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Perimeter Trail (Rosaryville State Park)

Located about 20 miles southeast of Washington DC, Rosaryville State Park offers a great opportunity for mountain bikers and hikers to get away from the city and enjoy the outdoors. The nine mile Perimeter Trail meanders through dense woods and over a number of wooden bridges. Short but steep hills offer some challenges, but the path is well maintained and suitable for a hike, ride, dog walk or run.
Distance: 
9.0mi
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Scenery: 
Very Good
Photo Op: 
The winding paths set up some cool shots.
Location: 
Rosaryville State Park
West Marlton Ave and Cain Highway
Upper Marlboro, MD
Metro Accessible: 
No
What to Bring: 
There is no food or water for sale at the park. Given the length of the perimeter trail, it is a good idea to bring water and a snack. The park also recommends mountain bikers bring a repair kit when riding the trail. There is a $3 charge to enter the park. Make sure you bring some ones, as there is no one there to give change or charge a credit card.
Food Options: 
Pack a picnic lunch.
Additional Information: 

As always, check the park website for alerts before making the trip (link above).

We suggest entering the park from Cain Highway onto West Marlton Ave. Shortly after entering you see a sign for the park - make a right and pay the $3 charge. You will place the money in an envelope and tear off a parking pass from the envelope to hang on your rearview mirror. After paying continue straight until you reach the parking lot on your right.

After parking, choose one of two ways to pick up the Perimeter Trail. At the far end of the parking lot, opposite the end you enter, is a trail head (it is easy to spot). The other trail head is located just before you enter the lot on your left. Either trail head works. If you enter one, you will exit the other.

Stay on track by following the white posts with arrows on them (see the photos below). The Perimeter Trail is essentially the only trail at the park, but there are still a few opportunities to go wrong. Follow the arrows on the posts and you should be fine.

Mountain bikers: to preserve the trail, the park asks that you do not ride when the trail is muddy. Also, heed the blind turn signs because bikers go in both directions on the trail.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources told us that trail maps for Rosaryville are currently out of print (Feb. 2013).

Disclaimer: 
Environmental conditions in cities, parks, etc. can change rapidly and without our knowledge. We do not make any claims as to the accuracy of information presented on this page. Further, hiking can be a dangerous activity that may result in bodily harm and possibly death. We hope the information that we provide will help you prepare for your hike, but do not imply that the information provided is complete. It is your responsibility to prepare yourself for whatever challenges you may face. If you decide to use any of the information on this page, you do so at your own risk.
Images: 
Trail head 1. Before entering the parking lot, you will notice this trail head on your left.
The parking lot. The second trail head is at the far right end of the image (not visible).
The Perimeter Trail winds you through the park with numerous switchbacks.
You will cross a number of bridges. Small streams are visible for fair bit of the hike, creating a pleasant ambiance.
Most of the trail is densely wooded, but it does take you into open spaces on a few occasions.
The trail is fairly well marked with white stakes like this one that keep you on track.
The trail is well maintained and suitable for a run. Just keep an eye out for protruding tree roots and stones.

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