Three Notch Trail
St. Mary County Department of Recreation & Parks is pleased to announce that the Three Notch Trail project is currently under construction. The recreational trail is being constructed along the 28-mile, 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 will be a non-motorized pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian 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 in the scope of work. The project will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Phase I of the trail begins at Route 236 in New Market and proceeds approximately one mile north to the Northern County Senior Center in Charlotte Hall. This area of the trail provides connections between the Charlotte Hall Library, the St. Mary’s County Farmers’ Market, the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, the new St. Mary’s County Welcome Center and the Northern Senior Center and links the villages of New Market and Charlotte Hall. Phase I is now complete.
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 is in the process of constructing Phase IVA, from Wal-Mart to Chancellor’s Run Road. Phase IVB, from Chancellor’s Run Road to Pegg Road, will be constructed in the future as part of the FDR Blvd. community road project.
Construction is also complete on Phase V, from John V. Baggett Park in Laurel Grove to MD Rt. 5 in Mechanicsville. The design and engineering for Phase VI, from MD Rt. 5 to MD Rt. 236, is currently underway and construction is anticipated in FY 14. When Phase VI is complete, the northern portions of the trail will run for 11 continuous miles. Phases VII, VIII & IX, from Wildewood to Baggett Park, are planned for FY 16 and beyond, as funding permits.
Parking and restrooms along the Charlotte Hall section of the trail can be found at the Northern Senior Center, St. Mary’s County Welcome Center and at the Charlotte Hall Library. Parking along Phase V of the trail in Mechanicsville is located at the Gospel Light Baptist Church and at John V. Baggett Park at Laurel Grove.
The plan for the trail is included in the June 2001 Southern Maryland Regional Trail and Bikeway System (SMRTABS) Study prepared for the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland. The 2000 & 2005 St. Mary’s County Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plans also recommend the development of a network of greenways, bikeways, and trails in the County and specifically refer to the Charlotte Hall to Lexington Park 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, biking and equestrian 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.