Indian Head Rail Trail

Trail Map

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Note: Portions of the Indian Head Rail Trail will be closed until July 2015 to allow for the installation of a reclaimed water line. Sections of the trail, including the westernmost five miles, will remain open at all times. See Charles County's official website for up-to-date information and specific closure locations.

Located just 18 miles south of our nation's capital, the Indian Head Rail Trail offers a unique natural outdoor experience, seemingly far removed from urban development and its associated chaotic pace. The trail is the result of the generous gift of an abandoned railroad corridor through the Department of the Interior's Federal Lands to Parks Program. The line was built in 1918 to transport supplies for the Navy's Indian Head Powder Factory, founded 28 years earlier as the Navy’s first established presence in southern Maryland.

The 13-mile, paved Indian Head Rail Trail traverses roughly halfway across Charles County, connecting the small towns of Indian Head and White Plains. Cyclists, hikers and nature enthusiasts can experience the surroundings of mature forests, natural wetlands and occasional farmland as they pass through the Mattawoman Creek stream valley and some of southern Maryland's most scenic and undeveloped natural areas.

Notable wildlife sightings include wild turkey, deer, heron, bald eagle, egret and a variety of waterfowl. Leaving Indian Head, approximately 2 miles out visitors will encounter a spectacular view of the backwaters of Mattawoman Creek as it winds on its course towards the Potomac River. As with any trail that shares such close proximity with a waterway, you'll pass over numerous bridges. Just be sure you don't pass the many interpretative signs along the way; take the time to learn more of the region's history. Or simply kick back on the trailside benches and soak in the scenery. No matter your pace, the Indian Head Rail Trail is bound to delight.

Parking and Trail Access

There is no parking at the Mattingly Avenue trailhead in Indian Head, but there is ample parking across State Route 210 at either the Village Green Town Park or Charlie Wright Park (101 Doctor Mitchell Lane). To access this parking lot, take Indian Head Highway/SR 210 south from Fort Washington, Maryland, turn right onto Lackey Drive and then left onto Doctor Mitchell Lane.

Parking is also available off Bensville Road/SR 229 south of Bensville, on Turkey Hill Road north of Marshall Corner Road and at the southeastern terminus off Theodore Green Boulevard in White Plains.

Reviews

Under construction

   June, 2015 by palthainon

It's a great trail but it is currently under construction still. Give it some time and you'll be able to ride from White Planes to Indian Head again. read more

Fuggetaboutit May 2015

   May, 2015 by kathyr2d2

This trail is closed as of May 25, 2015. We drove an hour to get there and were disappointed in that it was really not very usable. The trail is covered in red clay with tread grooves from the heavy equipment. read more

Novice rider

   April, 2015 by swpressleyjr

The first time I rode this trail I planned on riding just a portion of it but before you knew it I had finished the entire trail. It is such a nice ride with ampules amount of shade and places to sit and rest along the trail. Ideal for riders of all skill ...read more