In St. Mary's County and looking for a place to ride, this is it. Has some small technical bridge sections and great views of St. Mary's Lake.
Trail can be ridden from either direction, but this description covers the CW direction. Enter the trail from the lower lot and hit some small rolling hills with rooty descents to the first boardwalk over a wide stream channel on a cove of the lake. Be careful on the boardwalk when wet it can be slippery. Head to the second boardwalk over another cove of the lake and a ramped bridge that climbs a high banked stream and small steep hill.
Enter the hills section of the trail just past the ramped bridge. In this section there are some slightly longer climbs. Descents are fast and heavily rooted and pretty much follow the fall line. Cross two more small bridges. The second, called the broken horse bridge crosses a stream, and leads to a long and winding skinny that crosses soggy wetlands. Hit the gas to make it up a short steep climb. Follow the rolling terrain to another long skinny bridge. Once over this skinny expect some mud until you cross Clay's crossing, a skinny bridge over the Western Branch. This is the main stream feeding St. Mary's Lake. Be careful if you choose to ride this bridge as it is narrow with a 3 to 4 foot drop. Getting onto the bridge can be tricky due to the mud. Turn left immediately after this bridge and cross one more bridge and an optional skinny.
Trail for the next .75 miles rolls with one small bridge before climbing into an old clear cut with small trees and descending quickly back out. The trail hooks to the left and turns sharply to the right crossing a small bridge and stream. After another .5 miles and crossing two springs the trail makes a short and steep ascent up a small hill and then gradually rolls through one more spring. Immediately it turns to the right to descend a short hill to another stream crossing with a small bridge and some corduroy over another wet area. Just past this corduroy the trail intersects with the pine trail.
Continue past the pine trail intersection and follow the rolling terrain with a small bridge and a short stream crossing before to coming to a logging road. Cross the logging road and bear left down a short descent and bridge. Follow the trail through tight singletrack. Trail doesn't really flow in this short section due to hurricane damage. After about .2 miles the trail open up and it covers some fun rolling terrain before coming to the base of the pine trail connector. Continue past this side trail and over to small bridges.
From here it is about a mile before the trail exits the woods onto the dam. You'll find five more bridges in this section crossing over two streams and a spring. After each bridge is a short climb. The final bridge is at the base of a short steep descent.
Exit the woods and turn right onto a dirt road that crosses the dam with excellent views of St. Mary's Lake. Follow this road across the field and climb to the top of a steep hill and descend the other side making a sharp left just before the base of the hill. Continue .2 miles and cross the last small bridge bearing right and taking a sharp left climbing a short steep hill. At the top of this hill follow the trail back to the parking lot.