advocacy, Maryland -

More ride experiences in Western Maryland forests

Western Maryland is home to technical singletrack and beautiful mountain vistas, making it a great weekend destination for mountain bikers living in the metropolitan Washington area. And more trails are in the works! Now is your chance to let the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) know you support more mountain bike trails in the area. 

Maryland DNR is seeking public input on the Annual Work Plans for the Green Ridge, Savage River, and Potomac-Garrett State Forests. Full draft work plans can be found here. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide comments that public land managers can use to set priorities and make informed decisions. Mountain bike-specific proposals in the Work Plans include: 

  • Six new miles of professionally designed and constructed singletrack between Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Parks 
  • Five new miles of professionally designed and constructed singletrack in Savage River State Forest 
  • An upgrade of the 5.5-mile core loop in the Margraff Plantation 

Help get more and better riding in Western Maryland. Below is a sample letter which you can personalize for greater impact. You don’t need to be a Maryland resident to submit a comment, and you can be specific about the type of riding you want to see in the area. Email your letter to (CC: by April 21. 


Sample letter 

I am a mountain biker and Maryland resident who enjoys visiting the western part of the state for its unique outdoor experiences. I’m writing in support of the proposed mountain biking trails included in the FY 2024 Annual Work Plans of the Green Ridge, Savage River, and Potomac-Garrett State Forests. I am in favor of six new miles of singletrack between Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Parks, five new miles of new singletrack in Savage River Forest, and an upgrade of the 5.5-mile Margraff Plantation loop, as proposed in the annual work plans. 

Western Maryland is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for mountain bikers because of places like Deep Creek Lake and Herrington Manor. More mountain bike and multi-use trails in the region could make Western Maryland a premiere riding area for locals and visitors from other states. Outdoor recreation tourism helps bolster the local economy. Visitors like myself also patronize hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, and other local businesses. In 2019, tourism brought in over $25 million in direct consumer taxes for Western Maryland. 

Green Ridge State Forest, the largest state forest property in all of Maryland, has only 12 miles of trail open to mountain bikes versus over 50 miles of hiking trails. The existing mountain bike trail also needs some repairs. Please upgrade the current trail in Green Ridge and add more riding opportunities, either by making more Green Ridge trails multi-use or adding new bike trail. These construction and maintenance proposals will expand ride options in the region, provide a well-rounded ride experience for mountain bikers of all abilities, and help alleviate crowded trails especially at peak season. 

Additional mountain biking trails is an investment in youth sports. New trails will provide more training areas for student athletes including the Garrett County Composite team which is part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Maryland league. 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Annual Work Plans. I look forward to seeing more mountain bike trails in Western Maryland. 


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