Rocky Gorge Reservoir
Browns Bridge Road, Highland Maryland 20777
- 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
- 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.
Compiler: Joanne Solem