Browns Bridge

Rocky Gorge Reservoir

  • Size: Area on both sides of Browns Bridge Road bridge over the north end of Rocky Gorge Reservoir. The watershed on the east side of the bridge is Howard County; the west side is Montgomery County.
  • Habitat: Fluctuations of the water level usually produce mudflats in late summer, occasionally in spring. Deciduous woods and planted pine plantations cover most of the adjoining land.
  • Best Months: July to mid-September depending on presence and condition of mudflats (the best ones are usually south of the bridge). Late March to late May can also be worthwhile. Late summer can coincide with heavy boat traffic from the ramp on the Montgomery County side of the bridge (boats allowed April 1 to November 15, water level permitting).
  • Coverage Time: Less than 30 minutes to an hour or more.
  • Trails/Paths: No defined trails; sometimes there are fishing trails along the shoreline. When water levels are down, it may be possible to walk on the mudflats with caution.
  • Notable Birds: Blue-winged Teal, Redhead, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tri-colored Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Western Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Dunlin, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Common Tern, Black Tern, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Marsh Wren, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow.
  • Amenities: A portable toilet may be provided on the Montgomery County side of the bridge when the reservoir is open for boats.
  • Handicapped Access: A portion of the area is visible from the paved boat ramp on the Montgomery County side of the bridge.
  • Operation and Hours: Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) property; dawn to dark. Daily use passes are no longer required for birders as they are treated as shore fishermen; as such they are expected to abide by designated fishing locations and no trespassing signs. (Free maps covering both reservoirs are available at the cabin on the west end of Brighton Dam.)
  • Special Attractions: Mudflats in late summer.
Browns Bridge thumbnail
Compiler: Joanne Solem

© 2008