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Get Outside!

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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


What is the watershed and the watershed recreation user program?

The Patuxent Reservoirs Watershed is made up of thousands of acres of wooded property that surround the Triadelphia Reservoir - which is created by the Brighton Dam - and the T. Howard Duckett Dam and Reservoir. WSSC Water owns and manages about 6,000 acres of this property, protecting it as a vital source of water (the two reservoirs can store more than 11 billion gallons of water that drain from 132 square miles of the watershed, enough to provide drinking water to more than 600,000 WSSC Water customers).

While it's important to protect the watershed, WSSC Water's watershed recreation user program provides the public with recreational access to the privately owned area. With a permit, visitors can use six recreation areas that include picnic facilities, more than 16 miles of shoreline fishing, and interior recreation trails. The watershed property is considered private property because it was purchased with ratepayer dollars to provide a protective buffer area for the reservoirs.

To learn more about activities that are allowed, see the Watershed Regulations FAQs and the Watershed Regulations page. For helpful information about amenities at and directions to the recreation areas, see the Watershed Maps and Directions page.

Buy Watershed Use permits

  • Buy permits online
  • Buy permits at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center
    2 Brighton Dam Road, Brookville, Maryland 20833
    7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (March 15-Nov. 30, including weekends)
    7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Dec. 1-March 14)
    The Brighton Dam Visitor Center is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
  • WSSC Water Support Center
    14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, Maryland 20707
    7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Before buying a permit, please call 301-206-4386 (4FUN) to ensure that the area you want to use is open for recreation.

The watershed recreation user program is coordinated and supervised by members of WSSC Water's Production Team System Control Division. Staff oversee management of the forested properties, maintenance of trails and roads, regulation of the sale of user permits and communication with recreation users. For information about the program, call the Brighton Dam Visitor’s Center at 301-206-7485.

Last Modified: May 18, 2024, 2:17 pm EDT