Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail

Jennifer Chambers
Project Coordinator
April 17, 2012

Revitalizing Green Spaces by Building a Trail

Southern Montgomery County is a densely developed and populated area with patches of green space scattered to provide recreation and respite from the active lives of its citizens. The largest green spaces in the down county are Sligo Creek Park, Northwest Branch Park, and Rock Creek Park; all with trail systems but non connecting to each other; until now.

For two years, multiple organizations (Northwood High School, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Neighbors of Northwest Branch, Friends of Sligo Creek, MD State Highway Administration, Montgomery Parks and Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection) partnered to build the one and half mile Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail that connects Sligo Creek and Northwest Branch Parks together. In 2009, the State Highway Administration was persuaded to bank 15 acres of their land for environmental protection. This property is adjacent to Northwood High School. It was used for many years as an unofficial community landfill. With money from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, students and community volunteers removed 11,000 pounds of trash, built a three-quarter mile interpretive trail about the Chesapeake Bay watershed, removed invasive species and planted native trees and plants. This first phase was completed with a National Trails Day celebration in June 2010 with a 5K community fun run and hike.

In April 2011, volunteers constructed more of the trail to University Boulevard with hopes of extending it further into Breewood Park to reach Sligo Creek Park. As lead organizations, Northwood and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club worked with Montgomery Parks and Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection for a year to gain permission and plan the trail extension. In November, 25 students and community volunteers built the half mile extension of the Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail in Breewood Park.

The Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail now connects Sligo Creek Park just below University Boulevard (on the Parkway across from the last playground) to Northwest Branch Park at the Loxford Terrace connector trail. The trail is blazed in red for Northwood High School. Furthermore, it is posted with a trail sign on Sligo Creek Parkway, University Boulevard, Northwood High School and in Northwest Branch Park.

Google Map showing the Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail

One of six interpretive signs on the Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail

The Northwood Chesapeake Bay trailhead sign