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Level: Beginner
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +464/ -435 ft
Total: 41 riders

Mountain Biking Lake Needwood Trails

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#34 of 99 mountain bike trails in Maryland
#2,371 in the world

This trail system is a great place to start with mountain biking. Most of the trails are wide, with plenty of room to maneuver. You will be sharing the trails with hikers, dog walkers and others out enjoying the park, but there is plenty of room to go around them.

But while the trails are wide, the hills can be killer. Relatively steep and decent in length, they really work the legs and cardiovascular system out. Work your way south to the open section of Blue Heron Trail and you'll be rewarded with a quick, straight downhill section and lovely view of the lake.

When you're ready to give some singletrack a try, head to the Gude Trail and Parilla Path trails at the south end of Westside Trail. These are a decent representation of a vast majority of the trails in the Montgomery County area. If you can handle these two paths, you should be able to tackle much of any trail out there that is rated as a Blue Square.

Lake Needwood Trails are a great place for beginners or people who think they might be interested in trail riding to start. The trails are easy to navigate, but provide a decent challenge to anyone willing to give them a shot.

First added by AJ711 on Oct 7, 2012. Last updated May 10, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • 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
Best directions are to head to Rock Creek Regional Park at the following address.

6700 Needwood Rd, Rockville,MD 20855

Enter the park and head all the way south to where the Boat House, Snack Bar and Observation Area are and look for the parking lot near the open field. The Rock Creek Hiker/Biker Trail starts/ends here, but the mountain bike trails are off to the right.

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Lake Needwood Trails Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

Revengel (on Jun 13, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Dry (on Aug 30, 2020)
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Lake Needwood Trails videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Rockville, Maryland

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Intermediate | 8 mi
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Rider questions

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  • Revengel   ✓ supporter

    This is a very trail system in Montgomery County, Maryland. Is easy enough to get to? As it is near Rockville.

    I believe this is an outstanding location for a person to start mountain biking and to continue mountain biking. Alabama to explain

    From the parking lot. You have a choice of a paved Lane, which by the way leads all the way to Washington DC, or a blue gravel trail that leads to the right and immediately goes uphill. If you have a new or young mountain biker, these two are outstanding options. The Blue Heron Trail is double-track, a mix of dirt and gravel Oh, it does have some Roots but it is definitely something. I would read as green. It is a great way to help introduce someone. To the sport while getting wonderful views of Lake Needwood.

    There are several additional trails. That can be found on that side of the lake and all you have to do is turn left. They will vary from simple double and single track. Two very steep climbs and very steep descent. Dot-dot-dot at least for beginners. These sections I would read as close to Blue / intermediate. A paragraph one of the best things about this place use how accessible I feel everything is. If you take the paved path as I did with my beginning writer, you will go directly along Rock Creek! There are even areas where you can stop and walk right down to the water. There are a couple of Street crossings that are very, very clearly marked. But again, you can take this path all the way down to Washington DC. Should you choose. You paragraph overall, I highly recommend this Trail. It's a place that I'm going to go very, very often as it is about to become my new home Trail.

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  • James Gee

    Pretty accurate write up. I like to ride here from home, enter the park just past the golf course and start on the blue heron/westside trail, then ride south. sometimes add the dogrun trail for a brief but solid up hill/downhill. grab Gude trail and hit an awesome downhill over small bridget then pump hard uphill, 'cecpt I usually turn back around to do it again. steepest hills in the park which I kinda enjoy but not everyones cup of tea. I swing back north on needwood trail to the park entrance, then head back out. It is a good 6 miles usually and good for 30-40 minutes. Note that needwood trail has more dog walkers, kids, etc as its near the boating pavillion, and also that needwood trail is pretty rocky and lots of roots, so you can't go super fast through there anyway. views of the lake are pretty spectacular from almost any trail. added bonus that you can link up to the other side of the park where the meadowside nature center is to add a bunch of miles to the ride. AND you can ride this trail all the way down to DC /Rock Creek park and into Georgetown if you want an all day ride. I intend to do that then ride north on the C&O up to harper's ferry, and bring some camping gear along the way. should be fun.

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  • AJ711   ✓ supporter

    Well kept and a great afternoon ride. Hills are challenging, but trails are short so things are over rather quickly. Parilla Path and Gude Trail are fun bits of singletrack, but most of the trails are VERY wide and spacious. Great trails for those interested in getting started in mountain biking.

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