« From the Archives: Where to go biking in 1987 | Main | Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is 30 and still building communities »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The trail in PG County has been extended from the parking lot on Race Track Rd. The new trail follows the spur to the NW, towards Bowie State and the Amtrak line. It's a nice trail, part of it along a wetland with some boardwalk. The trail ends at a utility corridor, at a spot where it appears people come to party or hang out, based on debris at the site. The spur continues, with no trail, for another ~1/4 mile to the Amtrak line near the river. The spot where the trail currently ends is not quite at the river; it appears, from the satellite view (one can see the route of the new trail in AA county) that this new section goes beyond where the bridge will be built. So they will need to build a few hundred yards of trail, at least (one can't see the river from the new trail, so I am not sure how far it is) to get down to the river. The rest of the new trail will continue to be a spur from the main trail, it appears (I hope that makes sense. I rode the new section a few weeks ago).

Thanks, I'll update the post.

Here is an approximate map of the new section of trail. You can see that after approximately a mile it's roughly even with the new trail in AA county across the river, and then extends at least 1/4 mile beyond that point.

@Purple Eagle
Thanks for the link. This follows the trail a bit closer.


It is hard to follow the trail though the trees. I will have to see what it looks like next time I go down there so I know where to look for signs of progress.

The new AA side of the trail does not get to the river, but close. There is a single track trail beyond the 'no trasspassing' sign that does go to the river, its not far I am told. That land is owned by the 2 rivers development, hence the sign so I did not follow all the way. the county does have the land for the bridge & adjacent area but I wasnt clear from my talk with an AA ranger where the extension/bridge would be- seems like it may be straight thru but that area has a bit of a grade issue. I tried to see the PG side of the trail from AA but could not-if I make it all the way down to the river next time I will see where the PG side will come in. I cannot tell so far from the PG side where the connection will be but it will not be at the end of the paved, probably closer to 1/2 way down. The PG side looks nice now that it is done but I do miss the off-road experience since there are so few natural surface trails in the county that are not in regional parks. But it will be nice to have a nice long raved trail spanning 2 counties

My calculation is the bridge will be about 1.03 miles down the PG side of the WB&A spur. The vegetation is thick there and can't see the AA side.

Traillink accurately maps both PG and AA sides of the trail.
Both new trail segments are quite nice in their own different ways. The hill and switchbacks add interesting character to the AA side of the trail, but are clearly not as safe as a straight rail trail would have been:

In the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees I think you can barely see across the river from the spur trail to the end of the AA trail. The entire unbuilt segment and bridge must cross lower-lying flood plain. On the AA side there's a 6' wide side channel of the river just past the immediate end of the trail. On the PG side you can walk directly out to the river bank without getting wet or muddy, as long as it has been dry (or frozen) for a while. I think there would be flooding issues if they were to put the bridge connection directly on the ground. I expect they will need an elevated boardwalk to lead to the actual bridge from both sides. (This wouldn't have been a problem on the historical WB&A grade. Argh.)

An interesting feature of the spur trail is that it has signed posts at 1/4 mi intervals. At each location there's also short segment of faux rails and ties painted on the trail. At the start of the spur trail, it's faux ties but with real rails embedded (flush) in the trail.

There are still dirt trails and roads between the spur trail and the river, between the spur and Bowie State, and on the other (north) side of the RR tracks (either follow the unpaved spur to Amtrak and cross under the tracks at the Patuxent River bridge, or go around to Lemon's Bridge Road on the N side). All are susceptible to being muddy or flooded. These trails seem to be maintained at least in part by ATV and dirt bike usage.

Oh yea I'm about those other dirt trails, when they are not flooded :)

I road the new section on the AA side today - here are a few photos.


It looks like the dirt trail follows the path of an old road. It's on the 1908 topo map leading to a bridge across the river. But both are gone by the time of the 1945 map.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader