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Patuxent Branch Trail to Lake Elkhorn and James Pond

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Simpsonville, Maryland

Patuxent Branch Trail to Lake Elkhorn and James Pond is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Simpsonville, Maryland that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 11.8 mi Elevation gain 285 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Road biking Walking Bird watching Running Lake Paved River Views Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

Part of the Columbia Association Trail System, this trail combines several independent shorter trails to form a longer out and back trail for extended bike riding. The trail is mostly shaded but does fall into direct sun around Lake Elkhorn. While there is limited parking at the trailhead, you will likely find better parking at one of the many smaller branch trails that connect to this trail or at the Lake Elkhorn parking facility.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (152)
Photos (210)
Recordings (161)
Completed (201)
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PoseandClick Lenji
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Road biking

it is very good trail for biking

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Sheed Coleman
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Road biking

Nice but do it during the day

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Christopher Conroy
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Hiking

Great trail for distance.

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Luis Llanes
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Road bikingGreat!
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Jay P
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Hiking

Nice but bikes can be a little intimidating.

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Equan Simmonds
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Hiking
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Shey Fass
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Hiking
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Rodr Cher
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RunningBridge out

Wonderful trail for run , walk & bike .

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Maria Alessandri
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Hiking

Scenic but noisy Cute bridges under hwys. Would pack a lunch next time and sit by the lake.

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Alex Y
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Hiking

Pretty good road ride. Pretty of shade.

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Roshan Vignarajah
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Nature trips

Great trail for anyone who likes walking. Very easy. Links to the Patuxent Branch Trail and Lake Elkhorn.

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Jason Wallace
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Mountain bikingMuddy
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Lauren Castelli
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Hiking

Great, completely paved trail that still gives you the scenery of backwood trails. The trail is about 12 miles altogether.

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N H
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Road biking

It was a very nice trail. Signage could be a little better because we took a couple wrong turns but it was a very pleasant ride on paved road. You could ride most of the way without stopping. We will definitely do this again.

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Rachel Boyer
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Road biking

Nice ace nice trail that is mostly shady. I do agree with the other reviewer who said that it isn’t marked great- had to turn around at least once due to a wrong turn.. Regardless, nice trail mostly flat with a few up/ down grade changes. Not crowded at 8:30 am on a Tuesday

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Robyn Biegel
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Road biking

Really great ride this morning. Mostly shaded. At times, hard to find/remember which turns to make but able to look back to the AllTrails app and see. Parked at Atholton High School and biked to the trail head which made it about 20 miles round trip. Would do this trail again! Lots of walkers/runners out on this Saturday morning.

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Angelo W.
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Walking

Walked the Patuxent Branch Trail today, but I only went as far as the Lake Elkhorn loop (about 10K); I didn’t go all the way up to James Pond (over 10 mi). Noises coming from cars on bridge overpasses and businesses nearby did little to disrupt the serenity of my trek, and my connection to the natural surroundings. The trail is paved and flat, with relatively no elevation change, and there was a light flow of road bikers whizzing by, but my experience was not perturbed by this. I ran into heavy foot traffic once I got to Lake Elkhorn, and that’s on a Tuesday after 7 pm, which speaks to how popular the Lake Elkhorn loop is. It was getting late so I decided not to go all the way up to James Pond, and jogged back the last 2.5 miles. I hope to return soon to do the whole thing. Great walk! Completed: July 9, 2019

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Adrienne Williams
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Hiking
First to Review

I love to hear the sounds of water and get close to climb on the rocks when I hike. This trail does have water and ways to get close to the water. Just wasn’t pleased with off trails to do so. The trail is very nice though.

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Robert Kennedy
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Hiking
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Eduardo Benitez
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Mountain biking
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Carly Dement
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Hiking
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Terrie Tyrie
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Road biking
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Joanne Kim
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Hiking
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Brooke Loudermilk
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Mountain biking
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Daniel Smith
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Road biking
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Eduardo Benitez
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Mountain biking
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Linda Thornbloom
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Hiking
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Terrie Tyrie
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Hiking
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Sid Sripada
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Mountain biking
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Patricia Neal
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Hiking
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