WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE & ANNAPOLIS TRAIL:
GLEN DALE-ODENTON, MARYLAND
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Letterbox Planted: April 24, 2003
Last Updated; October 23, 2023
Length: WB&A Trail; Southern Section; 7.2 miles
WB&A Trail; Northern Section;5.7 miles
Route 450 Trail; 6.8 miles
Difficulty: WB&A Trail; Southern Section; Easy. Flat, paved rail trail with very slight grade.
Directions: WB&A Trail; Southern Section:
To start from the Electric Ave parking lot in Glen Dale [Southwestern End]; Take exit 8 off of Route 50 and travel northeast on Route 704 (Martin Luther King Highway). Take a right onto Route 450 (Annapolis Rd), left will bring you to the start of the trail, but there is no parking lot. Turn left onto Route 953 (Glen Dale Rd) and you will soon cross over the trail. Turn immediately left down Electric Ave. I didn't see a street sign, but the power lines run down this street. The parking lot is on your left and contains picnic tables, a boardwalk and Porto-Potty.
To start from the Race Track Road parking lot in Bowie [Northeastern End]; Take exit 11 off of Route 50 to Route 197 north. At the intersection of Route 450 (Annapolis Rd), turn right and travel 1.8 miles. Turn left onto Race Track Rd. Follow for about 2.3 miles. Just before a bridge turn right down an un-named road past a yellow gate to a parking lot next to the trail.
The Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail runs along the site of the former WB&A Electric Railroad. From 1908 through 1935, this line ran electric commuter trains between Washington, DC and Baltimore. Currently, as of 2023, this trail is open in two discontinuous segments with the gap being the Patuxent River. The Southern Section is in Prince George’s County and runs from Glen Dale Northeast to the Patuxent River in Bowie, while the Northern Section is in Anne Arundel County and runs from the Patuxent River Northeast to downtown Odenton. For information Visit; WBA TRAIL ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY , FRIENDS of WBA TRAIL & TRAILLINK .
Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail; Southern Section:
Note; The paved Route 450 Trail [I haven't checked out this trail] travels East from Lanham alongside Route 450. After 0.4 miles you'll pass by the start of the paved Folly Branch Trail [I haven't checked out that trail]. After 0.9 miles you'll pass by the start of the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail. The trail continues to Race Track Rd in Bowie and ends after 6.8 miles. Some of the sections are narrow and some have short sidewalk sections. Here you can check out the Whitemarsh Park Trail across Rout 450. See; WHITEMARSH PARK [I haven't checked out that trail]
Starting from the Route 450 Trail & Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail in Lanham [Southwestern End];
Travel Northeast along the paved Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail. This is an open wooded corridor. You'll cross the Folly Branch Brook into Glen Dale and after 0.5 miles the trail travels alongside Electric Ave. The trail then crosses a boardwalk and passes by the Electric Ave parking lot after 0.9 miles. You will pass by a wooden 1 Mile Marker, which are located all along the trail and cross over Glen Dale Rd. Parts of this trail are on-road, but they are access roads for houses only and not very long. This trail also follows the Power lines part of the way. After 1.8 miles you'll pass by a spur to the Glen Dale Community Center and Splash Park and travel through a tunnel underneath Route193. Cross an old RR trestle bridge over Hillmeade Rd at 2.4 miles and again at 3.6 miles over High Bridge Rd into Bowie. Cross another old RR trestle bridge over an active railroad line. After crossing this bridge, look to your right for a lone Oak tree, just above the railroad tracks. Behind this tree, under some rocks, is the WB&A Trail Letterbox. Continuing onward cross another bridge over Route 197 after 4.8 miles. Cross over Hoursepen Branch Brook at 5.3 miles, cross a boardwalk and pass through a tunnel to the Race Track Road parking lot after 5.6 miles. I haven't checked out this next section. The trail then continues coming to an Intersection at 5.8 miles next to Horsepen Branch Park (Bike Course).
Note; Right the paved trail follows the old rail bed East another 0.2 miles to an overlook of the Patuxent River. The old RR bridge is long gone.
The paved Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail continues straight (North) off the old rail bed and into the woods. Quickly come alongside a marsh, which has a boardwalk section. After about 6.8 miles (a mile or so from the Intersection) the trail will turn right.
Note; The Phase 3 construction project will continue the trail East and cross the Patuxent River over a new bridge. Construction started May of 2022 and will take 18 months. It will then connect to the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail; Northern Section; See Below).
The paved trail continues another 0.4 miles before turning to hard packed dirt and gravel at 7.2 miles.
CLICK HERE FOR FUTURE BRIDGE MAP
Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail; Northern Section:
I haven't checked out this section. The Northern Section of the trail in Anne Arundel County runs Northeast for 5.7 miles between the Patuxent River and downtown Odenton. The trail begins by traveling through the suburban backyards of Odenton and Piney Orchard. From Strawberry Lake Way to the south end of the Anne Arundel County section, the trail's route is mostly wooded.
A future connection North from the Northern End of the WB&A Trail in Odenton to the BWI Trail is partially complete. See Map Below:
CLICK HERE FOR SOUTHERN SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR NORTHERN SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR NORTHERN SECTION MAP
LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON
FEBRUARY 16, 2019
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