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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Meadowside Nature Center – Tree Trail

Meadowside Tree Trail

This 0.50 mile trail winds its way along portions of the Rocky Ridge, Connector, Muncaster Mill, and Backbone Trails through second-growth eastern deciduous forest. The forest once covered much of the eastern part of the country. Today only fragments of the forest remain. On this trail, you will learn about 11 common trees.

The Meadowside Tree Trail Map (accessible pdf) stops, correspond with the following videos.


Welcome to the Meadowside Tree Trail, a place where the virtual world meets real life! This trail experience is designed to give you the freedom to walk, learn, and explore the trees of Rock Creek Regional Park at your pace. Each trail marker at the designated stops, provide you with a QR code. Place your phone on camera mode, and wave it over the QR code. Most devices will then provide the option to go to a link, where you can view a pre-recorded video of one of Meadowside’s Park Naturalists who will introduce you to the remarkable trees of our forest. If this procedure doesn’t work on your device, you may need to install a QR code reader app designed for your phone.

Have a wonderful hike and enjoy your time with the trees!

Stop 1 – Eastern Redbud: What’s Not to Love?

Meet a tree whose heart-shaped leaves seem to grow love!

Stop 2 – American Hornbeam: A True “Muscle” Wood

Meet a tree whose ecological strength is hard to match.

Stop 3 – American Sycamore: The Ghost Tree

Meet a tree who seems to have a second life!

Stop 4 – Tulip Tree: A Tree of Change

Meet the tree whose seasonal changes brings new life to the forest.

Stop 5 – Title: American Beech: The Warrior Tree

Meet a tree who is well equipped to fight for its survival.

Stop 6 – White Oak: The Mother Tree

Description: Meet a tree who has the ability to care for others.

Stop 7 –  Black Oak: Communal Bonds

Meet a tree who is more of a collaborator, than a competitor!

Stop 8 –  Red Maple: The Welcome Mat

Meet a tree which is the first to appear after disaster strikes.

Stop 9 –  The Pignut Hickory: A Tree That is Truly Shocking

Meet a shocking tree named after an animal!

stop 10 – Black Tupelo: The Million-Dollar Tree that is Priceless

Meet a big money tree well-known for it’s swampy heritage!

Stop 11 – Red Oak Family: The Baby Boomers

Meet a family of oak trees affect animal reproduction!