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trail running
2 days ago

With a bit of cabin fever and ground mostly covered with snow (and this trail gets very muddy, very soggy, slushy, and adventurous! I don't recommend this trail after a day of rain...unless, you are like me and don't mind soaked running shoes), I went and attempted this trail. I parked in gravel lot indicated by what is shown here. So, those who said trails were confusing, and mostly 'well' marked, they are right! The course plotted on this map is not all Blockhouse Trail, keep that in mind. (see this map: https://www.montgomeryparks.org/uploads/2016/08/BlockhousePoint-1.pdf)
1. From the parking lot, per the AllTrails map, followed River Road West along the 'Old South River Road Trail'. Technically, the parking lot is sitting on 'Canyon Trail' which heads south straight towards the river.
2. Eventually, you will see there is another parking lot near the intersection of River Rd. & Pettit Way. Turn left onto Blockhouse Trail (oh! I found the actual Blockhouse Trail, lol.)
3. I passed by Fawn Trail, Turkey Fan Trail, Springhouse Trail only because it didn't seem like they were going the way I wanted, I kept on going straight. I stayed right at the intersection of Blockhouse and Springhouse and went over a short bridge. Eventually, I got to the intersection where I found the Calithea Trail. I took a right onto that.
4. On Calithea Trail, heading West (or left on map), you will see the trail will fork, no signs to tell you which is the trail. If you go by tree markings, you would go right. Well, me, being the rebel went left. It felt like right was going to loop me back. In short time it took me down into a ravine onto the flood plain level. Note, I never did follow where that marked trail went to.
5. (really 4b,) Crossed over a creek which, fortunately, was not swollen. And, this connected to an unused dirt road. Even then, just passed the creek, I had to choose a direction, still unmarked, on which way to run on the road. I went left. This eventually took me passed the park boundaries. The red path shown on the map is following this very path. However, just passed the park boundaries, I felt like I was running down somebody's driveway, so, I turned around. Whoever charted this loop on the map made it farther than me.
6. Heading back east, re-crossed the creek, up the hill, I see the PawPaw Trail on my right. Though this is a dead end, or out and back, take it! Beautiful overlook of the Potomac River at the turnaround. It helps that it is Winter and all the leaves are out of the way.
7. I head back PawPaw, reconnect on Calithea making a right, then I quickly see the Blockhouse Trail instersection again, I stayed right and followed the Blockhouse Trail until it dead ends. Along the way, I went right at the intersection of Springhouse Trail & Blockhouse. At this time, I didn't realize I had seen Springhouse Trail prior, short term memory thing, no worries, I'm good. Another beautiful overlook of Potomac.
8. Heading back on Blockhouse Trail, I went right onto Springhouse Trail. Crossed another creek. Eventually, I made a right onto Blockhouse Trail (again) very near the bridge I crossed a bit earlier.
9. Since it was getting late, I didn't venture any trails and went back to my car.

This was a total of 6.2 miles that took me 2 hours, 10 minutes to complete. If it wasn't so sloppy, I would have covered the distance much quicker.

I most definitely will do this again in the spring.

8 days ago

Definitely cold in the tunnel and some beautiful bats! Waterfalls on other side of tunnel were very nice. Definitely take a flash light as it was very wet and muddy with all the rain we are having.

Traffic wasn’t too bad. Not a lot of parking though. Very muddy at some points. My GPS tracked 4.07 miles.

Nice hike. I think I did the blue loop trail which is blue and orange much of the way. I started to the right of the pavilion. it was muddy early on. About mid way you have to cross the creek a few times. This would be difficult to do without getting your shoes under water. I took my shoes and socks off for 2 crossings I wouldn't have been able to do without getting my shoes wet so I was able to finish with dry socks and shoes. About 4 miles. Moderate uphill at the end. Rest of trail was not too difficult except trying to keep from getting my feet wet or muddy.

mountain biking
15 days ago

Just rode this with my 10 year old son & he had no issues, I'd rate this as easy instead of moderate.

Beautiful trail, nice mix of sceneries. The trail is actually 7 miles.

A nice Rocky climb with a good challenging ascent and can be done easily in an hour and a half or two hours if you wander. Not a lot to see if there's no foliage and not any Wildlife when I went. ample parking and a restroom with playground at the base.

Great trail. But without this app I would of been lost. Sometimes the markings were sparse enough ( especially along the creek) that I thought I missed a marking. Trail criss crosses across a creek which can be very confusing. But, nonetheless I had a great time exploring the landscape.

trail running
19 days ago

Great trail. Very runnable especially on the south side of the NW Branch.

Took two kids and a dog, had a great time. Muddy after rain, can’t wait for summer.

We did it in 1.5 hours with a little break at the overlook. It's easy to find from the parking lot and is not very "hard" at all. A nice training for trail runners and those wanting to practice inclines.

It is not to hard even for me and I’m 10 years old I want to find one a little harder

great trail. Steep, a day later my legs are feeling it.

No idea why this is classified as hard...

trail running
1 month ago

A small stream valley with light eastern suburban forest and some granite boulders. Nice local trail for running with a few climbs.

The northwest trail is nice and well indicated. However the trail on the other side of the creek is more challenging. The blue markers are not consistent throughout the trails and sometime the grass is overgrown and it’s hard to know which way to go. Also you have to go over huge logs to cross the creek at several points. But overall still a pleasant walk near the water.

Great trail

We were visiting Gettysburg and found this trail via AllTrails app. Was a great Spring hike.

It’s tougher than you may expect but worth it! Also if you visit the day after a rain storm expect about 4-5 water crossings so bring a change of shoes for everyone!

Lovely variety but note that the entrance is closed and you have to use a different one. Also, the recorded trail in AllTrails is inaccurate. There are big signs saying, “Not a Trail.”

Loved this hike! The trails were very well marked and signage was posted accordingly. I would rate this as moderate. I started off counter clockwise and found this helpful as I went up the rockier parts and did not have as many rocks going down. That being said it is still a rocky trail. Loved seeing chimney rock and wolf rock. I would definitely like to return.

2 months ago

Easy quick hike with a couple of great over look spots and picnic tables right on one. Great for children and dogs.

Great hike clear markings
Got the hike in before the rain

2 months ago

Very rocky. Otherwise a nice trail. I’d rate it as moderate not easy due to incline and rocks.

Great trail! I felt the blue blazes were easy to spot and the trail was well marked. I did this trail on Friday Oct 19, 2018. Start at the parking area noted on the map, and work clockwise. The meadow portion is NOT boring - there is a great bio-diversity in the meadow. This path features woodlands, meadow, and mountainous streams. You will get into the water on this trail. You have to cross the water in a few places, so get your waterproof boots ready. Also recommend a stick / hiking pole as there are some pretty good hills that you'll be tackling. My dog loved this trail as well.

Beautiful hike but the way the trails are marked can be confusing

nice. secluded. great markings. view isn't spectacular. you can continue on the blue trail if you want more rigor after you reach Bob's Hill.


Highly recommend for speed workout. I did the section around Lake Redman. Little over 8 miles. I especially liked the tunnels under the highway, nice piece of a unique trail system.

Overcast-ed skies and the breeze make a hike in the meadows prefect. - Although I bike too, I am glad no bikes are allowed in this all natural area. - You have a mixed environment of Woods, Meadows and a Stream. - Do to a lack of shade in many sections, I never come here in the summer. I love all the different butterflies along the meadow trails of green grass. I always park on the lot at Trotter Rd. but space is limited.

Great hike. Loved some of the views. The markings could have been a lil better but over all would do this again.

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