Lake Elkhorn and Forebay Pond

Columbia Maryland 21045
  • Size: 37-acre lake with a 23-acre park surrounding the lake.
  • Habitat: Sections of mature deciduous woods, scrub, undergrowth, mown open space, and yards adjacent to the lake and Forebay Pond; the lake contains both emergent and submergent vegetation.
  • Best Months: If there is open water, any month can produce interesting species. Migration periods turn up the most variety; winter is often productive until freeze-up. A small amount of open water in the Dockside Lane cove may contain a variety of ducks; gulls are usually present on the ice.
  • Coverage Time: One to two hours which can be extended by investigating paths which intersect the main loop.
  • Trails/Paths: A 2.0 mile paved path encircles the lake. A paved path extends east under the transmission lines where wetlands continue as far as Oakland Mills Road. Intersecting paths to nearby developments are marked with street names. Ivory Hand, on the south side of the lake, is one of the most productive. An unnamed path at the southeast corner of the lake goes past Forebay Pond and continues beyond it.
  • Notable Birds: Greater Scaup, Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Snowy Egret, Red-necked Grebe, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Peregrine Falcon, Virginia Rail, Common Moorhen, American Avocet, Black Tern, Common Tern, Forster's Tern, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Marsh Wren, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Snow Bunting, Golden-winged Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Summer Tanager, Dickcissel, Pine Siskin.
  • Amenities: A 16-station Fitness Circuit Trail is laid out along the south side of the lake beginning not far from the Broken Land Parkway parking lot. Below the dam, there is a small picnic pavilion and a scattering of picnic tables. At the southwest end of the lake there is a 150-person picnic pavilion that can be rented. A few benches are positioned along the loop trail, and a tot lot is located near the Dockside Lane parking lot. No facilities.
  • Handicapped Access: The loop trail is paved. There are a few gentle grades; the steepest section is along the northwest side from the dam to the bridge.
  • Operation and Hours: Columbia Association property; 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Special Attractions: The lake and nearby Forebay Pond are the main attractions. Some spring wildflowers bloom in woodland patches along the lake path. Trees with labels on the north side constitute an arboretum.
Lake Elkhorn thumbnail
Compiler: Joanne Solem.

© 2008