To reach Forest Visitors Center: Take I-70 West. Get on I-68 West. Take Exit 64 to M.V.Smith Road South. The next right turn is Forest Court leading to the visitors' center.
Mountain Bike Trail parking Area: Takel I-68 to Exit 62 (Fifteen Mile Creek Rd) Travel west on Route 144 for approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto Old Williams Road. Travel about 1 mile to Black Sulphur Rd. Stay to the left for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left into parking area. (Mountain bike symbol signs located along route).
As one of Maryland's largest state forests, Green Ridge offers exciting recreation opportunities in an undeveloped, wild setting. Located in the Ridge and Valley province of the Alleghany Mountain chain. The forest's 44,000 acres are shaded by white pine, oak and hickory trees.
The Green Ridge State Forest trail system has a varied terrain that can get very rugged. Twenty-four miles of lung-busting, heart-in-your-mouth singletrack trails and miles of leg-pumping forest roads trace narrow ridges and stream valleys exposing you to steep elevation changes, stream crossings and breathtaking views of protected wilderness and the Potomac River. This region is very dry, so the riding is almost a year-round mountain biking destination.
Mountain biking is also permitted on all roads located within the forest, most of the hiking trails and on the historic C&O Canal Towpath, which borders the south side of the forest. (see Other Area Rides above).
Designated Mountain Bike Trail:
This permanent, 12-mile mostly singletrack mountain bike trail, was developed by Maryland's Department of Natural Resources State Forest and Park Service with help from the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Green Ridge Boys Camp in 1998.
The trail is marked with signs that indicate a preferred direction of travel and the mileage in descending order. "The Ridge," as it is commonly referred to, is a singletrack mountain bike trail loop that winds up and down the ridges and valleys of the forest, through secluded woodland.
For intermediate to advanced riders this trail is just technical enough. Mountain bikers will encounter technical obstacles such as fast down hills, stream crossings, fallen trees, steep turns and sustained climbs. Riders in good physical condition can make it up these hills but some may need to hike-a-bike up. Four "easy-out" routes, located at strategic points along the trail, allow riders to shorten the ride and take a moderate return to the start/finish point.
While you are in the area visit the C&O Canal National Historical Park which adjoins the forest along the Potomac River. Stretching 184.5 miles along the Potomac River between Washington, D.C. and Cumberland, Maryland, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves remains of America's colorful canal era. For nearly a century, the C&O Canal was the lifeline for communities and businesses along the Potomac, as coal, lumber, grain, and other agricultural products gently floated down the canal to market.
Hiking and mountain biking along the canal path are excellent ways to see the park. The canal's towpath provides a nearly level, even hard-packed dirt trail trail through the spectacular scenery of the Potomac River Valley. The towpath can be very muddy following heavy rain. Bicyclists should carry tools for repairs.
For more information:
Green Ridge State Forest:
Phone: (301) 478-3124