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A hilly loop route showcasing the stacked loop system around Rainbow Lake.

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1,081' 329 m


733' 223 m


1,037' 316 m


1,037' 316 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

During hunting season, the Emmitsburg trails are only open Sundaysbe aware of posted signage.


This ride shows off the first phase of The Emmitsburg Multi User Trail system. The terrain is hilly, with a mix of old-fashioned east coast rocks and new school flow sections. Don't let the mileage fool you, the challenging, steep terrain pack more challenge into half the mileage of trail systems further east.

Trails are multi-directional and multi-use, so please be alert, courteous, and follow the rules of the trail.

Need to Know

Parking is limited at Rainbow Lake, so try to carpool when you can.

During hunting season, the trails are only open on Sundays. This year, hunting season begins on September 6th, 2018 and runs through May 24th, 2019. For specifics on Maryland's hunting season, check out Maryland DNR's excellent Hunters' Guide here.


This ride begins at Hampton Valley Road, at the Rainbow Lake Dam Access Trail. Cross the dam and turn right onto the Intermediate Trail. This flowy section of trail eventually brings you to the crossing of Turkey Creek and the intersection of the Intermediate Trail, Advanced Trail, and The Connector Trail.

To continue to the Advanced Trail, cross the creek and climb up to Hampton Valley Road. Be alert for traffic as you turn left, heading downhill for roughly 50 feet before turning left onto singletrack just past the gravel driveway.

The first portion of the Advanced Trail parallels a gravel road, before heading left into the woods and tackling the rocky singletrack ascent toward the top of the loop. Expect natural rock formations, stiff climbs and man-made rock gardens-repurposing an old stone fence into trail armoring.

There are three cut-off trails on the advanced loop. When traveling the loop counter clockwise (as indicated on the map), bear right at intersections to stay on the main loop. Each of these shortcuts is an interesting trail in its own right, and also allows riders to choose their own adventure by looping different segments of the trail together.

Continuing clockwise on the loop rewards you with a rolling downhill back to the gravel road. Retrace your steps across Hampton Valley Road and Turkey Creek to return to the Intermediate Trail.

Bear right and climb up, embarking on a counter-clockwise loop of the Intermediate Trail that finishes with a rocky, fast downhill to the Rainbow Lake Dam Access Trail. This trail also features a cutoff, near the north-west end of the loop.

Crossing the access trail, head straight onto the stem of the Beginner/Intermediate Trail's lollipop. Bear right at the three-way intersection to ride the loop counterclockwise, which results in a mellow climb and a ripping flow trail descent back to the dam. This loop makes a great warm-up/cooldown for longer rides at Emmitsburg.

The Connector Trail, an intermediate/advanced out and back and the most fun way to ride down to town for a tasty mid-ride beverage, makes a great addition to this ride. The trailhead is across Hampton Valley Road from the Advanced Trail after you cross Turkey Creek.

History & Background

A partnership between the town of Emmitsburg, Mount Saint Mary's University, Trail Conservancy and MORE, The Emmitsburg Multi User Trail is a truly unique partnership, and we aren't done building!

The next phase, the Family Trail, will be complete summer of 2015. The Family Trail begins across Hampton Valley Road from this ride, and will feature 2.25 miles of flowy singletrack designed for the first-time rider. For more details and how to get involved, check MORE's website!


Shared By:

Ryan Delaney

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 18 votes


  4.1 from 18 votes
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18,181 Since Jun 25, 2015
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Fun rocks slabs on the Emmitsburg advanced trail.
Jun 25, 2015 near Emmitsburg, MD
Dropping into the green on the Emmitsburg advanced trail.
Jun 25, 2015 near Emmitsburg, MD
Immersed in the forest at Emmitsburg.
Jun 25, 2015 near Emmitsburg, MD
Cruising downhill on the intermediate trail at Emmitsburg.
Jun 25, 2015 near Emmitsburg, MD
Rolling up the Emmitsburg intermediate trail.
Jun 25, 2015 near Emmitsburg, MD
The outer reaches of the beginner experience at Emmitsburg.
Jun 25, 2015 near Emmitsburg, MD


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Jun 21, 2021
Astrid Ellis
Jul 7, 2018
Mike George
Great trails.... 5mi
Apr 29, 2018
Don Smith
Eastern section is rocky as hell. Counter clockwise on all 3 loops. 7.2mi
Dec 10, 2017
Doug Appleby
First time to ride here. It was a nice ride with some snow. We rode the intermediate and the Advance trail. Nice technical rides, Ee will be back 7.5mi — 2h 20m
Oct 15, 2017
Ronald Hoffman
Very wet 12.4mi
Sep 5, 2017
Kevin Frank
Rocky and full of deer 2.6mi
Jul 22, 2017
Brian Geiman
Jun 25, 2017
John Scott
Definitely a good set of trails for well operating full suspension. Keep the front fork a little stiffer than usual as the rocks can pin your wheel. 14.6mi

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