Trail Discovery for Kids: Lake Artemesia Trail

Hike Information

  • This 1.4 mile circuit hike on a hard surface trail is just across the railroad tracks from the University of Maryland in College Park.
  • The trail circles the 38-acre Lake Artemesia with no elevation gain or loss.
  • To find Lake Artemesia, use Interstate 495 and take Kenilworth Avenue south to Greenbelt Rd/Rt. 193. Turn right and drive three quarters of a mile. Turn right onto Branchville Rd. which goes under the railroad tracks and turns left and becomes Ballew Ave. Make a left into the parking lot just after the stop sign with Berwyn Rd. Follow the trail along Ballew Ave. to the gate of Lake Artemesia.
  • The trail is stroller and bike friendly.
  • See the trail map image.

Age Appropriateness

  • This hike is appropriate for children of all ages but especially great for toddlers and preschoolers.

What is fun for kids?

  • The park has two floating docks for fishing. Children younger than 16 do not have to possess a license. The park has seven gazebos, one raised above the lake, to seek shade, rest and watch wildlife. Many benches sit along the trail and throughout the park.
  • Wildlife seen includes: Eastern Painted turtles, Snapping Turtles, Bullfrogs, Green Frogs, Great Blue Heron, Egret, Wood Ducks, and Mallards. The lake is a migratory ground for many birds.
  • Watch the metro and trains travel by the western side of the lake.
  • Beautiful water lilies that bloom in July. A few blooms were still alive in August.
  • There are a few large open green spaces for a picnic or a game of tag.
  • The Lake Artemesia Trail is part of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System providing miles of trails in Prince Georges and Montgomery counties. From the park, the Paint Branch, Indian Creek and Northeast Branch trails can be accessed.
  • Lake Artemesia is metro accessible from the College Park station on the green line.


  • Swimming, boating and ice skating are not allowed on the lake.
  • A majority of the trail is exposed to the sun and lacks shade.

Have you hiked this trail? If you have comments and would like to share with the Our Kids readers, email Our Kids.

Hiking Along engages children in exploration of the natural world through hiking on scenic trails around the metro DC region. Groups of children, preschool to high school, participate in hands-on science activities to learn about the natural surroundings while hiking on trails. Visit for more information.

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