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Important Updates

Brighton Dam Picnic Area will be closed on the following dates: 4/27, 4/28, 5/4, 5/5, 5/11, 5/12. 

Get Outside!

WSSC WaterSHED app

If you enjoy fishing, hiking, bird watching, boating, hunting, horseback riding or picnicking, WSSC Water has an app for you! WSSC WATERshed is your resource for exploring the recreational opportunities in and around our two reservoirs in Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Howard Counties. Our interactive map provides all the information you need to enjoy the great outdoors.

Download our new WSSC WaterSHED mobile app today!

Available now for iPhone and Android users


Address: Brighton Dam Visitor Center, 2 Brighton Dam Rd, Brookeville, MD 20833
Open: 7 days a week, March 15 through November 30, 7:00 AM until sunset.
Pets: No pets allowed

Trail is gravel and natural surfaces. Area may be slippery when wet or closed due to heavy rain. 

Visitors who need ADA accommodations or prefer less crowded trails are encouraged to plan a visit for the weekday, between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Those needing accommodations should contact the Visitor Center Guide upon arrival to discuss needs. 

Peak bloom generally occurs in early May. Call the Brighton Dam Visitor Center for information on blooming schedule - 301-206-7485.


Established in 1959, Brighton Dam’s Azalea Garden is home to over 22,000 azalea bushes over 5 acres in a hardwood forest. Kousa dogwood trees were added in the 1990’s and the garden is also home to Montgomery County’s champion fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus).

The idea for the garden was from WSSC Water Commissioner Raymond Bellamy. WSSC Water Watershed Manager Paul Hancock led the work as the garden was planted in the late 1950’s and 1960’s. An updated gazebo was installed by WSSC Water watershed staff in 2012. The Glenn Dale azaleas in the garden were named in honor of Glenn Dale, MD, the location of the US Department of Agriculture’s Plant Introduction Section.

Azalea Garden Photo Gallery  | Azalea Garden Map


Specific Varieties of Azaleas in the Garden


  1. Glacier - Very large, leafy green plant, white bloom - midseason.


  1. Coral Bells - Shell pink, shaded darker, early.
  2. Hino Crimson - Single, brilliant red, non-fading, early.
  3. Hinodegiri - Single, brilliant scarlet, heavy bloomer, early.
  4. Hinomayo - Single, soft pink, foliage small, plant tall, early.
  5. Pink Pearl - Salmon rose, with light centers, early.
  6. Salmon Beauty - Salmon pink, light green foliage, early.
  7. Salmon Queen - Large plant, salmon colored blossoms - very late.
  8. Snow - Snow white, very compact growth, early.


  1. Herbert - Semi double, large frilled and ruffled, dark crimson, purple, midseason.
  2. Royalty - Double, bright purple, midseason.


We have a few deciduous varieties planted near the main entrance to the gardens. These plants are upright and tall, with very large flowers and a very striking range of colors from yellow orange to orange red. They are midseason bloomers.


  1. Indica Rosea - Large flowers, flushed pinkish white, midseason.
  2. Indica Alba - single, pure white, broad grower, late.
  3. Indica magnifica - Single, large flowers, spotted and flushed with pink, late.
  4. Macrantha - Single, salmon red, very late. 

Where can I find more information about azaleas?

Check out the Azalea Society of America web page at Another good source for information about azaleas can be found at A broader source of information that includes rhododendrons as well as azaleas can be found at the American Rhododendron Society web site at

Last Modified: April 23, 2024, 9:33 am EDT