Explore need to ride - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

looks like fun

need to ride Map

Ok trail - took us 90 minutes to finish a brisk walk with our dog. Very little foot traffic on a chilly day mid week. Parts of the trail are very wet and muddy (had rain earlier in the week) and poorly marked. Beautiful walk along the river with various vantage points. I would say the trail is moderate because of some steep stairs, but it’s listed as easy. I may try it again when it’s dry!

Great trail and really surprising that this is in the city. It's good for a leisurely walk, running, or biking. You can take smaller trails that are off of the main path if you want a more challenging hike.

mountain biking
1 month ago

I chose mountain biking because the trail has paved portions, but also unpaved along the main trail. The park's history is true, but as far as I know no one has been killed here. I've ridden this trail for a little over 8 years and have never had a problem with not feeling safe sure to people. On the weekend you'll see lots of hikers and bikers after 8am. I ride early to avoid people and usually see many deer.

The most danger I've ever seen was the occasional loose dog, but that's anywhere and I carry mace for such events. Also, the trail is a lot longer than 4.1 miles. You can take this trail all the way downtown close to the harbor. From the top trail head to Carroll Park is about 7 miles, and if you go back it's 14 miles. The only waterfalls are in Carroll Golf Course, but it's a manmade fall for excess storm water lol, and another true waterfall near the Windsor Mill trail head (this one is a shallow fall and it's about 30' below the trail.level so it's easy to miss).

This is my main trail. No problems and I recommend it. I'll also add that there are abandoned parts if the trail that are really interesting to check out (unused pavilions and parking lots and old trails that snake through the forest). You'll need to come through quite a few times to explore all of the trail branches.

Trail is mostly moderate with a few hills that will give you a workout on the way back. Bring water as the only water source is at the golf course.

This was a very nice hike, walked along the river for a majority of the trail. Some spots that get rocky and some spots that are pretty muddy (due to the excessive amounts of rain this year).There is incline at the beginning and end of the trail and mainly flat in between. This would be a very nice ride on horseback as well. I can imagine it gets pretty crowded in the summer time. We passed lots of dogs along the way as well.

1 month ago

Nice trail, mostly flat except for the end, pretty view of the river and its rapids. Passed horses and other families.

Little crowded but nice and (mostly) out of the sun

road biking
2 months ago

This is a great trail to travel from Bethesda to Georgetown. It is green and clean; I use it weekly. During peek hours it can get very busy. If you are with children be careful of fast cyclist, the max speed is 15 mph but they go faster on their commute.

2 months ago

*** Warning: Hornets are active along this trail ***
On September 1, 2018 two hikers/runners were stung by hornets(?). A week ago, a horseback rider was stung 25 times.

Linkin Park is no place you want to walk. I used to live near there but there's bodies are all the time. stay away from Linkin Park. I live there or should I say around her in the early seventies and it was bad then and now it's even gotten worse.

Good beginners trail. Enjoyed the walk. Three hours with nature!!!!

Great hike, devils pool is refreshing.....but rocks are very slippery! Hardly any restrooms though

road biking
3 months ago

I love this trail for some basic cycling!

It is a good trial did it with my family any bike works and it was a breeze but the kids had some trouble going up the hills

Love!! Went here because it’s close to my sisters in the city but still on the way from Chalfont area. Hike was a workout and kicked my butt! (In the best way of course). I loved that it was easy enough but harder than most of my go-to trails. Will definitely be returning :) watch for the little spiders that build their web right across the trails!

4 months ago

Easy trails but lots of horse feces. Not very scenic

Hiked about half of this. Easy.

Nice flat trail for cruising

Great biking path around and through DC under the trees. 23 miles round trip through sylvan woods and history. Occasional restaurants along the way in Georgetown and Bethesda.
A real Gem.

Loved this trail. There are also lots of conjoining trails that allow you to make this longer if you want to. It’s fun to go down to the river in hot weather too.

4 months ago

While it was a nice little hike, we were all very disappointed about the state of the trail. I guess there are people that go horseback riding on these trails so they were pretty messed up in some sections from the horses going through the trail when it was wet and there were some sections that were very soft from the horses ruining them and my husband almost lost a shoe. Would expect things to get soft if it had rained recently but it has been weeks since it rained. Overall an easy well marked trail that my kids didn't have any problem with and there were some nice views of the Patapsco River.

Great trail for beginners. Beautiful place, not crowded at all. Creek and waterfall were nice.

Great experience!

5 months ago

Had a nice, uncrowded afternoon hike with my husband on a weekday. Enjoyed taking a few detours from Switchback to enjoy more of the river. Recent rains and flooding made for some squishy parts, but not enough to be frustrating. The rapids were REALLY rapid, I was glad I didn't have any kids to keep an eye on with the river being so swollen and wild. Fun wildlife, lots of songbirds, a snake sunning on some rocks, and a great blue heron that stayed opposite us on the river bank for over an hour as we sat to enjoy the waterfall. All in all a nice hike. Pro tip: grab a paper map and take note of your orientation compared to the river, railroad, or road and you'll have a good idea of your exact placement on the trails if you're scouting a particular route.

on Sligo Creek Trail

5 months ago

A scenic, easy paved trail for the days you'd rather keep your feet dry. We saw chipmunks, a deer and a fox in close range. Not bad for a trail that sits between a busy road with noise traffic and a neighborhood you can see from parts of the trail. I may bike here with the kids next time, but look elsewhere for a more serene experience.

Easy traveling, this is my go-to trail for riding. Beautiful scenery and plenty of stopd, if needed. Sometimes gets a bit crowded but always enjoyable.

5 months ago

Today was the hottest day of the year thus far at 85 degrees. The Martha Custis Trail is 100% paved, which means convection and radiant heat coming up from the pavement, while solar heat from the sun beams down — it’s like being in an oven. I haven’t adapted to running in hot weather this year yet. So, I knew that this run was going to suck.

I started out at about 11 am, and what was planned to be a trail running activity turned into a day hike activity, fairly quickly. The heat was just too much trying to maintain a 10K pace. I ended up jogging and taking breaks often, the whole distance. Other than that the trail was great! Just beware of the many bikers. I ended up completing a total distance of 14 miles at 735 feet elevation gain, when you converge my two recordings.

I plan to start these runs earlier, like 15 minutes before the break of dawn or thereabout. The aim is better quality outings. I’ll bag this one and look to do better next time out.

Great trail - easy but very family friendly with enough room for bikes, runners, dogs and people.

Very, very nice trail

6 months ago

I only come here once in a blue moon. Although I hike a 4 mile loop here it's basically all they got. I live next to the Avalon, Orange Grove, Hilton, Hilltop area and there is over 34 different trails just in that section. Over 134 miles !! I hike many 3 and 4 mile loops weekly and there is a lot more to see. The only problem in my area is it gets over crowded on weekends. I also don't like the Gun Range being near by. To Noisy. I carried a rain jacket in my pack but it never rained.

Great view !

Load More