|   Rate it:

Level: Intermediate
Length: 15 mi (24.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +575/ -586 ft
Total: 57 riders

Mountain Biking Emmitsburg Watershed

****   Add a review
#16 of 99 mountain bike trails in Maryland
#1,346 in the world

The info and maps come from a trail builder I met. I will add more info soon but here's what I have from him.

The trails have a beginner loop(green) about 2.5 miles closest to the lake and intermediate loops(yellow) about 5 miles but will ride as more. The intermediate loops have more climbing than your typical trails and are basically 2 loops joined by a mile of trail that links them together and that takes you on the road for about 40 ft around a private driveway. There is also a out and back completed across the street from the lake parking area down the road a bit. Out and back is accessed from the trail that leads to the upper loop. When you come out on the road look across and there is a trail. There is also a more beginner/intermediate trail directly across from the lake parking area. Fun layers of trail with switchbacks, great flow and pump sections. Closed for hunting Sept Through Feb except on Sundays. Also closed for Turkey Season except Sundays.

First added by Alex NIN on Aug 9, 2014. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Rainbow Lake
5, Emmitsburg, MD 21727
I Rode It!   Add to another list

Emmitsburg Watershed Trail map

Add to or improve this map // Share this map on your website

Local Info

Club Sponsor


Trail checkins

Alex NIN (on May 17, 2020)
What's this?

Upcoming Events

Add one

Trail conditions

Good (on Jul 30, 2017)
login to update

Camping & Lodging

Coming soon!

Emmitsburg Watershed videos

Add a video
We don't have any videos of this trail yet. Add one here.

Rider questions

Q: Thanks

Q: When When does hunting season Fall 2015 start?
A: I believe it's already started so Sundays are the only safe day to ride now.

Add a review



  • Daniel_Sheets   ✓ supporter

    Great trail for the moderate or advanced rider.Plenty of rocks and good flow in other areas.Well marked.Parking is very limited in some places.

    Reply | Thank
  • W.Woods

    I love riding Emmitsburg trail system for a quick afterwork workout. There is some nice flow sections as well as some tech climes. Short and sweet this is a nice spot to ride for intermediate riders.
    The trails across the road from Rainbow Lake are better for beginners. I've taken my lady who is new to single track riding and she was not overwhelmed but still challenged.

    Reply | Thank
  • rmap01   ✓ supporter

    Rode here in the middle of a hot, humid summer day and the trail kicked my a$$. What's cool about this trail system is that the trail blazes are listed in order of difficulty. Just beware that "beginner" here is not your typical beginner flow trail. If you're into rocks, more rocks and elevation with rocks you'll love this place. Great workout!

    Reply | Thank
  • brknhal0

    A great trail with a lot of diversity. The trails I have done so far have ranged from tight switchbacks to rock gardens to fast hard-packed to leg-burning climbs. Very enjoyable trail-system.

    Reply | Thank
  • BGringo

    Great hidden gem in the Emmitsburg area. The colored trails really helped and it was fairly well mapped out. The initial description reads right, it's about 5 miles but rides longer. Great climbs with rock gardens, but makes the descents worthwhile. Did notice another "pink" area aside from the yellow and green across the street, but will be checking that out in the very near future.

    Reply | Thank
  • dirtbagmike

    If you love chomping on rock gardens of all types, this is the place for you. I had a blast navigating up and down them on the orange and red blazed trails. The last 1/4 miles of orange trail has some quick trail with nice berms, before it dumps you on Annandale Rd. I would really like to get back there soon, now that I know my way around the trail system. With that said, the trails were a bit hard to follow at times, but I believe this was likely due to leaf scatter and lack of riding.

    Reply | Thank
  • Yabo72

    Twoaim trails that I saw. One across the road from the lake is a zig zag climb and back down. Lot of fun. Well maintained. Good jumps and banked turns. Very fun! Other more expert across the bridge next to lake is steep narrow climb and narrow paths throughout. Decent but confusing paths and not as maintained. Better physical challenge but not as fun as the other.

    Reply | Thank
  • Antney02

    If you like rock gardens this is the place for you. Inclines with rocks, declines with rocks, plenty of rocks.

    Reply | Thank
  • Charlie29

    The new out and back or should I say down and up trail rocks! Fast with some technical areas to mix things up a bit.
    The original Trail is a bit more challenging, a lot of rocks! Great work out though.

    Reply | Thank
  • vicbelt

    I have only been to Emmitsburg once but I am sure I want to go back many many times to enjoy this wonderful system and to see it grow according to the exciting plan for the region. The thing I love the most about these trails is the perfect mix of flow and technical challenge. There are plenty of rock gardens that will keep you on your toes and will test your bike, and there are miles of flowy dirt singletrack to satisfy your need for speed. I can't wait to go back!

    Reply | Thank
  • MaBaLa$iK

    This is a one of the most challenging trail out there lots steep climbs, rocks, switch backs you name it, it's there and a very good reward afterward, all I say is I'm coming back for more thanks for this great guys who build this trail

    Reply | Thank
  • Alex NIN

    The upper (Papa Bear) loop has some very technical rocky hill climbs and descents and counter clockwise is probably the direction of choice. Either way a great challenge.

    Reply | Thank
  • Alex NIN

    Really great trails and was well worth the drive up from DC. Park at the Lake and go straight thru the gate with the signs on it. Two of the loops pick up right on the other end of the lake. Beginner loop to the left although there are definitely some advanced sections on the trail. The other loops have great switchbacks, good challenging hills to climb and then fly down, rocky sections throughout with boulders, logs and other options to ride. I recommend riding every loop both directions to truly get everything out of it. Great job by Trail Conservancy Inc and other volunteers. I can't wait to go back with my full suspension bike next time.

    Reply | Thank