Black Hill Boats at Little Seneca Lake

Experience Little Seneca Lake by boat! Rent a kayak, canoe, paddle board, or rowboat at the Boathouse, or get on board the “Kingfisher” pontoon boat for a tour of the lake. Enjoy the beautiful 505-acre lake as well as the wildlife that make the lake their home.

Private boats may access the lake with valid permits. Fishing is allowed on Little Seneca Lake. See”Fishing” below for all the details. During the summer season, bottled water is available for sale at the Boathouse.

Boat Rentals

Dates
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

$11.50/hour
for Kayaks, Canoes, Paddleboards,
and Rowboats

$9.50/half-hour
for
Pedal Boats

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

May 30 –
September 5

Mondays

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

Tuesday – Fridays
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
7:00 pm
Saturdays,
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

*The 6 pm closing times listed above refer to the latest time you may begin your rental of a kayak, canoe, or rowboat at the Boathouse ticket window.  However, you don’t have to return your rented boat to the Boathouse until 7pm. Boathouse staff try to remind boaters who are still on the lake at 6:30pm to head for shore before 7pm. Rental boats returned after 7pm will incur a late fee of $10 per boat. Save or print out a 2016 Montgomery Parks Boating Brochure with information on hours, boat rental prices, and more.

What boat should I get?

Black Hill rents rowboats, canoes, pedal boat, paddle boards, and kayaks.  All boats must have someone at least 16 years old on board; a driver’s license or photo ID is required for each boat rented.  Rentals are available as weather permits.  Boat Rental Rules and Regulations apply to use of rental boats. For more information, please call 301-528-3466. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted for boat rental payments.  Fee Reduction Coupons may be used toward boat rentals.

Rowboats are great for individuals and families who want to spend time on the water, but have limited boating experience.  Rowboats can accommodate up to five people (four adults). The rental fee includes a pair of oars, one PFD (personal floatation device) for each person, and a seat cushion device.  Some boats can accommodate electric trolling motors, 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.

Canoes can accommodate up to three adults. A paddle and a PFD (personal floatation device) are provided for each person, and a flotation seat cushion is available. People using canoes may also follow the Black Hill Water Trail.

Kayaks provide an individual, solitary experience on the lake, and almost anyone can learn to use a one in a short period of time.  Both one-person and tandem two-person kayaks are available.  People using kayaks may also follow the Black Hill Water Trail. The rental fee includes a kayak paddle and PFD (personal floatation device). Kayakers must be at least 16 years of age.

Pedal Boats are 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

Save or print out a 2016 Montgomery Parks Boating Brochure , with information on hours, boat rental prices, and more.

Pontoon Boat Tours

Enjoy Little Seneca Lake from the “Kingfisher” pontoon boat (max. cap. 30 persons). A 45 minute pontoon boat tour is a great way for individuals, families and small groups to experience the beautiful, 505-acre lake. Children under 5 must wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) that is provided at all times. The ADA-accessible Kingfisher can accommodate up to 8 people using wheelchairs.

Public Tours

Public Pontoon boat tours are available on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays , May through September. Tours leave promptly at 12:30 pm, 2 pm and 3:30 pm from the boat rental dock. Tickets are sold on a walk-up, first-come/first-served basis each day for trips that same day.

FEES: Regular pontoon boat tickets are $5 per person

Save on Weekend Pontoon Boat Rides with a 10-Trip Ticket Book!

Get a 10-Trip Ticket Book for $45! You save $5 off the regular $50 cost of 10 tickets for weekend pontoon boat rides. Tickets do not expire and are good from year to year, so hold on to them! Ticket books are a great idea for families, to use for out-of-town guests, parties and more. They’re available at the Boathouse during normal operating hours (see “Hours of Operation” above). Each boarding time is first-come/first-served, even with these 10-trip ticket books–so please check in at the Boat Rental Office ticket window first to make sure seats are available at the tour time you want. Tour boat capacity is 30 persons per tour. These tickets can not be used for private group tours (see below).

Private Pontoon Boat Group Tours

If you’d like to bring a group (up to 30 people) to the lake for a tour, please contact the Park Naturalist Office at 301-528-3492 or blackhillnature@montgomeryparks.org to make advance reservations for a private pontoon tour.

Private tour fees:  $6 per person.

Private Boats at Little Seneca Lake

  • Private boats are permitted on the lake March 1– December 15, sunrise to sunset. The lake is closed to boating from December 16 through February. All boats must have a Daily or Seasonal Pass and adhere to Regulations for Private Boats.
  • Seasonal Passes may be purchased online at: https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Membership?package_id=124
    The fee is $75.00, decals will be mailed to the address on your ActiveMONTGOMERY account for your convenience.
  • Mooring sites for private boats may also be purchased online at:
    https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Facility_Search/Location
    The fee is $85 per site and $75 for the required permit. Decals will be mailed to the address on your ActiveMONTGOMERY account for your convience. Boats are moored at the boat ramp and mooring site.
  • Daily Permits cost $5 per boat. Visitors may purchase their daily permit online here, or visitors should deposit their payment in the lock boxes at these locations.
  • Trailered and non-trailered boats may be launched at the boat ramp and mooring area, and non-trailered boats can also be launched at the MD Route 121 Bridge pull-off area.  Boats may only be moored at the Boat Ramp and Mooring Area during the boating season with the purchase of a mooring stake.

For more information, contact 301-528-3490. Save or print out a 2016 Montgomery Parks Boating Brochure, with information on hours, boat rental prices, and more.

Fishing

Largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and tiger muskie are the most common fish species found in Little Seneca Lake. Trophy Bass Fishing Regulations are in effect.  All Maryland State Fishing Regulations for inland waters apply, and people ages 16 and older must have a Maryland Fishing License.  Fishing is permitted from the rental boats during the operational season at Little Seneca Lake, and from private boats during the private boat permit season. Year-round fishing is permitted from the shoreline. Please view theRegulations for Private Boats for complete information.

For information about fishing licenses, please contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources at 1-855-855-3906 (7 days a week, 7am – 7pm), or visit www.dnr.maryland.gov and use their new“COMPASS” Online Licensing and Registration System.

Black Hill Water Trail

Take a tour of Little Seneca Lake in a canoe or kayak, and learn more about the ecology, plant and wildlife (fish, birds, insects, etc.) on the lake.  Following the water trail markers takes approximately two hours.  Print out a copy of the Black Hill Water Trail Guide here.

Last Updated: August 22, 2016