Hiking Project Logo

Paint Branch Trail

Easy

Trail

4.1 mile 6.6 kilometer point to point
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 19' 6 m
Descent: -96' -29 m
High: 126' 38 m
Low: 46' 14 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Nicole Crisp

An enjoyable hike along the Paint Branch Trail.

Nicole Crisp

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly This is an easy trail with tons of animals along the way!

The trail is open 24/7 although care should be taken at night as there are no lights or lampposts along the trail.

Description

This trail is a great way to get away from the business of College Park and escape into the woods. For the most part, you'll be alone in nature with the cars on Route 1 and University Blvd only faint noises in the background. The trail heads along the north end next to the Mazza Grandmarc apartment complex near Route 1 and Hollywood heading south to Route 1 and Greenbelt Rd. You'll frequently see a few other travelers along your way from runners to walkers to cyclist to dog owners.

Starting from the north end, you'll pass over a wooden bridge then turn left. From here, you'll cross over the Paint Branch tributary multiple times. After this you'll have the Paint Branch golf course on your left. Once you turn left to head on a decently long stretch headed eastward, look to your left, and there will be an amazing portion of wetlands with frogs, ducks, and birds. From there, you'll head south for a bit then east again to cross under University Blvd. Coming up on your right will be a park and past this, another access point.

From here, the trail continues further south and east, heading toward College Park Estates and Greenbelt Park where you can connect to other trails in the area.

Flora & Fauna

The trail roughly follows the Paint Branch tributary of the Anacostia River meaning there are a variety of birds, ducks, and frogs to be found. Geese are a frequent site at the golf course that is part of the southern portion of the trail. Squirrels can also be seen as well as on rare occasions deer.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

Sep 10, 2019
Kristen May
Aug 15, 2019
Kristen May
Jul 15, 2019
Kristen May
Jul 1, 2019
Kristen May
Jun 13, 2019
Kristen May
May 29, 2019
Kristen May
Just a quick ~4 mile walk
Mar 25, 2018
Sarah Valverde
I started at Cherry Hill Park that has a private parking lot. We did the trail that required us to cross a street and chose rt 1 at the intersection.
Mar 19, 2017
Nicole Crisp
Walked this trail from beginning to end and back. Nice evening trek just before sunset. 3mi — 1h 30m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#591

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#4

in Maryland

#591

Overall
46 Views Last Month
1,251 Since Mar 19, 2017
Easy

100%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

The Paint Branch Trail offers the solitude of a walk in the woods just minutes from Route 1 and Cherry Hill Rd.
Mar 22, 2017 near Beltsville, MD
This is the pond at the northern terminus of the trail. What beauty exists so close to the Beltway!
Mar 22, 2017 near Beltsville, MD
Enjoy pleasant views of the Paint Branch tributary near the bridge under University Boulevard.
Mar 19, 2017 near College…, MD
A restoration project is underway! The trail was badly damaged a few years ago by a tornado.
Mar 22, 2017 near Beltsville, MD
"Two roads diverged in a wood" and the one on the left headed back to Route 1 while the one on the right continued toward the University of Maryland and Lake Artemesia.
Mar 22, 2017 near College…, MD
At times, you are only a few feet from the Paint Branch Tributary!
Mar 22, 2017 near College…, MD

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking