Indian Head Rail Trail


The Indian Head Rail Trail (IHRT) is Charles County’s exciting recreational trail.

A generous gift through the Department of Interior’s 'Federal Lands to Parks Program', Charles County has completed converting this abandoned railroad corridor into a 13-mile bike trail. Connecting the town of Indian Head to Route 301 in White Plains, the IHRT traverses approximately halfway across the County.

Without doubt, the IHRT is a unique opportunity to enjoy some of Southern Maryland’s most undeveloped natural areas. The trail is kid-friendly, offering the whole family a great ride through a largely natural setting, surrounded by mature forests, natural wetlands, and occasional farmland. Wildlife abounds!

Originally built in 1918 as a supply route for the Navy’s Indian Head Powder Factory, this elevated rail bed passes through the Mattawoman Creek stream valley. Visiting the IHRT is almost like stepping back in time.


Flat, paved route stretching for 13 miles one-way.


From Indian Head:

No parking is available directly at the Mattingly Avenue trailhead. You can park across Route 210 at either the Village Green Town Park or Charlie Wright Park (adjacent to Indian Head Elementary School). Right turn off of Route 210 onto Doctor Andrews Way - head left just before baseball field onto Doctor Mitchell Lane. After parking, follow the signs/road markings to the trail starting point.

From White Plains:

From Route 301, make a right turn onto Theodore Green Boulevard. After approximately ¼ mile, trail parking is on the right side of road. Weekend (only) overflow parking is available at the Charles County Health Department parking lot (intersection of Route 301 and Theodore Green Boulevard).

Food and drink

If you're heading to White Plains, take a break and enjoy a bite to eat at Prime Street Grille - an award-winning, veteran and locally owned restaurant. Or try Bobby Rucci’s right on the Theodore Green Boulevard – a place with the freshest and finest quality deli foods.

If you are going to Indian Head, try out the new coffee house in town – the ClarityOBO Pizza with great special prices, friendly staff can be a good stop too.

More details

This is a popular route with many users; ride safe and follow the rules of the trail:

  • No motorized vehicles (Handicap exemption: electric wheelchairs permitted).
  • Trail is open dawn to dusk - it's illegal to be in the park during non-daylight hours.
  • Stop at all road crossings and yield to road traffic.
  • Respect the rights of adjacent homeowners - stay within the park boundaries.
  • Alcoholic beverages prohibited.
  • Obey helmet laws.
  • No hunting - weapons prohibited.
  • Leashed pets are welcome (6-foot leash or less - no retractable leashes); owners are required to clean up after their pet.
  • Do not litter.
  • Report emergencies by dialing 911. Unlawful activity of a non-emergency nature should be reported to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office: (301)932-2222.

    Report safety concerns or maintenance issues to the park office: 301-932-3470.

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    18.145 km / 11.275 mi

    Total Distance

    66 m / 215 ft

    Total Ascent

    66 m / 216 ft

    Total Descent

    31 m / 103 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Rail Trail
    EPIC Ride
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Gravel Road
    Trail Signage: Excellent
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle
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