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Rachel Carson Greenway & Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Trails

Northwest Branch  Trail Map Locator


Located in one of our Best Natural Areas, the Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park hosts both a hard surface and natural surface trail. These trails are part of the Rachel Carson Greenway Trail Corridor. A 25-mile trail corridor that will one day connect Patuxent River State Park to Prince George's County.

The hard surface trail is located south of the Capital Beltway and links into the Prince George's County Anacostia Tributary Trail System. The natural surface trail extends north of the Capital Beltway to Wheaton Regional Park.

The natural surface trail is 10.2 miles: the most popular segment is a 5.5 mile loop that starts just north of Colesville Road (Rte 29) where trail head parking is available (see map). The trail hugs the Northwest Branch river edge and provides a wilderness-like experience.

Unless noted otherwise on the map, trails marked “Natural Surface” and “Hard Surface” are "Shared by All" trails which includes hikers, bikers and equestrians. Additional information about permitted uses of Park trails is available on our Trail User Information page.

Download Rachel Carson Greenway and Northwest Branch Trails Map (pdf)


Hiking Hiking and Horseback Riding Horseback Riding (Natural surface trail)
Hiking Hiking, Biking Biking and Rollerblading Rollerblading (Hard surface trail)


The trail is located in the southeastern portion of the county and extends both north and south of the Capital Beltway.

Trail length/surface

Asphalt trail south of the Capital Beltway is 2.7 miles; natural surface trail north of the Beltway is 10.2 miles.

Trail characteristics

The natural surface trail on the east side of the Northwest Branch stream is hiker only. On the west side, horses and hikers are permitted.
NOTE: Bicycles are not permitted. The hard surface trail is open to hikers, bikers and rollerblades.

Drinking water




Access and parking

See maps. Accessible parking for hard surface trail is located at Adelphi Mill in Prince Georges County click here for details.


Park Managers Office: 301-625-7207.
SmartParks: 301-670-8080 for non-emergency & trail maintenance.

Date of last page update: August 12, 2008