- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Explore the best rated trails in Frederick, MD. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Metropolitan Branch Trail and Meadowlark Connector Trail. With more than 112 trails covering 4612 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I just returned from my third ride on the Western MD. I've ridden the entire trail and it's great to get in a half century ride. Starting from Little Orleans one can ride west a short distance to a gate at a high bridge over the Potomac River. West Virginia has not completed any of the proposed section to the west. Riding back east after a short distance you reach the blocked off Indigo Tunnel. The tunnel is blocked due to endangered bats. A zig-zag ramp leads down to the C&O Towpath. You ride the towpath about 2.5 miles and take a similar zig-zag ramp back up to the Western MD. Except for this detour the entire route is paved asphalt. There are areas of either frost or root heaves but not too bad. When the leaves are off there are nice views of the C&O Towpath, the canal and the Potomac. Most of the path is in the woods with a few fields here and there. At times the trail runs along a high, narrow path pretty high above the river. There are historical markers, some benches and a small shelter or two. The first, and only town on the trail is Hancock, MD. It is about half way between the endpoints. There are the regular amenities not far off trail such as a few fast food joints and a Sheetz. The top attraction for trail eats is Buddy Lou's right on the trail and at a cross-over to the C&O. Needless to say it gets busy in the summer. Buddy Lou's isn't open every day however so plan accordingly. There is also a bike shop in town right by the trail. After Hancock its a fairly straight run to the end at Big Pool. Some this section is close to I70 and some very close (less than 20 ft) so there can be a bit of traffic noise. This is my least favorite part and would probably rate the trail at 4.5 stars if I could. At Big Pool there is a parking area plus some benches, a restroom and a bike repair station. It's a nice place for a lunch break if you're doing a round trip. All together I can wholeheartedly recommend the Western MD. We have even used it as the half of a loop with the other half on the C&O.
I enjoyed being able to get used to my Catrike Villager on a paved trail, close to a town yet still adjacent to farm fields and Antietam Creek. I was able to practice shifting gears on various uphills and downhills. I will definitely visit this again!
This trail is mostly paved and runs through varied terrain. It travels along a creek, through the woods, near an old repurposed prison, and several neighborhoods. I started at the Southern terminus. Time only allowed me to ride the southern 10 miles (10 out and 10 back). Although paved, I’d recommend a hybrid, gravel, mountain or comfort bike of you are biking it. There are rooted areas and some creek crossings with cement stepping areas to get across. There were very few on the trail on the Wednesday afternoon that I wenrX There are some tricky forks in the path. Make sure you have a map or app accessible.
This trail is mostly paved with some boardwalks. It travels mostly along the Potomac River. It is well marked except for a few spots where it joins the road in Alexandria. There are several spots to park along the trail and several parks along the trail. You can ride any type of bike on this trail , but due to some bumps and routes, I think a road bike would be uncomfortable. Walking or running in the trail should be very easy.
This trail is paved and in good condition. Used by cyclists, runners, dog walkers and walkers pretty evenly. Connects Braddock metro and Del Ray to Crystal City. Target, Long Bridge rec center, Mount Vernon trail, and soon the long bridge crossing into DC!
This path is a simple paved connection between King Street metro and Braddock metro. It’s in okay condition, and has a mix of cyclists, walkers, dog walkers and the like. Be careful at the crosswalk on the north end. Traffic often doesn’t stop. Continue north on the other side of the train tracks to get to Potomac Yard, Crystal City, Target, the spray Park, and the mount Vernon trail. Long Bridge crossing into DC coming soon!
I have done the C&O/GAP trip 4 or 5 times now and loved it every time. everyone is friendly and on the C&O you can go as little or as far as you want per day. Camping areas every 10 miles so you cant get yourself stuck.
I love the GAP but prefer the C&O because its more of a trail vs just spinning away road ridding like always. Much of the C&O feels like you are in the woods away from things but without ever really being far should you need help. its the perfect amount of "adventure" for normal people.
Don't over pack, towns and stops all along the trial. Its flat so its easy to over do it.... but once you hit the PawPaw detour you will question if you really needed the laptop, espresso machine, and mini fridge :)
Test ride your bikes loaded, make sure its still fun to ride and remove the silly stuff you really don't need.
Bring/try and keep 3 water bottles full in case a pump or two is out, and drink more than you think you need to
bring snacks and eat more than you think you need to
ride a bike with around 38c-50c (1.5"-2") tires and do not pump them up to the max pressure listed on the sidewalls. that number on the side of the tire is the maximum and not even close to ideal pressure (google tire pressures for dirt roads on bikes), not a rule, you can totally go with thinner tires, I had no problem with my 32c tires last time but it is far more comfortable with a bit more rubber between you and the trail especially if you don't ride all the time.
Makes me sad when I see people complain about the C&O trail surface, thats why I go.... We have millions of miles of road to ride starting at our doorsteps why make more. Just use the proper tire and pressure for a TRAIL and your golden.
I can’t describe how much I love this trail. It goes longer than anyone could ever want and the people are courteous and everyone looks to be having a great time.
Awesome trial to run or bike. At 13 miles it is almost exactly a half marathon. Down and back should be a full Marathon. Mostly flat and smooth. Passes thru different neighborhoods with lots of options for stopping to eat or let the kids take a break and play.
This is a very good trail. It would be better if it went through the old tunnel and was extended over the Potomac with the existing bridge. Very remote from the little orleans side.
This trail is indeed convenient for the connection to Holmes Run Trail. It is semi-urban in nature, no exciting scenery but the greater positive is that there are no road crossings on the trail.
At this writing the trail was getting a little rough in spots. Hazards include at least one pothole at a utility box but more numerous are tree-roots that are causing the asphalt to protrude in multiple areas, creating potential hazards for wheeled transport, but especially inline skaters. However, these are navigable if care is taken to watch for them.
This is a great trail to ride. I frequent it often. Mostly flat with a few crossing from Arnold to Glen burnie. This also connects to the BWI trail which makes it a nice 41 mile loop.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!