Ronald C. McDonnell Campground Loop trail photo
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Level: Intermediate
Length: 3 mi (4.8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +153/ -147 ft
Total: 37 riders

Mountain Biking Ronald C. McDonnell Campground Loop

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#21 of 99 mountain bike trails in Maryland
#1,716 in the world

Not a widely known trail, and definitely off the radar for the area, but ridden enough by in-the-know locals that the singletrack is well worn. All told, this trail needs to get some recognition. I'm not sure who has been taking care of it, but they've done a nice job.

Heading south from Goya Road on Tortilla Trail, the trail head will be a hundred feet down on the left. It isn't far from the northern most point on Tortilla. You'll have to ford the river/stream to get across and once across it is a quick jaunt to the split. Left or right, you'll end up at this spot again, but I recommend going left.

Left will bring you down the side of the loop that parallels 270S. It is full of twists, turns, switchbacks, fallen trees to hop over, at grade stream crossings and a host of other fun things. The beginning is a hellish uphill section that leave the legs burning for a break. Closer to the end, you'll start seeing the campground sites which may or may not be used. Ultimately, the singetrack puts you out on the dirt access road. Turn right and follow this for a while.

You'll come around a right hand bend and see a bridge on the left side, this is the start of the other portion of the trail. Here is where it gets interesting. Some fallen trees from storms in 2012 force you to hop off the bike and lift it over, and some other sections are just dicey and tough. Thumbs up to you if you can navigate it without any issues. You'll eventually work your way back to the split location, hang a left and head back to Tortilla Trail.

Someone has done an excellent job of keeping this unknown trail up to date and open. Trees have been cut up, new paths cut, paths swept of fallen leaves and generally everything is up to date and ready to be ridden. Next time you're in the Potomac/Bethesda area or at Cabin John Trails, give this little trial a look.

First added by AJ711 on Oct 14, 2012. 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
Two options for parking. Either make your way to the end of Goya Drive and park there (not a lot of room and residents have a basketball hoop set up there) or park in the Cabin John Park lots and ride your way up to the trail head, which is located off Tortilla Trail.

11800 Goya Dr, Potomac, MD 20854

Cabin John Parks: 39.03417,-77.148111

Ronald C. McDonnell Campground Loop Trail map

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Local Info

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Zraeee (on Apr 24, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Wet (on Sep 13, 2020)
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