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Level: Advanced
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +860/ -851 ft
Total: 155 riders

Mountain Biking Frederick Watershed

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#3 of 99 mountain bike trails in Maryland
#311 in the world

The Catoctin Blue trail, which is a great ride, pretty much bisects the area from north to south. However, the glory of this area is the myraid of offshoots that go every which way through the woods. There is everything from Gambrill-style cross-country to killer DH with major hucking opportunity, but ya' gotta look for it. There's something for everyone except novices. There are no mpas so hook up with a local or take the time to explore. You can spend many days here and not find it all. I'll be back as often as I can until I move out of the DC area. It's great to know there's a place I'll never outgrow. From the parking area in the directions, head North and have a great time!

First added by John Fisch on Apr 24, 2010. Last updated May 11, 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
See directions to Gambrill State Park. Go past Gambrill a few miles and take a right on Hamburg road. Parking is just down Hamburg on the right.
System trails (1)
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Frederick Watershed Trail map

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Local Info

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Cavey (on May 28, 2022)
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Trail conditions

Good (on May 28, 2022)
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Frederick Watershed videos

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MTB @ The Frederick Watershed -…
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Frederick, Maryland

Advanced | 30 mi
Intermediate | 2 mi

Rider questions

Q: What is better to ride

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  • Bdub26

    Really underrated trails, though the locals wouldnt want me saying that. Place is intense and loads of fun. Some trails are real technical. Some newer trails are crazy good and flowy. If you are in the area dont miss it.

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  • Called2RideMTB   ✓ supporter

    As a kid I spent many weekends here with my dad camping, fishing & hunting. So returning here to ride my bike brings back a lot of great memories. Many of the double-track "trails" used to be "gravel fireroads" but are so full of ruts, rocks and logs that I can't imagine seeing a motorized vehicle on them. As has been state in other reviews, there are a lot of choices here and most are intermediate to advanced. A few of the double tracks could be ridden by a novice, but you will likely be walking your bike a bit. Some of the trails are well marked with colored blazes on the trees and a few signs. Others are not marked at all but using a mapping app you can usually figure out where are you in relation to the marked trails. Go and enjoy a day of adventure!

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  • Called2RideMTB   ✓ supporter

    A fun, twisty singletrack trail. No speed, some technical features but this is a good workout. Drop in off the Blue Trail and ride a loop or pick up blue balls and ride a larger, more technical loop.

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  • W.Woods

    I've ridden the Frederick Watershed all summer long and am still finding new offshoots and hidden features. This is a awesome spot and one of Fredericks best kept secrets.

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  • odyssey660

    Best trails in Maryland, Period. But don't come if you don't like rocks.

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  • Jimmy Christensen

    Follow the link below for an awesome highlight video from Frederick Watershed! To be honest I was a little disappointed when I first arrived at Frederick Watershed. Mountain biking here can be a bit confusing since the place is so big, but once you find the right trails you are in free ride/dh heaven! I was lucky enough to meet up with some locals who were doing shuttle runs and they showed me some of the real good stuff. The main mapped trails that I rode are pretty basic. Once you get a bit more off of the beaten path you will find the raw stuff. There are a ton of 'push' trails that you can push your bike to the top and blast down some pretty aggressive stuff. There is also a solid set of enduro/dh trails that the locals do shuttle runs at regularly. When in doubt, find a local! Enjoy the video! I post new videos from different spots in the Northeast every Monday, so be sure to subscribe for more! https://youtu.be/e8GnoBewjtM

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  • fairtheewell

    Participated in a group ride here. It was great!

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  • kcflower

    Plenty of trail here to ride for a few days. But no maps. We had a great time, but it was definitely helpful running into a few locals on the trail. Lots of technical climbing and some gnarly downhills. A blast of a time, tho.

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  • jtorlando25

    Trail is a butt kicker. The rocks just beat the hell out of you. It's short and I believe it's considered to be a part of the shed but it's a good distance ride away from the trails I rode while at the Shed.

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  • jtorlando25

    Pedaled over to the resevoir from Gambrill and a buddy shuttled us up to the top to get in a few sick DH runs. If you can get shuttled...I highly reccomend this place. I've heard that there is a group doing shuttle runs once a week as well but didn't catch any details.

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  • dubinjs

    Some of the best riding on the East coast in my opinion. Its by far the best riding in MD.
    Depending on what trails your riding, most of this area is not for beginers and will test the metal of your bike.
    Big climbs, big DH, lots of rocks and boulders, stream/ creek crossing, and tons of amazing views.
    These trails are not marked, othet than the Blue trail. There is a ton of stuff in this area, but you will need a guide or join one of the MORE club rides. Thats the local trail advocate group in MD/VA.

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  • cjk911

    Not sure if I would rate this a true difficult, but Knucklebuster is an apt name. There are so many small tress right on/in the trail that you end up busting your hands and shifters on them constantly. Also a couple of pretty cool rock obstacles. Very fun and twisty.

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  • jfigel76

    Advanced trail riding in Maryland. Trails are not well marked so bring a GPS or good maps. Terrain is rocky and old school trails, with straight up and straight down. Large drop offs with dismounts and hike a bikes. Not complaining, just explaining.

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  • TheWVPedaler

    This trail busted many things but not my knuckles. Just this past weekend the ol trail claimed my rear derailleur...always crappy to walk out of the woods.

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  • TheWVPedaler

    I rode this trail for the first time this past weekend...according to a few of the locals I spoke to at the trailhead we rode just a few of the trails that route through the woods. There are no markings on most of the trails but there is one main trail that all the trails seem to stem from and connect back to. That main trail alone is marked with blue paint. That trail connects to the trails at Gambrill State Park. All in all sweet epic singletrack. I will be back as many times I can this year!

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