Peirce Mill

Quick Facts

Peirce Mill

District Of Columbia

(202) 895-6070

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

After being closed for nearly 20 years, Peirce Mill reopened on October 15, 2011 and now welcomes visitors to see how a water-powered mill grinds corn and wheat. Peirce Mill was built in the 1820s and operated commercially until 1897. The United States Government acquired the mill as part of Rock Creek Park in 1892. Peirce Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The mill and Peirce Barn (the visitor center) are open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Map of Peirce Mill

Latitude, Longitude: 38.934159, -77.046161

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Rock Creek has a variety of paved bicycle paths, one of which runs from the Lincoln Memorial through the park and into Maryland. Memorial Bridge connects it to the Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia. Other bicycle trails near the Rock Creek Trail are the C&O Canal towpath in Georgetown and the Capital Crescent trail in Georgetown and Bethesda, MD. Beach Drive between Military and Broad Branch roads is closed to cars from 7 a.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. Sunday and on holidays for bicycling, hiking, jogging and rollerblading. Please stick to designated paved bicycle paths. Bicycles are not permitted on unpaved horse or foot trails.

  • Hiking

    An extensive system of trails and paths cover Rock Creek Park and outlying areas such as Glover Archbold Park. These trails are maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) consist of a blue-blazed trail that follows the east side of the creek, a green-blazed trail that follows the western ridge of the park and tan-blazed connector trails.

  • Historic Sites

    Peirce Mill is significant as the last existing mill in the District of Columbia and the only 19th-century gristmill maintained by the National Park Service that operated on a full-time basis intermittently between the 1820s up until 1958. It stands as a unique symbol of the milling industry which flourished along Rock Creek.

  • Horseback Riding

    For the horse rider, 13 miles of wide, dirt and gravel bridle trails crisscross the northern section of the park. Near picnic area 25, off of Glover Road is an Equitation field. Horseback riding lessons and guided trail rides are available at the Rock Creek Park Horse Center.

  • Picnicking

    Rock Creek Park has 30 picnic areas throughout the park; some have rain shelters. Many can be reserved for groups up to 100. Reservations must be made in person at the DC Department of Parks and Recreation at 3149, 16th St., NW. Call 202-673-7646 for more information. The park map shows the picnic areas. The numbered blue circles are reservation sites and the numbered black circles are first-come, first-served areas.

Seasonality/Weather

The climate in Washington D.C. is seasonal. Summers can be very hot and humid with an average temperature of 82 F. Winters are variable and can be very mild to very cold. The average winter temperature is 35 F. Clothing should be in accordance with the season.

Park Partners

Directions

Driving

Via Route 66: Take Route 66 across the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge. Get in the right lane on the bridge, and take the ramp for Independence Avenue. Turn right at the bottom of the ramp (heading towards the Kennedy Center along the river; this is Ohio Drive, but it's not marked as such). After passing the Kennedy Center (under its terrace) and Watergate, continue straight onto Rock Creek Parkway. When the parkway ends (near Connecticut and Calvert), continue north on Beach Drive. You will pass the zoo and Peirce Mill. Continue on Beach Drive to first stop light. Turn left onto Tilden Drive, cross the bridge and turn right into the parking lot. Peirce Mill is the stone building to your right. Peirce Barn is the stone building to your left.

Via the Beltway or Maryland: Take the Beltway north into Maryland; exit at Connecticut Ave. and proceed southbound toward Chevy Chase. Continue down Connecticut past the University of the District of Columbia. One block past the university turn left onto Tilden Street. Follow Tilden to the bottom of the hill and turn left into the parking lot at Peirce Mill. Via the Chain Bridge (VA): At the end of the bridge, turn right onto Canal Road. Make the first left (at the light) onto Arizona Avenue. Proceed on Arizona until you come to Van Ness Street. At Van Ness make a right and follow Van Ness to Connecticut. Make a right onto Connecticut, south bound). Follow to Tilden Street and make a left. Follow Tilden to the bottom of the hill and turn left into the parking lot in front of Peirce Mill.

From Dupont Circle: Proceed Northeast on New Hampshire Avenue for approximately half a mile when it will intersect 16th Street. Head north on 16th Street, towards the Maryland border. At the headquarters for the DC Department of Recreation and Parks follow the signs to Park Road (you will make a left exist of off 16th Street and then a right onto Park Road). Follow Park road to Beach Drive (you will have to bear to the right at the stop light at Klingle Road). Cross Beach Drive and turn right into the first parking lot.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(202) 895-6070

Links