Centennial Park

  • Size: 337 acres including a 54 acre lake.
  • Habitat: Varied. Lake, marshy edge, shrubby islands, scrub, deciduous woods, streams, two ponds, mown grass, small fields.
  • Best Months: March–May and September–October are peak times, although winter has produced rarities. This is one of the few county locations where it is possible to find something of interest year-round.
  • Coverage Time: 2–2½ hours, although the 2.4 mile loop along the perimeter of the lake can be walked in less than that. If all trails are explored, one could spend half a day.
  • Trails/Paths: There are 7.9 miles of paved paths; the unpaved portions (gravel or packed earth) total 1.6 miles; and the extension trail to the east is 0.4 mile.
  • Notable Birds: Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Greater Scaup, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Red-necked Grebe, Eared Grebe, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis, Northern Goshawk, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, King Rail, Virginia Rail, Sora, Common Moorhen, Dunlin, Red Phalarope, Glaucous Gull, Black Tern, Forster's Tern, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Common Raven, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Golden-winged Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin.
  • Amenities: Restrooms at West Area, North Area, and South Area; only those in the main South Area building along the loop trail are open in winter. Portable toilets are positioned near the pavilions above the boat ramp. There are lighted sports fields at the West Area as well as basketball and tennis courts; the North Area has basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts as well as an outdoor skateboarding park. A few picnic table can be found in the South Area. A large tot lot near pavilions B,C, and D in the South Area is popular. There are benches along most trails.
  • Handicapped Access: The paved loop trail has generally gentle grades. Some parts of the path system away from the loop trail may be more steep (South) or may be gravel (North).
  • Operation and Hours: Howard County park; 7:00 a.m. to dusk or as posted.
  • Special Attractions: The lake, with its perimeter path and good view of the sky, is the centerpiece of this heavily used park. Check the HCBC information board, located at the South Area main building for current activities, programs, and nature signtings. Visit Emy's Meadow near the corner of MD 108 and Centennial Lane.
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Compiler: Joanne Solem

© 2008