Explore the most popular walking trails near Silver Spring with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Except for the first part along a residential street and a couple of major road crossings it is very peaceful

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

Not moderate. Easy.

I love this trail but it’s best during the week because the weekend can be too busy. Great for dogs, I have 2 and 99% of people with dogs on trail are dog friendly

road biking
1 month ago

I love this trail for some basic cycling!

This is a wonderful neighborhood trail. We walk our dogs on it several times a week. It’s accessible for all levels, and you’ll often spot a deer or two.

I love this trail for the creek that runs alongside it most of the way and that it's so close to home. It's secluded from the road so it's blissfully quiet and much less trafficked than the Matthew Henson trail. It's a packed dirt and gravel trail though, so some parts are a little rocky and it can be really muddy after a big rain storm. Wear bug spray!

on Sligo Creek Trail

3 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.

I love this trail. goes down to Martin Luther king pool. and up through a cow path to the ICC.

3 months ago

I enjoy this trail a lot because it is easy to walk on. it started walking this trail during my lunch breaks and it lead to walking the whole trail with a friend. We wanted to see other parts of the trail so we decided to start at the section by Randolph Road. We planned on walking for an hour and then back, but ended up walking the entire trail and back. It is great for people of all hiking abilities. The wildlife along parts of the trail is a bonus as well. I often see many deer, squirrels, and occasionally see some frogs.

3 months ago

Didn't love this trail - there were very few hills or anything that made it feel like a good workout. Views were nothing amazing either.

5 months ago

We loved the trail but it is not what i would concider a moderate hike. We were hoping for a bit of a challenge. It was a nice walk though!

5 months ago

Nice . Access was easy from Kemp Mill subdivision.
Quite. Lot’s of birds. Deer.

Nice walk, relaxing. The entire path is paved, which is not our favorite—feels more like a stroll in a nice park than a hike. Fairly heavily trafficked. Probably wouldn’t go again but enjoyed the walk and outdoors enough for a nice day.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

If not comfortable parking on side of road, can park at nature center and then hike a 1/2 mile to trail.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

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.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Great for an easy walk and bike ride!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

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.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

very accessible

Monday, October 10, 2016

Good for biking- not so awesome for walking

Thursday, September 01, 2016

It's a nice walk. It's drops off and winds about a lot. Staying on the trail can be tricky at times. Bikers use this trial so beware of them riding up behind you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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.

road biking
Saturday, May 28, 2016


Friday, February 19, 2016

I live in the area bordering the NW Branch Trail. Just need to point out to the folks at AllTrails that when I click this trail it actually shows the Paint Branch Trail on the map view. This should be corrected ASAP. I am a new member and do not know how.

The NW Branch Trail is within view of houses during most of the path. However, it is very serene and usually you can barely hear traffic noise unless you are near a junction with a major road like US 29. My friends and I have hiked from around Kemp Mill to the Beltway on several occasions. Our tradition is to stop at California Tortilla for lunch!

This hike is a lot of fun for both adults and children alike. There are also some geocaches hidden in this area!

cross country skiing
Sunday, January 10, 2016

My typical running or biking path. Nice walk or run along Sligo river. Completely paved makes it easy to vine too but watch out for runners with earphones.

cross country skiing
Sunday, January 10, 2016

Little underrated trail with trailhead across from stables on Kemp Mill. You can hike toward colesville road or you can link up with Sligo creek trail. I recommend the former for a little of an uphill challenge. Bring a dog or partner because much of this trail is isolated and you don't get too much foot traffic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lots of little sun fish, good for catch and release

Sunday, January 06, 2013

NOTE: The trail head indicated on the map above right is incorrect, nor is there any public parking available at that mark. If you travel north 1/4 mile, you will find the entrance to the trail on the right across the street from the park's horse stables. Parking is allowed both in the stable parking lot or along the road at the trail head.

This is a 7.4 mile loop that runs along the banks of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River (thus the name). From the HEAD yoo will travel southeast on a paved trail to a "Y" where the returning half of the trail rejoins.
Staying straight at the Y keeps you heading south along with the west bank of the Branch. The back half of the trail loops to the north beginning at Columbia Pike and is natural trail.
The trail along the east bank light blue blazes, but not well marked in many areas. It is easy to get confused due to the many "local" spur trails that come in from the adjacent neighborhoods. When you question which to take, stay with the one closest to the stream.
Both sides have a tendency to be muddy in many areas, but easy to navigate around. There are at least two log bridges across the stream which you can use to cut the hike in half.

trail running
Thursday, October 11, 2012

A somewhat scenic trail along the Sligo Creek and intercepter. There was a fair amount of people and it felt safe without being over crowded. Trail running is a bit challenging the first time because you sometimes have to stop to figure out where the trail picks up. There are also a few busy boulevards to cross. The trail and the ends could be marked a little better.

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