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Someone e-mailed me, "The first 0.6 miles starting at the WB&A trail near the Race Track Road parking lot is still not paved, but the last 0.9 miles is." So even though the timeline keeps slipping, actual progress seems to be occurring. (He also noted that there are some water issues that need to be dealt with on the still-unpaved part.)

In late December I road to the end of the trail to the river. The spur was being worked on. It looked like it was cleared of trees and graded. A few hundred feet were covered with large gravel. There was a small asphalt paving machine parked at the head of the spur. A week later the gate that normally allows bikers to get to the river was chained off.

The Folly Branch extension was "delayed" because M-NCPPC thought it would get funded by Maryland bikeways in 2013 but it didn't get the funding until 2014. This time it's really happening.

Since it seems like this bridge will never get built (grrr Anne Arundel County developers grrr), how hard is it to ford the river there?

The river is pretty substantial there if I recall. I mean, I can totally bunny-hop it, but most people can't.

I doubt that one could ford the river. You can get a good view of it from the dead-end section of trail just north of Race Track Rd. The river appears relatively deep and probably has a lot of sediment on the bottom. Think something like the Monacacy or the lower stretch of 4 Mile Run in Arlington. In the Colonial era ships would travel up the Patuxent to a point not too far downstream.

I frequently visit this segment of the WB&A Trail and have been checking in on the construction progress.

As was said by twk, the trail's first half-mile is graded and paved with large railroad-like ballast. There is a low area that is frequently flooded from the adjacent wetland and will either have to be raised up on a short embankment with a culver, or bridged.

Past the low area, the trail is only graded with no ballast. At a seemingly arbitrary point, the trail is paved with a thin layer of asphalt up to a large excavated space where a culvert is being constructed for a stream. Beyond there the paved trail continues along the railroad alignment.

As for fording the river, I wouldn't try it in this area. It is rather deep and muddy and at least 30 feet wide on average.

I contacted the Anne Arundel County Department of Parks and Recreation and learned that the official earliest date that the trail would open down to the Patuxent River is April 2015. I also heard from some locals that the trail is complete and un-barricaded in the Two Rivers development.

There is a new paved trail, pretty curvy with switchbacks, on the Odenton side of the river that makes a pretty big detour from the former end of the WB&A on our side. I live in Piney Orchard and am thrilled at the progress. I really hope we can cross the river some day soon. I don't care about there being a detour. Anything is better than riding down Rt 3 and then up 450 where there is no shoulder, to get across the river.

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