Big Branch

Triadelphia Reservoir

Triadelphia Road, Dayton Maryland 21036
  • Size: Although this is a sizable cove on the north side of the reservoir, the mouth is not in sight from the parking lot along Triadelphia Road.
  • Habitat: The cove is bordered on the steep eastern slopes by deciduous woods with a few remnant pines and on the west (no public access) by mostly pine woods. There may be either water or mudflats visible depending on the season and the amount of rainfall.
  • Best Months: March to mid-May; August through November—much depends on the water level.
  • Coverage Time: Fifteen minutes to an hour.
  • Trails/Paths: Public access is along the east side only. During periods of low water, bear left from the boat ramp along the wood edge skirting any mudflats. When water levels are high, follow a faint fishing trail beginning near the metal bench above the boat ramp. Scanning from the head of the boat ramp is usually sufficient to determine whether it is worth walking to a better vantage point.
  • Notable Birds: Snow Goose, Northern Pintail, Tundra Swan, Redhead, Wild Turkey, Tri-colored Heron, Western Sandpiper, Dunlin, Alder Flycatcher, Prothonotary Warbler.
  • Amenities: Paved parking along with a boat ramp are adjacent to Triadelphia Road. A portable toilet is present during boating/fishing season. A small tot lot and a few picnic tables can be found at the top of the hill east of the parking lot.
  • Handicapped Access: Much can be seen and heard from the paved parking lot and boat ramp which are the primary birding locations at this site.
  • Operation and Hours: Triadelphia Reservoir and surrounding land are owned and operated by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). Dawn to dusk, April 1–November 15 (ice cover can alter opening and closing dates), except on posted fall deer hunting days. Orange and higher security alerts close public access to the reservoir. Required daily and seasonal boating and fishing passes may be purchased at the Brighton Dam Information Center.
  • Special Attractions: Under the right conditions, mudflats emerge bringing in a small number of shorebirds. When water levels are high, migrant waterfowl may be present. For the wildflower enthusiast, this site has one of the best displays of trailing arbutus to be found in the county.
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Compiler: Joanne Solem

© 2008