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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Experience Little Seneca Lake by boat! Rent a kayak, canoe, paddle board, pedal boat or rowboat at the Boathouse.  Enjoy the beautiful 505-acre lake as well as the wildlife that make the lake their home.

Private boats may access the lake with valid permits. Fishing is allowed on Little Seneca Lake. See “Fishing” below for all the details. During the summer season, bottled water is available for sale at the Boathouse.

Boat Rentals

Weekend and Holiday Rental Fees

  • $15.00/hour for Kayaks, Canoes, and Rowboats
  • $15.00/hour for Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUPs)
  • $12.00/half-hour for Pedal Boats
  • $55.00 for a full day’s rental for any boat (except Pedal Boats & SUPs)

Weekday Rental Fees

  • $14.00/hour for Kayaks, Canoes, and Rowboats
  • $14.00/hour for Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUPs)
  • $12.00/half-hour for Pedal Boats
  • $45.00 /daily rental for any boat (except Pedal Boats & SUPs)

*Last rentals begin at 4:30pm and must be returned to the Boathouse at 6 pm. Boathouse staff try to remind boaters who are still on the lake at 5:30pm to head for shore before 6pm. Rental boats returned after 6pm will incur a late fee of $10 per boat.

What boat should I get?

Black Hill rents rowboats, canoes, pedal boat, paddle boards, and kayaks.  A driver’s license or photo ID is required for each boat rented. Life Jackets must be worn at all times. Rentals are available as weather permits.  Boat Rental Rules and Regulations apply to use of rental boats. For more information, please call 301-528-3466. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted for boat rental payments.  Fee Reduction Coupons (accessible pdf form) may be used toward boat rentals.

Rowboats are great for individuals and families who want to spend time on the water but have limited boating experience.  Rowboats can accommodate up to five people (four adults). The rental fee includes a pair of oars, one PFD (personal floatation device) for each person, and a seat cushion device.  Some boats can accommodate electric trolling motors, provided by the renter. Anyone born after July 1, 1972, must possess a certificate of boating safety education in order to operate a trolling motor on a Parks rowboat. Anchors are available upon request.

Canoes can accommodate up to three adults. A paddle and a PFD (personal floatation device) are provided for each person, and a flotation seat cushion is available. People using canoes may also follow the Black Hill Water Trail.

Kayaks provide an individual, solitary experience on the lake, and almost anyone can learn to use a one in a short period of time.  Both one-person and tandem two-person kayaks are available.  People using kayaks may also follow the Black Hill Water Trail (accessible pdf). The rental fee includes a kayak paddle and PFD (personal floatation device).

Pedal Boats are great for people of all ages with little or no boating experience. Pedal boats are stable and easy to maneuver, and very popular for families with young children. Each rental includes life jackets for each person, and a seat flotation device.  Passenger capacity: 4 people maximum

Private Pontoon Boat Group Tours

The Pontoon Boat is currently out of service. If you would like more information, call our Park Naturalist Office at 301-528-3480 or Email Black Hill Nature

Private Boats at Little Seneca Lake

  • Private boats are permitted on the lake March 1– December 15, sunrise to sunset. The lake is closed to boating from December 16 through February. All boats must have a Daily or Seasonal Pass and adhere to Regulations for Private Boats.
  • Seasonal Permits may be purchased online with a fee of $75.00, decals will be mailed to the address on your ActiveMONTGOMERY account for your convenience. Beginning August 1, Seasonal Permits will be 50% off.
  • Mooring Sites
    Mooring sites for private boats may be purchased online beginning February 15, for a fee of $85 per site and $75 for the required permit. Decals will be mailed to the address on your ActiveMONTGOMERY account for your convenience. Boats are moored at the boat ramp mooring sites. All boats must be removed by December 15, annually.
  • Daily Permits cost $5 per boat. Must be purchased online on THE DAY OF your trip. An electronic or print copy of your receipt will serve as your permit. Permits may also be purchased at the boathouse during normal operating hours. Trailered and non-trailered boats may be launched at the boat ramp and mooring area, and non-trailered boats can also be launched at the MD Route 121 Bridge pull-off area.  Boats may only be moored at the Boat Ramp and Mooring Area during the boating season with the purchase of a mooring stake.

Fishing in Montgomery Parks

For full details, visit Fishing in Montgomery Parks

Largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and tiger muskie are the most common fish species found in Little Seneca Lake.  All Maryland State Fishing Regulations for inland waters apply, and people ages 16 and older must have a Maryland Fishing License. Fishing is permitted from the rental boats during the operational season at Little Seneca Lake, and from private boats during the private boat permit season. Year-round fishing is permitted from the shoreline. Little Seneca Lake is open to night fishing on five dates during the summer months. Private boats are permitted on the lake until midnight and must have all required navigation lights.   For more information on night fishing please call: 301-765-8624.

Fishing Under the Stars

Attention all Night Anglers! If you’re planning to fish at Lake Seneca, here are some important details to keep in mind:

Night fishing is allowed from both boats and the shoreline on the following Wednesdays.
June 19,
July 17,
August 21
September 18
October 16

Park Police will strictly enforce the following:

  • All anglers must be off the boat and out of the Park by Midnight.
  • In the event of inclement weather, night fishing may be canceled.
  • All boats must have operating navigational lights.
  • All Maryland State Fishing Regulations and M-NCPPC Rules & Regulations will be strictly enforced.

For any further questions, please don’t hesitate to call Black Hill Regional Park 301-528-3462. Our team is here to provide support and ensure that your night fishing experience at Lake Seneca is safe and enjoyable.

Black Hill Water Trail

Take a tour of Little Seneca Lake in a canoe or kayak, and learn more about the ecology, plant, and wildlife (fish, birds, insects, etc.) on the lake.  Following the water trail markers takes approximately two hours.