Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail


5 Reviews

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Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail Facts

States: Maryland
Counties: Calvert
Length: 1.4 miles
Trail end points: Chesapeake Beach Water Park on Gordon Stinnett Blvd. and Richfield Station; Fishing Creek
Trail surfaces: Boardwalk
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7516851

Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail Description

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, though—unlike 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.

Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail Reviews

nice easy walk with good views.

Trail requires a short walk through a parking lot to reach the boardwalk trail head. TrailLink said parking was available in the neighboring neighborhoods of richfield station and bayview hills, this is incorrect. We couldn't find any parking in richfield station and bayview hills was marked with multiple private property no trespassing signs as well as painted reserved spots for residents, and is clearly a private community not set up for trail parking. We went on the towns website and found parking as described behind kellams field adjacent to the water park. The trail is well maintained and easy to walk as there is very little elevation change. It is a nice amenity but isn't a day hike or time consuming activity, nice for a quick easy walk with some nice views. There was one loose dog someone felt they didn't need to have leashed, and some fast moving bicycle traffic that was quite close on the boardwalk section. The bicycles may or may not warn you of their impending passing so be aware.. The water views are nice and offer some good photo ops for birds.

Nice enough

I wouldn't say it's worth the drive if you are more than an hour away, but if you happen to be in the vicinity with your bike, as I was, I'd say give it a whirl. It's just too short to get any more stars - leaves one wanting more. The boardwalk over the creek is a nice change of pace from the usual rail-trails thru the woods. I saw a large, dead, floating fish at the surface of the water, providing some excitement. Most of the trail is over the water, but the last part of the main trail is thru a canopy of trees, which was a relief from the heat on the day I biked it. It ends abrubtly over Fishing Creek. You can see the rail bed resume on the other side of the creek and it hurt that it wasn't developed! Oh, the possibilities.
The connector trail off to the right on the map provides a short incline near the end of it, where it ends at a housing development. Connector is half thru woods, half in the sun.
Riding along the marina was also a nice change from the usual, with real working Bay boats, as well as pleasure boats. Seeing the mix of touristy and reality was nice. Also, boat ogling was fun.
A trail that provides a fair amount of interest packed into a mile or so.

Nice wheelchair accessibility

Pushed my dad in a manual wheelchair. The boardwalk is well maintained. There were 2 or so slight inclines on trail but they weren't too difficult for me to push him and he is 200 lbs. Maybe the angle of inclines were 15 - 20 degrees. Dad is 82 and didn't mind the vibration of the wheels rolling over the surfaces with the grooves in the boardwalk and then the surface turns into a poured concrete with stamped brick design. The stretch with the stamped brick caused a bit more vibration for the wheelchair . Not difficult to push across it and dad still didn't mind. The tranquility and beauty of the marsh and the water was perfect and so close up that it was a perfect way to immerse in nature with the wheelchair. The trail starts behind the Waterpark. There is a small water canal that separates the waterpark parking from the trail start and a long white fence that separates the two. So it is closer to park in the "Tot Lot" a small playground area. There is a handicap parking spot there. Definitely enjoyed the trail, just wish it were longer but definitely worth going!

Exceeded Expectations

This trail is well maintained, and provides access to some beautiful areas near Chesapeake Beach, MD. There is signage throughout the trail that provides information on the flora and fauna you may find along the trail. We did the entire trail and the total distance traveled was 2.5 miles. This trail is perfect for a casual walk.


Exceeded Expectations

This trail feels more like an interpretive nature trail than a rail trail. There are many signs and exhibits explaining the surrounding nature and heritage. There are also many "pullouts" and benches meant for stopping to take in the sights, sounds, and aromas. It seems a great place for a walk or an easy hike. Although the surfaces are just fine for biking (slowly), I would not recommend biking this trail (as I did) because it's too short for much of a ride, and there are too many places you'll want to stop and look around.

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