Located a few minutes driving from Bethesda is Lake Needwood, a 75-acre reservoir surrounded by pristine hiking trails that connect to Rock Creek Regional Park. This man-made lake is located in Rockville and is a popular summertime escape for families and Washingtonians alike.
To spend a day on the water, visitors can rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats or pedal boats, which cost $8 to $12 per hour. Dogs are allowed on the boats at no extra cost. For $2 per ticket, visitors can also board the Needwood Queen, a 16-person boat that takes groups on a 20-minute ride around the lake.
Those who have a fishing license can visit the Boat House to rent equipment, including hooks, bobbers and bamboo fishing poles, or cast their own lines from the shores of the lake. The lake is home to an abundance of largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and trout.
A hiking trail surrounds the reservoir, allowing bicyclists and hikers to explore the park and see some of Maryland's native wildlife. Butterflies, including the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, frequent the area in the summer. Visitors might also come across white-tailed deer, turtles and water snakes.
In July 2013, Montgomery Parks warned residents and visitors to avoid touching or ingesting the water at Lake Needwood, since elevated levels of Microcystin were found in the reservoir. Microcystin is a toxic substance known as cyanobacteria, which can cause liver damage. Fish caught in the lake should only be consumed if the muscle meat is thoroughly cooked.