Northwest Branch Trail

MODERATE 28 reviews

Northwest Branch Trail is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Silver Spring, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
396 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

muddy

Parking available along the side of the road at trail head or at the Brookside Gardens and Nature Center

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

I loved this trail. I couldn't find the trailhead, so I entered it through the Oak Ridge trail next to the Nature Center. I recommend bug spray for the ticks (or long pants if weather permits). I almost stepped on a snake on the path, so be mindful. Everyone with dogs had them off leashes. They were all well behaved and not a problem, but if you are taking your dog on the hike just be aware of this. No trash along the trail and it was mostly off the well-travelled, beaten trails. There is cell reception along the whole trail and the map on this app was actually was kept me from getting lost or adding hours to my hike. There are a lot of interwoven "unofficial", trails so it's easy to get off track.

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

I've lived in the area my whole life and NEVER knew of this trail! We started at Brookside Nature Center (take the Oak Ridge trail down to the trailhead for the NW Branch trail. Overall, VERY muddy, but light traffic and a lot of fun. From the nature center it's an 8.5 mile loop, but it's fairly easy. Due to narrow trails and lots of vegetation, recommend long pants to avoid ticks.

Side note: Lots of birds around! Saw some beautiful cardinals and a Great Blue Heron, too!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

walking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

In my opinion one of the best trails near DC. Flagged in blue. Sometimes it can be confusing because of the many branch trails, but you. It going to get lost, just may back track. It's pretty well kept. I suggest starting down at Burnt Mills and doing the 7.5 mile loop on heading north, walking in the east the west sides of the river. You can see the trail map here http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/trails_MAPS/trailmap_pdfs/NWbranch_trail.pdf

I well recommend it.

7 months ago

9 months ago

9 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Pretty scenery with lots of interesting history. Not too challenging, at times there was a slight incline, but I got a good workout! Be sure to wear pants/bug spray. A lot of the trail goes through overgrown tall grass.

hiking
Saturday, July 23, 2016