“A nice lap that manages to link together over eight miles of riding at Fairland Recreation Park.
— Kemuel Chavez
It's easy to create shorter loops that aren't too challenging and there are fields and playgrounds on either side of the park.
An easily-accessible ride just 30 minutes from Washington, DC. If you're nearby, this is a real treat.
The trails at Fairland vary from loose gravel, to hard pack singletrack, and there are some roots here and there. With minimal obstacles and some fun, flowing pump sections it's a very friendly place for newer riders, but there are plenty of optional log-rolls to keep more experienced riders entertained.
The trails are kind of a mix of Schaeffer Farms
, if you're familiar with them. Make sure to ride the Silverwood Trail
, it's fun on the return once you make it up to the neighborhood!
Need to Know
- Navigating the park can be difficult at first. Make sure to consult the MTB Project mobile app to help stay on track through all the junctions and intersecting trails.
- If you ever feel like you're lost, simply follow the paved Little Paint Branch Trail to whichever side of the park you parked on.
- The bathrooms on the Greencastle Road lot are closed from November to March.
The park can be accessed from a few different spots. This ride begins at the "Ice House" on the southeast corner. From there, follow the connector out of the parking lot until it intersects with the Viper Trail
Turn right to warm up on the "Ice House Loop." There's a lot of fun stuff like skinnies and a large log-over to play on as you head toward the intersection with the Little Paint Branch Trail
. Turn right again and follow the pavement for a little ways and then turn left to follow the Viper Trail
Up next, follow a short connector trail on the left to the Pine Loop Trail
. Keep right and pedal to the skills area for some practice and fun. Once you're done, head north again to start in on the top of the Viper Trail
. Once you're back to the same connector, take it again, but this time turn left on the Pine Trail Loop.
There will be another short stint on the pavement and then a connector on the right leads to the Crow's Foot Loop Trail
. Keep right here, and at the next intersection to get to the Holly Trail
. Watch for a small bridge and shallow creek crossing as you pedal.
When you reach the Holly Trail Loop
, keep passing through on the left to reach the Silverwood Trail
for an out-and-back treat. It requires some effort to make it to the top, including another creek crossing. But it's all worth it once you reach the neighborhood and turn around to bomb back down the hill for some great flow with a pump track flavor.
At the bottom of the Silverwood Trail
, turn left onto the Holly Trail Loop
for some more fast and flowing singletrack that wraps back around to the top of the Holly Trail
Continue heading south, retracing the route back to the intersection with the Crow's Foot Loop Trail
and the connector from earlier. Turn right here to continue clockwise around the loop until the start of the Crow's Foot Trail
Turn south once again for a gently flowing ride that passes the Greencastle Parking Lot. Toward the end, there is a raised boardwalk that makes for a little challenge before it spills out onto Greencastle Road.
Use caution as you travel along the road a short distance to reach the southern end of the Viper Trail
. Head back into the trees and take a left on the paved Little Paint Branch Trail
. Turn right at the next intersection, and then a left at the next one to take the connector back to the "Ice House" where the ride began.
History & Background
This location was once a quarry to gather gravel. You can expect a few slippery spots. There is also a small cemetery with tombstones, and you can kind of read some of the engravings still, it's next to a house foundation, and also a bunch of abandoned cars.