When Maryland’s schools went into closure on March #fridaythe13th this trail kept us sane. It gave us a place to breath fresh air after a long day of teaching and making sure my oldest got his schoolwork done.
Where? Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail starting at Ray’s Meadow Park, Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA
How much? Free
Pets: Plenty of people there with their dogs. There’s even a dog water fountain at Ray’s Meadow Park.
At a Glance (review from insta account)
Kid friendly ✅ ✅ ✅ It’s good for walking, running, riding bikes, scooters, or just running on the huge grassy field areas along the trail. There is also a playground, at Ray’s Meadow Park, that was renovated and it’s one of the @montgomeryparks currently open.
Stroller friendly ✅ ✅ ✅ 💯 It’s completely paved. This trail can take you for miles. I haven’t hiked or biked the entire thing, but maybe one day I’ll do it. In a bike for sure.
Portable ✅ This wasn’t here before but I saw a portable when I went this week. It’s always good to have something in case your bowels go crazy.
Social distancing ✅❌Some sections of the trail are wider than others. The wide ones are fine with social distancing since there’s plenty of space to move aside. But, when you reach the section where the Purple Line is being built, it becomes narrow and runners won’t necessarily stop their jog. So when walking there be alert 🚨They come from nowhere 😅! Even though, because of the construction, the kids got to see trucks in action. How cool is that?
My takeaway ✨ I love this trail! It will always bring good memories to me because it was my go to in times of quarantine. If you swipe the pictures I added some from a bike ride I had solo with my oldest one late afternoon during quarantine.
Last remarks 🚨 I was happy to find out the playground at Ray’s Meadow Park was renovated. It’s way bigger now allowing more social distancing to happen. Moreover, if you skip Ray’s Meadow Park, cross East-West Highway, the trail continues. There you can see the @meadowbrookstablesmd🐎 Their horses 🐴 are usually out grazing . You keep walking and you arrive at Meadowbrook Park which has the Candy Cane City playground. I have no idea if that one is open.
More details of Our Experience
I’ve visited this trail quite often. To summarize, I have always started it from Ray’s Meadow Park. There’s parking right in front of the park. I don’t know if the parking belongs to the park or the Ohr Kodesh Congregation next to it. Either way, we have never had a problem parking there.
Assuming you have Ray’s Meadow Park in front of you, you are going to walk to the right (if you walk to the left you’ll pass the Ohr Kodesh Congregation and reach East-West Highway), and will continue there. You’ll pass a huge field used mostly to play soccer. Continue on and you’ll get to the intersection between Rock Creek Trail and Georgetown Branch Trail.
You will continue on Rock Creek Trail and soon you will see to your left the Purple Line Construction. After walking under/next to it, pay attention to a little trail to your left that will allow you to reach the creek.
I love being able to reach the creek. Back in April, the water was too cold for us to try to dip our toes. But it was still refreshing to find a spot where you could appreciate the calming sound of water amidst the pandemic.
Even though, a recent visit during summer allowed us to touch the water!
After taking your sweet time there, head back to Rock Creek Trail and continue walking. You’ll pass the bridge shown in the picture above and just continue walking. As you start seeing Jones Mill Road, you will also be able to see from afar the iconic Washington D.C. Temple. How cool is that?
Keep on walking and you’ll reach Jones Mill Road Neighborhood Park which has a small playground. There is a small parking area as well. From there you’ll see the bridge shown in the picture above.
If you get on this bridge and take a right, you’ll continue on a natural surface trail that will take you back along the creek until you take another right and get on Ireland Trail. This ones is also natural surface and will take you back to the first bridge you passed after the Purple Line Construction. Therefore, you can walk a loop hike!
If you decide to stay on Rock Creek Trail instead of looping back on Ireland Trail, you will continue straight, go under the Beltway, and get on the official trail again along Beach Drive, which will take you miles and miles. We haven’t made it that far anyways.
I hope you have a great time visiting this beautiful place. Being in contact with nature is proven to make you feel better and happier. Let me know if you go how it goes and remember that the easiest way to stay posted and in touch is to follow me on insta, where I also share videos of the places in my stories/highlights!