Editors' Pick

Great Places to Find Calm

Life can be stressful, especially these days. Sometimes you just need to find your zen. These places offer tranquil views, trails through nature and spots for quiet contemplation.

Photo courtesy of Montgomery Parks

The Labyrinth at Brookside Gardens

Many people go to Brookside Gardens to walk around and see its formal gardens, beautiful plantings and peaceful ponds and streams. But for a truly meditative experience, make your way to the Santa Rosa Labyrinth near the southern end of the park. Unlike a maze, the labyrinth has only one clear route from the edge to the center. The idea is to focus on a particular problem or intention, or just to clear your mind, as you travel the winding path and emerge with new insights. Brookside Gardens’ labyrinth is just one of the park’s scenic features, so follow your journey with a visit to the Japanese Tea House, Reflection Terrace or the Fragrance Garden and keep the calm going.

Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/brookside-gardens


Photo courtesy of Montgomery Parks

The Lake at Black Hill Regional Park

The turtles, fish, birds and other wildlife that call Little Seneca Lake home find it a peaceful spot. So do the hikers, boaters and anglers who flock to the 505-acre lake, which is at the heart of Black Hill Regional Park. There are several ways to explore the water. Trails, such as the paved Black Hill Trail or the natural surface Ten Mile Creek Trail, offer spectacular views of the lake. There’s even a water trail that leads paddlers on a tour of the three creeks that flow together to form the lake. Pick up a map of the water trail at the Black Hill Boathouse or print one at home. The water trail is best accessed by kayak or canoe, which are available to rent at the boathouse from May through September, along with rowboats, stand-up paddleboards and pedal boats. Private boats are permitted from March 1 through Dec. 15. Fishing is allowed, but a license is required for persons 16 and older.

Black Hill Regional Park, 20930 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/black-hill-regional-park