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Recreation and Parks - Three Notch Trail

graphic image of Three Notch Trail Logo St. Mary County Department of Recreation & Parks is pleased to announce that the Three Notch Trail project is currently under construction. The trail is being constructed on the County owned railroad right-of-way (ROW), which runs south from Hughesville (in Charles County) to Lexington Park (to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station). The trail is a non-motorized pedestrian and bicycle trail. The trail is being constructed of asphalt and will be 10 feet wide in most sections. Appropriate signage, benches, crosswalks and road barriers are also included where needed to enhance the project. The project is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

image of Three Notch Trail Phase I of the trail opened in 2006 and begins at MD 236, Thompson's Corner Road, and runs about one mile to the Northern Senior Activity Center. Phase II of the trail begins at the Northern Senior Activity Center and runs about 2.25 miles north to Deborah Drive, in Charles County. This section is also now complete.

Phase III, from Wildewood to Wal-Mart, is being constructed by several private developers in the California area. The Wildewood, South Plaza and Wal-Mart sections are now complete. The County completed construction of Phase IVA, from Wal-Mart to Chancellors Run Road. Phase IVB, from Chancellors Run Road to Pegg Road, will be constructed in the future as part of the FDR Blvd. community road project.

images of phase one trail project located near charlotte hall veterans home

Phase I of the Trail near Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home

Construction is also complete on Phase V, from John V. Baggett Park in Laurel Grove to MD Rt. 5 in Mechanicsville.

Phase VI of the trail, from MD Rt. 5 to MD Rt. 236, is now open. Completion of this section makes the trail in the northern area of the County approximately 11 continuous miles.

Design and engineering is underway for Phase VII of the trail from MD Route 245 to FDR Blvd. Phases VIII & IX, from MD Route 245 north to Baggett Park, are planned in future years, as funding permits.
image of Three notch trail map thumbnail - link to PDF file
The approved St. Mary's County Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan also recommends creating a network of connected walkways, trails, and paths throughout the County and specifically recommends completion of the Three Notch Trail. The plan for the trail is also consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

Development of the County’s railroad right-of-way into a hiking and biking trail will provide numerous recreational, tourism and transportation opportunities. The trail will also help promote the health and wellness benefits of walking, biking and rollerblading.


Phase VI of the Three Notch Trail Now Open

Phase VI of the Three Notch Trail Now Open


  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

  • Trail opens at sunrise and closes at sunset .

  • Travel only at speeds which are safe and appropriate to trail conditions and usage.

  • Travel in the right lane; move left to pass; give appropriate warning to trail users ahead; and move off the trail when you come to a stop.

  • Pedestrians have the right of way.

  • Obey the helmet laws.

  • Stop at all road/street crossings.

  • Pets must be on leash and controlled at all times.

  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

  • No bicycle races or competitive speed training.

  • Please respect private property. Be a courteous user of public lands.



For more information on the Three Notch Trail project, please contact the Department of Recreation & Parks at:
(301) 475-4200 *1811.


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