Between 1900 and 1935, the Chesapeake Beach Railway whisked vacationers from Washington, DC, to the grand hotels, beaches and boardwalk of the resort town of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. Now tourists and residents alike can enjoy a different kind of luxury as they walk or pedal on the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail, which occupies a portion of the abandoned railroad corridor.
Unusual for a rail-trail, the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail rests almost entirely on a wooden boardwalk just above serene Fishing Creek and the marshlands surrounding it. Bicyclists needn't worry, thoughunlike some boardwalks, the trail is open for bicycling, and the width is adequate for such use.
Start your journey at the water park in downtown Chesapeake Beach. If you have the time, be sure to check out the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum located just a few blocks from the trailhead. The museum is the last remaining depot of the railway still standing on its original site. The railroad's last known passenger railcar also sits behind the building.
As you trek away from downtown, the trail offers panoramic views of the surrounding marshland and forest. A spur to the north will connect you with the residential developments of Bayview Hills and Richfield Station. Cross Fishing Creek to join its southern shore and you may be treated to a sighting of a bald eagle. The trail once again crosses Fishing Creek and then abruptly ends; be sure to bring your camera and binoculars, as this is one of the best spots along the trail for bird watching.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking for the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail can be found at Chesapeake Beach Water Park on Gordon Stinnett Boulevard at the trail's northern endpoint. Additional parking can be found on the streets of the residential neighborhoods of Richfield Station and Bayview Hills.