.C.

Rock Creek Park officials have controlled the white-tailed deer population since 2013 in an effort to protect native plants and maintain a healthy ecosystem in Rock Creek Park, according to National Parks Service spokeswoman Megan Nortrup.

The temporary street closures are set for the nighttime hours on several Rock Creek roads between Nov. 16 and March 31, 2021.

The main thoroughfares of Piney Branch Parkway and Broad Branch Road will remain open at all times.

Park staff will post signs telling drivers and hikers about road and trail closures.

Here is the list of the possible streets closures:

5 p.m. to 4 a.m.

  • Horse Stable Road NW
  • Ridge Road NW, south of Grant Road NW
  • Glover Road NW, south of the Rock Creek Park Horse Center

6:45 p.m. to 4 a.m.

  • Wise Road NW
  • Ridge Road NW
  • Glover Road NW
  • Grant Road NW
  • Joyce Road NW
  • Morrow Drive NW
  • West Beach Drive NW at Parkside Drive NW
  • Stage Road NW
  • Beach Drive between Joyce Road NW and Picnic Grove 10

Cyclists and pedestrians may face closures between 6:45 p.m. and 4 a.m. on the following roads:

  • Beach Drive from Broad Branch Road NW to Joyce Road NW
  • Beach Drive from Picnic Grove 10 to Wise Road NW
  • Beach Drive from West Beach Drive NW to the Maryland boundary
  • Sherrill Drive NW
  • Ross Drive NW

Bingham Drive NW, which is closed for a sewer renovation, will remain closed.

A group of trained biologists tasked to shoot and kill portions of the deer population will work with U.S. Park Police and local law enforcement to ensure park visitors and neighbors are safe.

This year, the National Park Service plans to expand the deer management program to other national parks in the D.C. area.

Those areas include Melvin Hazen Park, Soapstone Valley Park, Pinehurst Parkway, Glover Archbold Park, Battery Kemble Park and Fort Totten Park.

Luke Garrett

Luke Garrett is a D.C. native dedicated to journalism. He is a reporter and the creator, host and producer of the original WTOP podcast, “DMV Download.” The podcast debuted in 2022. On the show, Garrett takes a weekly look at the biggest stories and ideas in the D.C. region.

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