Indian Head MD Trail Trail: July 4th or Groundhog Day?

On Saturday, my wife I drove down to White Plains MD and rode one of our favorite Maryland rail trails – the Indian Head Rail Trail. We’ve done it before but not for several years. It is only 13 miles long but a beautiful surface, great views of wetlands and the Mattawoman Creek. We saw several bluebirds and one wild turkey, along with the usual river birds. At the Western End, a .5 mile hilly neighborhood road ride takes you to Mattingly Park on Mattawoman Creek, where you can rent kayaks and buy sodas and candy.

It is a 50 mile drive from my house, so kinda violates the “bike more miles than you drive to get there” rule but someday the IHRT may be extended SE to connect with the partially complete 3 Notches trail that starts in Charlotte Hall and would add another 13 miles. The Oxon Hill Bicycle Club sponsors a yearly road ride in the area that I hope is back in the fall.

27 miles round trip on the Indian Head Rail Trail, views of Mattawoman Creek from Mattingly Park at the western end which is about 1 mile from the Potomac River

When we got back I emailed the photos to a friend who I knew liked to do rides like that and on Sunday am he replied that he was going to try it out – so I did the ride again, this time with him. A bit warmer and fewer people on the trail on 4th of July Sunday, but another beautiful ride. Deju vu all over again!

Starting gate at the White Plains (eastern) end, water tower at the Indian Head end. The Indian Head Navy Base seems to have influenced the water tower art…

Not too often I do the exact same trail segment 4 times in 2 days but this one is worth it!

Avid cyclist, sometimes touring cyclist. My main road bike is a Trek Domane SL6, my touring/unpaved riding bike is now a Jamis Renegade. I'm located in Maryland, about midway between Baltimore and Washington DC.

2 response to "Indian Head MD Trail Trail: July 4th or Groundhog Day?"

  1. By: NancyG Posted: July 5, 2021

    Sounds like a great trail if you would do it two days in a row. And the photos make it look like a great trail ;’-).

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 5, 2021

    Looks worth it to me — beautiful!!
    Our Rail Trail is along a busy highway on one side and the usual corn and beans on the other. And it too, is a 50 mile drive. Only 7 miles long for now, eventually will be around 25. Hardly worth the time and effort when I can see corn and beans a half mile from here. 🙂

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