Learn the scandalous and remarkable history of this regional treasure as you hike through its overgrown ruins.

Seneca Creek

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In a Nutshell

Historian and author Garrett Peck escorts tour groups through the ruins of Seneca Quarry, where workers mined the redstone of D.C. buildings

The Fine Print

Expiration varies. Limit 25 per person. Valid only for option purchased. Refundable only on day of purchase. If applicable: Min. of 8 participants or experience subject to cancellation. No value after experience date & time have passed. Experience Provider is issuer of tickets for experience. Price reflects Experience Provider’s current prices. Must provide email address at checkout, which SideTour will provide to facilitate redemption. Must be 18 or older. Gratuity included. Be on time to experience. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

What You'll Do

Originating from the rich Seneca Quarry on the banks of the Potomac River, rust-colored sandstone served as the building material for hundreds of structures throughout D.C., including the Smithsonian Castle, the Luther Place Memorial Church, McClellan Gate and the mile-long boundary wall at Arlington National Cemetery.


Grab your hiking boots and you camera as you join author and historian Garrett Peck to explore the ruins of the once grand quarry, visiting such landmarks as the stonecutting mill, 50-foot quarry wall, and restored quarry master's house. While safely navigating the creeks and crumbling buildings of the quarry, Peck shares stories of the site's golden age, weaving tales of great floods and financial scandals that nearly destroyed presidents.


  • See Where the Smithsonian Castle's Red Sandstone Came From
    Visit the site where workers once mined the sandstone that was used to construct some of D.C.'s most distinctive buildings


  • Hear the Stories from a Historian
    Garrett Peck, author of Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry shares tales of the quarry's golden age and its influence on the area


  • Explore the Quarry's Ruins
    Tours safely walk through the abandoned buildings and overgrown creeks of the quarry site, offering scenic vistas and natural beauty

Each event is capped at 25 participants; each event requires a minimum of 8 participants in order to take place.


Your Host

Garrett Peck Garrett Peck
Author, Historian


Garret Peck, historian and author of books on prohibition and the Potomac River, has spent years learning about the nation's capital. His latest work, The Smithsonian Castle & The Seneca Quarry, investigates the history behind the quarry that gave D.C. its distinctive redstone architecture and played a key part in the economy and politics of the Reconstruction Era.


When

  • Saturday (1 p.m.)
    November 23
    December 7 | December 21
    January 4 | January 25
    February 15
    March 8


Where You'll Meet

Tours begin at the parking lot by Seneca Aqueduct, at the very end of Riley's Lock Road in Seneca, Maryland.