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Level: Intermediate
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +1,090/768 ft
Total: 56 riders
 

Mountain Biking Muddy Branch Greenway Trail

****   Add a review
#20 of 97 mountain bike trails in Maryland
#1947 in the world

Some well maintained single track with some challenging hills and lots of at grade stream crossings makes the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail a good time. Along the whole length, the trail is well marked by blue blazes and the single track is easy to follow, even with the falling leaves of the season blanketing the ground. Most of the trail is well packed single track, with a few root filled sections and one area that is pretty well packed with rocks. Otherwise, this is a great trail to ride or include in a longer ride.

There are a couple of areas where you need to ride along the local roads, but it isn't too bad. Riding north, you'll turn right and head .3 miles down the hill until you see Query Mill Road on your left. Turn there, and immediately heft your bike over the guardrail on the left side of the road. The trail will pick up from here.

Still heading north, at the top of this section, you'll exit on to Query Mill Road. Turn left and look for the pair of single lane bridges and head in their direction. Over the second bridge and on the left side of the road, you'll see a small brown sign for pointing towards a short section of the trail that will pop you out at the intersection of Query Mill Road and Turkey Foot Road. At that intersection, the trail head is directly across the intersection, at the end of the guardrail. All the other road crossings (and there are a few) are well marked.

This trail is a blast to ride. Nothing too technical, but just enough there to keep you interested. And the varied terrain also works to keep you on your toes. Just another gem that Montgomery County has to offer.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
There are many options for parking with this trail, with the ability to park at either end or somewhere near the middle. Plenty of parking is available at the Pennyfield Lock area, and this represents the bottom of the trail. A few more spots can be had off River Road, Quince Orchard Road and at the top part of the trail in Lakelands Park.

Pennyfield Lock: 12100 Pennyfield Lock Rd, Potomac, MD 20854

River Road: 39.065873,-77.304972

Quince Orchard Road: 39.091408,-77.249155

Lakelands Park: 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

From the Lakelands, head to Rt28 and turn left. Riding towards traffic (on the curb, mind you) head down the hill. You'll pass Edison Park Dr, and a small footpath. Slow down at the footpath and look for the break in the guardrail. This is the start of the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail. Follow the paved path down the side of the road, under the bridge and out the other side onto the single track.

Trailheads at the other locations are well laid out and marked,
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rmap01 (on Jun 12, 2020)
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Reviews

  • rmap01
    ***

    Muddy Branch is a nice flowy trail. It's got a little bit of everything, i.e. roots, rocks, stream crossings, etc. Not a lot of elevation change but some short punchy climbs that will elevate your heart rate a bit. Not a destination per se but if you're in the area it's a decent ride. It's included as one of several trails systems as part of the MOCO Epic 40 miler... a great way to sample the excellent trail system in the area. Not to be ridden after any meaningful rain.

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  • Homely
    *****

    YELLOW JACKET WARNING: As of 8/19/17, active yellow jacket ground nests on section between Quince Orchard Rd and Rt. 28. Avoid.

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  • dmaxwe11
    ***

    This has more rocks and roots than I expected. It is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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  • twowheelsdc
    *****

    Love it. Challenging enough to keep it fun and interesting (and for a noob like me to build new skills), but not so difficult to be tedious. Mostly flowy singletrack with a couple technical sections. Mostly roots, with a couple rocky areas.

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  • gwj26
    ****

    I love this trail. Really close to my house, great flow, and a blast to ride. It's a well kept secret, so there's no traffic and the trail is yours to shred. Beginners will enjoy the smooth track and more advanced riders will be able to fly along the twisty trail and take on some sudden creek crossings. Great trail very close to the Potomac/Darnestown area.

    ****NOTE: A summer storm a few weeks ago all but destroyed the trail between Query Mill and Turkey Foot. There must have been at least 20 downed trees along the trail, which made for a very frustrating start to the ride. Had to dismount and portage for a few hundred yards before the first creek crossing. It will probably be a long time before the Query Mill-Turkey Foot section is up and running again. We continued north on the Turkey Foot section and found it obstacle-free (we turned back at the power lines clearing). Just thought this info should be up for any prospective riders. The trail is still worth checking out!

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  • AJ711
    ****

    Everything from well packed single track, to horse trails complete with fresh pies, at grade stream crossings, old abandoned tree forts, meandering single track, fast downhills, and long tough uphills are included on this trail. Park at any location and enjoy portions or park at one end and session the whole length. I believe it is even included in the upcoming MoCo Epic races. A mixture of flat single track meandering through lowlands to trails that wind their way over hills, down valleys, and along fingers, this trail has a mixture of everything.

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