Lake Needwood Boats

Enjoy the beautiful 75-acre Lake Needwood in rental kayaks, rowboats, canoes or pedal boats, or on a tour of the lake aboard the Needwood Queen during the summer season (group tours available). Private boats can also be launched with permits.

Fishing is permitted at both lakes in Rock Creek Regional Park: Lake Needwood and Lake Frank (just 10 minutes away).

Visit the Boat House for boat rentals and boating permits; fishing equipment, including bamboo fishing poles, hooks, bobbers, bait and bottled water for sale. The new accessible/ADA compliant dock and launch system makes it possible for people with limited mobility to launch both canoes and kayaks. And your canine friends are welcome aboard our boats too!

Boat Rentals

Days of the Week
Rent Boats from…
Return All
Boats by*
Boat Rental Fees

April 30 –
May 29

Open Saturdays
and Sundays

6:30 am – 6:00 pm

7:00 pm

for Kayaks, Canoes, Paddleboards,
and Rowboats

Pedal Boats

$40.00 for a
full day’s rental for any boat (except Pedal Boats)

May 30 –
September 5


Closed (except for Memorial Day and
Labor Day holidays — open)

Tuesday – Fridays
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
7:00 pm
Sundays & Holidays
6:30 am – 6:00 pm
7:00 pm

September 6 –
September 25

Open Saturdays
and Sundays
6:30 am – 6:00 pm
7:00 pm

*If boats are returned to the Boathouse after the times shown above, a $10 late fee may be charged in addition to the regular rental fee. Get a handy brochure with hours, fees and more information on boating and fishing at Lake Needwood here.

Boat rentals are available as weather permits. Each boat rental requires a picture ID as a security deposit. At least one person on board each boat must be 16 years of age or older, and all patrons must wear a life jacket. Boat Rental Rules and Regulations apply when renting all types of boats. A $10 late fee will be charged for any boats returned after Boat House closing times (see “Hours of Operation” above). Cash, all major credit cards are accepted at the Boat House. Fee Reduction Coupons may be used toward boat rentals.


Kayaking is a very different and wonderful boating experience! Because the boats sit so low in the water, kayakers feel very connected to the lake and the life in and around it. Most everyone can learn to paddle a kayak in a short period of time.  Both one-person and tandem (two-person) kayaks are available.  Kayak rentals include a kayak paddle and life jacket. No one under 16 allowed in single kayaks. For the safety of all, do not place children on your lap–they must be seated in their own seat in the kayak. The new accessible/ADA compliant dock and launch system makes it possible for people with limited mobility to launch both canoes and kayaks.

Passenger capacity:1 person for single kayaks, 2 people for tandem kayaks
Cost: $11.50 (one hour; includes tax) and $40.00 (full day; includes tax)


Great for individuals and families who want to spend time on the water but are not experienced with boating. Rowboats may also be used for fishing. Each rented rowboat includes a pair of oars, a life jacket for each person, and a seat flotation device. Some boats can accommodate an electric trolling motor, which must be provided by the renter. Anyone born after July 1, 1972 must possess a certificate of boating safety education in order to operate a trolling motor on a Parks rowboat. Anchors are available upon request.

Passenger capacity: 5 person/800 pound maximum; 5th passenger must be 44” or shorter
Cost: $11.50 (one hour; includes tax) and $40.00 (full day; includes tax)


A good choice for people with some boating experience. Canoes move faster, but they are less stable than rowboats and require some skill to maneuver. Canoe rental includes a paddle, a life jacket for each person and a seat flotation device. The new accessible/ADA compliant dock and launch system makes it possible for people with limited mobility to launch both canoes and kayaks.

Passenger capacity:3 person maximum; 3rd passenger must be 44” or shorter
Cost: $11.50 (one hour; includes tax) and $40.00 (full day; includes tax)

Pedal Boats

Great for people of all ages with little or no boating experience. Pedal boats are stable and easy to maneuver, and very popular for families with young children. Each rental includes life jackets for each person, and a seat flotation device.

Passenger capacity: 4 person maximum
Cost: $9.50 for one half-hour (30 minutes) No daily rate available

Pontoon Tours

Tour the lake on the Needwood Queen, a pontoon boat operating on weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The 20-minute boat tours allow you to see turtles, birds and other wildlife on the lake. The Needwood Queen is accessible for people using wheelchairs.

Passenger capacity: 16 people per trip
Tour departures: Noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.
Cost: $3.00 per person, children 2 and under are free (purchase tickets at the Boat House)
Group Tours: Groups of people (minimum of 10) may reserve the Needwood Queen for tours during weekdays; group tours can be arranged by calling 301-563-7524 .

Private Boats & Mooring Area

Private boats that can be hand launched are permitted on Lake Needwood from March 1– December 15 with the purchase of a daily or seasonal permit. Boaters must adhere to Regulations for Private Boats. Seasonal permits also provide access to Little Seneca Lake at Black Hill Regional Park.

Schedule and Hours:

  • From March 1 -December 15: 6:00am to Official Sunset

Daily Permits: During the summer, daily permits can be purchased for $5.00 at the Boat House. When the Boat House is closed, drop your payment in the fee boxes at the boat ramps or other launching locations around each lake. Also available at

Seasonal Permits: Seasonal permits can be purchased for $75.00. The permit is good from March 1 to December 15 at both Lake Needwood and Little Seneca Lake. Permits can be purchased at the Boathouse. Also available at

Mooring Sites : Mooring sites can be purchased for an additional $50.00.


Largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and trout are only a few of the fish species found in Lake Needwood and Lake Frank. All Maryland State Fishing Regulations for inland waters apply, and people aged 16 and older are required to have a Maryland Fishing License. Fishing licenses are not available at Lake Needwood Boathouse, but you can get one online here from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and at many local sporting goods stores. You’ll also need a trout stamp on your license to keep trout you catch; the limit is 5 per day. Trophy Bass Fishing regulations are in effect in season. Fishing is permitted from the rental boats during the operational season at Lake Needwood, and from private boats during the private boat permit season. Year-round fishing is permitted from the shoreline of both lakes.

Pavilion and Party Rentals

Pavilion Rental Includes Six Picnic tables (each seats 6), two folding tables for food, use of a full size refrigerator/freezer. Please bring your own paper products, utensils, etc.

Guests may set up 20 minutes before the time of rental.

There is no cooking permitted on site.

Weather related closings: For your safety, during times of inclement weather the boat house staff will suspend rentals or close the facility. In the event that the facility closes we will reschedule your party at your convenience.

Download brochure for additional information on party rentals.

Last Updated: September 1, 2016