Railroad beds across the country are being repurposed as walking and biking trails, and Southern Maryland is no exception.
In St. Mary’s County, that trail is the Three Notch Trail, which runs along a railroad right of way that stretches from Hughesville to Lexington Park.
Paved and 10 feet wide in most places, the Three Notch Trail takes hikers and bikers past historic buildings and businesses, through serene forests, and by local landmarks and parks. Phase 1 of the trail opened in 2006. Currently, the longest stretch is 11 miles from Deborah Drive in Charlotte Hall to John V. Baggett Park in Laurel Grove. Smaller stretches are completed in California near Wal-Mart and Wildewood.
Walk the northern stretch, and you’ll pass the Northern Senior Center, the St. Mary’s County Welcome Center, the Charlotte Hall Veterans’ Home, and the Charlotte Hall Library, which is also the location of a large farmer’s market.
Further south on this stretch, you’ll pass Mechanicsville Elementary and be able to access Baggett Park.
Where should you park? Parking lots are available at the Northern Senior Center, St. Mary’s County Welcome Center, Gospel Light Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, and Baggett Park.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Motorized vehicles are prohibited, and pedestrians have the right of way. Bike riders should obey local helmet laws. Leashed pets are welcome.
For more information on the trail, visit http://www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/Threenotchtrail.asp and https://www.visitstmarysmd.com/site/detail/three-notch-trail.
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