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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 8 mi (12.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +966/1 ft
Total: 49 riders
 

Mountain Biking Seneca Bluffs Trail

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#16 of 97 mountain bike trails in Maryland
#1504 in the world

A new trail blazed and built for the 2012 MoCo Epic, and to provide a trail open to mountain bikes to parallel the southern portion of the Seneca Creek Greenway trail, it packs an awesome ride complete with lots of hills, a ~50' creek crossing, nice turns, and excellent scenery. Keep an eye out for orange blazes, orange tree tape, and large bright orange posts in the ground and you'll work your way along this 4 mile out and back trail quite easily.

The trail is brand new in 2012, and the northern portion makes this quite evident. MORE has done an excellent job of packing things down, building bridges, and marking the trail, but there is something to be said for having lots of tires travel over the path and pack things down. As I said, the northern first mile or so will benefit from having people ride over it. Having this route on the Epic was an awesome idea to aid in packing things down.

The singletrack will turn into double at some points along the way. It looks like farm/atv trails, but they don't seem to get a lot of use. The trail will jump from this doubletrack back to singletrack along the way, and again, these changes are well marked with bright orange markers of one sort or another.

The trail will meander next to fields, along ridges, and wind its way through the forests surrounding the Great Seneca Creek. The best part is when you come to "Dry Seneca Creek", and if the weather has been a bit wet, the creek is hardly dry. This is within the last quarter of a mile of the southbound route. Luckily, the rocks in the area make portions of the creek shallow enough to ford.

This trail is a lot of fun and an excellent add-on to a Schaeffer Farms trail day. Taking the Seneca Ridge Trail connector from Schaeffer's White Trail and taking the Seneca Greenway Trail segment behind the mill will bring you to the north parking lot. Or just head to one of the lots and session the out and back option. The direct area around here offers many options for singletrack to explore. Make it a point to visit this trail!

It should be noted that this trail runs through managed hunting acreage. Luckily it is bow hunting only and not rifle, but still, care should be taken during prime hunting season to avoid issues with hunters. Wear hunting orange, maybe put a bell on your bike, make fewer deer noises while on the trail, and be courteous to the hunters in hopes that they will do the same in return. More information about can be found at the link below.

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/b_m.asp

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 two parking lots available with ready access to this trail, and awesomely enough, one is at each end of the trail. Easiest method is making your way to Rt28 and finding the park parking lot near Great Seneca Creek. The southern lot is off Montevideo Road, near Rocklands Farm. GPS coordinates for both lots are below.

North Lot: 39.128204,-77.333066
South Lot: 39.091025,-77.343848

Only at the southern lot is the trail located where you park. If you go to the north lot, you will need to ride a short distance on Rt18 in the westbound direction and look for the trail head on the other side of the creek. Trailhead will be on your left as you are heading west. It is a wide path, so it is easy to spot.
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Chris Valdez (on Feb 1, 2020)
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Wet (on Feb 1, 2020)
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Reviews

  • swaaflyus
    ****

    Only took me 45 minutes from Gainesville VA with traffic to get there.Right off rte 190 in Maryland . There was a fun creek crossing. The water was not to high. The scenery was nice and lots of hills. You can really pick up some nice speed. Not too technical which was nice for me. Only my 2nd trail.

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  • cpickell88
    *****

    Great ride to warm up for spring that's close to DC. Only gradual climbs, not very technical. Smooth surfaces and really cool creek crossing at the beginning if you start on the south side

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  • harpsm
    ****

    This new-ish trail offers nicely flowing singletrack on hardpack dirt, but with some small sections of fields, dirt road, gravel/rock, and roots. There are also a few runoff ditch crossings and a shallow creek crossing. In general, the trail is narrow (about a foot wide). Grass on some sections of the trail is overgrown and can hide dangerous obstacles like logs. Brush (including some thorns) is badly overgrown on both sides of the trail on field sections, which results in shins and forearms whacking through brush and reduces visibility around corners. I'd also be concerned about exposure to ticks and poison ivy. Overgrowth aside, this is a very nice addition to MoCo's trail network. As it stands now, I prefer Seneca Ridge Trail, but with more break-in and maintenance Seneca Bluffs could be a close second.

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  • Christopher M
    ****

    Nice trail and a change of pace from some of the other riding in the area. From the parking lot there are two sections, you'll need to cross the road to get to the first section. The part on the same side as the parking are is shorter and will lead to the greenway along the river. Agree with the other reviews that this trail will get better with more time and riders. Trail is well marked.

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  • Alex NIN
    *****

    The new section is great and now joins river rd to the original trail. It will only get faster as it's broken in. Go ride and enjoy

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  • weath100
    *****

    This trail is an awesome ride. It was in perfect condition, except for one of the bridges is washed out. This adds an additional obstacle which makes the trail that much more fun.

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  • Alex NIN
    ****

    Great ride and a good change of pace from the SRT and Schaefer Farms with different soil types and some fun ridge riding. Never crowded either. Looking forward to riding the new section later this year thanks again to MORE for the great trail work.

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  • Team_Rubythroat
    ****

    really hard trail. I would give it a black diamond rating and it's harder than doing schaeffer's orange trail in the rain. made use of those new climbing bars though.

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  • AJ711
    ****

    I had heard about this trail in little bits here and there, and it only really made light with the recent MoCo Epic (2012). I was out riding around Schaeffer farms and wanted to extend my workout. Took the Seneca Ridge Trail connector down and headed down this trail. Probably not my smartest decision, as my legs were already tired, but I didn't regret it one bit. The trail, while brand new, is VERY fun and REALLY well laid out and marked. MORE has done a great job of building bridges, marking paths and generally making this trail easy to ride. Easy in the sense that you don't have to constantly be looking for the next turn, the climbs, descents, water crossings and other features of this trail are anything but easy. This is an awesome extension to a workout at Schaeffer, or just an awesome workout by itself.

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