ANACOSTIA TRIBUTARY TRAILS:

MONTGOMERY & PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTIES, MARYLAND

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:       April 20, 2006

Length:                 Paint Branch Trail; 3 ¾  miles                Northeast Branch Trail; 3 miles                Indian Creek Trail; 1 mile 

                               Anacostia River Trail; 1 mile                 Northwest Branch Trail; 7 miles                Sligo Creek Trail; ? 

                                Lake Artemesia Loop; ?

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat, paved trail.

Directions:

To start from Cherry Hill Park; Take exit 25 off of the I-95/495 Capitol Beltway to Route 1 south (Baltimore Ave). Take your first right at the traffic light onto Cherry Hill Road. Just after you pass by the plazas on your right, look for some tennis courts also on your right. Use this parking lot to start.

To start from the Acredale Community Park; Take exit 25 off of the I-95/495 Capitol Beltway to Route 1 south (Baltimore Ave). Look to your right for Metzerott Road after about 1 ½ miles. The entrance is just down this road.

To start from the Linson Pool/Wells Ice Rink parking lot; Take exit 25 off of the I-95/495 Capitol Beltway to Route 1 south (Baltimore Ave). Turn left onto the Paint Branch Parkway after about 2 miles. After a bit over a mile, look right for the parking lot. The trail crosses over the road just past it.

Use of the Metro to access the trails; The Metro's "Green Line" has several stops you can use to access the trails. The West Hyattsville Station gives you immediate access to the Northwest Branch Trail. The College Park Station gives you access to the Paint Branch Trail and Northeast Branch Trail via on-road connectors. The Greenbelt Station gives you access back to the start of the Paint Branch Trail via on-road connectors. Except for some rush hour time restrictions, you can take your bike on the Metro to access these trails. I biked from Cherry Hill Park to the West Hyattsville Station, then took the Metro back up to the Greenbelt Station, where some on-road (sidewalks) connections brought me back to Cherry Hill Park. This is a great loop that requires no back tracking, thus you can ride more of the trails. For information about taking your bike on the Metro visit; METRO  .

Directions from the Greenbelt Metro Station to Cherry Hill Park via an on-road connector; Emerging from the Greenbelt Metro Station, you pass through the exit gates. Turn right and head through the tunnel. This will take you below the rail lines to the western side of the tracks. Follow the paved trail out to Lackawanna Street. Follow this street to its end. This is a residential street with low traffic, but there is a sidewalk for kids on bikes. Take a right, then a short left out to Rhode Island Ave. Turn right up Rhode Island Ave and follow until you come to Edgewood Road. Cross over Rhode Island Ave at the cross-light and head west up Edgewood Road. This is a slight hill. This will bring you out to Route 1 (Baltimore Ave). Use the cross-light over Route 1, turn left along Route 1 and then right onto Cherry Hill Road. This will bring you to Cherry Hill Park on your right.

The Anacostia Tributary Trail System is a series of seven different trails that connect at various intersections along the many tributaries of the Anacostia River, winding through the woods, fields and wetlands of the Anacostia Headwaters. The trail also passes Lake Artemesia, a man-made lake created by Metro; the College Park Airport and Museum, the world's oldest continually operating airport, where Wilbur Wright instructed Army officers in the first government airplane; and Adelphi Mill, built in 1796, reputed to be the oldest and largest mill in the Washington metropolitan area. For more information visit;  ANACOSTIA TRIBUTARY TRAILS , WASHINGTON BIKE ASSOC.  and   BIKE WASHINGTON   .

Note; My clues are somewhat incomplete, as I lost my notes from this trip.

Starting from the Cherry Hill Park parking lot; Go left around the tennis courts to the paved path. The Paint Branch Trail (named after the river it follows) starts to your left. Straight just brings you up to the gazebo and small pond. You wind through the woods and come to a crossing of Cherry Hill Road. USE CAUTION as there is no cross-light. The trail then winds through an area that was hit by a hurricane or tornado. There are signs that give a detailed history of the event. After crossing over a couple of bridges, the trail takes you around the Paint Branch Golf Course, separated by a fence. You must then cross over University Blvd (Route 193) where you then enter Acredale Community Park. You'll pass by the parking lot to your right where the trail then turns sharply left past a fenced in “Dog Area” on the right. Continuing south along the trail, you next cross over a couple of bridges next to dorms for the University of Maryland-College Park. Bear left, right is a University path. I believe there are trail signs here. Follow the signs carefully as there are many spur trails. Next you pass through Paint Branch Park and come out next to the Metro tracks. After passing through a tunnel below the tracks you'll come to Lake Artemesia and then a 3-way junction.

Note; You have the option of taking the Artemesia Lake Loop Trail around the lake.

Otherwise turn right and you'll come to another intersection.

Note; Left takes you along the Indian Creek Trail, a spur trail through Indian Creek Park up to Greenbelt Road (Route 193) of about a mile. This is a scenic ride alongside Indian Creek.

Otherwise, turn right where you will now be on the Northeast Branch Trail (also named for the river it follows). You'll cross over the river and pass by the College Park Airport on your right. Also located here is the COLLEGE PARK AVIATION MUSEUM . Cross over the Paint Branch Parkway where you'll spot the Linson Pool/Wells Ice Rink parking lot to your right, located in Anacostia River Park. There is an exercise course along this part of the trail. Continue south along the trail and at one point you will soon be traveling atop a flood wall with the river below. You come to another intersection just below Rhode Island Ave (Route 1).

Note; Another spur trail, the Anacostia River Trail, heads south from here up a slight hill for about a mile to the Colmar Manor Community Park. It passes by a long pedestrian bridge that crosses over the Anacostia River to the Bladensburg Historic Waterfront Park.

After checking out this trail, turn right at the intersection onto the Northwest Branch Trail heading west. You briefly parallel Charles L Armentrout Drive? and then cross Rhode Island Ave where the trail now follows along the Northwest Branch River. This section has several street crossings and enters a more urban area. You cross two more bridges before coming to another intersection near a third bridge.

Note; Left is an access trail out to Chillum Rd and right takes you to the West Hyattsville Metro Station. From here you can take the Metro north up to the Greenbelt Metro Station and then using an on-road connector, return to the Cherry Hill Park parking lot, making for a nice loop ride. See directions above for the on-road connector.

Continuing straight takes you underneath the Metro tracks where the Northwest Branch Trail continues towards Chillum Park and the Sligo Creek Trail. I hope to return in the future to continue the trails.

HH

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