Green Ridge S.F. Trail System In Maryland

Here is everything you need to know about the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Maryland
  • Length: 28 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website: Info not available.

The Green Ridge State Forest Trail System is located in the western part of Maryland, USA. The history of this trail system dates back to the early 20th century when the area was primarily used for logging and farming. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a significant role in the development of the forest and its trail system.

During the Great Depression, the CCC was a federal work relief program that employed young men to perform various conservation and development projects across the country. In Green Ridge State Forest, the CCC workers constructed trails, roads, and recreational facilities, leaving a lasting impact on the area. Many of the original trails that exist today were built by the CCC, showcasing their craftsmanship and dedication to preserving the natural beauty of the forest.

Over the years, the trail system has evolved and expanded, offering visitors a diverse range of experiences. The forest’s rich history is evident in the remnants of old logging camps, sawmills, and farmsteads that can still be found along some of the trails. These historical sites provide a glimpse into the past and serve as a reminder of the area’s early industrial and agricultural activities.

Today, the Green Ridge State Forest Trail System is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Its extensive network of trails weaves through picturesque landscapes, including dense forests, rolling hills, and scenic overlooks. The historical significance of the trail system adds an extra layer of interest and charm, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike to explore the natural wonders and cultural heritage of Green Ridge State Forest.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Green Ridge State Forest Headquarters: This is the main access point for the trail system and is located at 28700 Headquarters Drive, Flintstone, MD 21530.

2. Fifteen Mile Creek Trailhead: Located off Fifteen Mile Creek Road, this trailhead provides access to the Fifteen Mile Creek Trail, which is a popular hiking and biking trail in the forest.

3. Pine Lick Trailhead: Situated off Pine Lick Road, this trailhead offers access to the Pine Lick Trail, which is a scenic trail that passes through a variety of forest habitats.

4. Town Creek Trailhead: Located off Town Creek Road, this trailhead provides access to the Town Creek Trail, which is a multi-use trail that follows the banks of Town Creek.

5. Sideling Hill Trailhead: Situated off Sideling Hill Road, this trailhead offers access to the Sideling Hill Trail, which is a challenging hiking trail that offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

6. Oldtown-Orleans Trailhead: Located off Orleans Road, this trailhead provides access to the Oldtown-Orleans Trail, which is a historic trail that follows the path of an old stagecoach road.

7. Flintstone Creek Trailhead: Situated off Flintstone Creek Road, this trailhead offers access to the Flintstone Creek Trail, which is a scenic trail that follows the banks of Flintstone Creek.

8. Green Ridge Campground Trailhead: Located within the Green Ridge Campground, this trailhead provides access to a network of trails within the campground area.

9. Warrior Mountain Trailhead: Situated off Warrior Mountain Road, this trailhead offers access to the Warrior Mountain Trail, which is a challenging hiking trail that leads to the summit of Warrior Mountain.

10. Piney Mountain Trailhead: Located off Piney Mountain Road, this trailhead provides access to the Piney Mountain Trail, which is a scenic trail that offers views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Transportation Available

1. Green Ridge Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System.
2. Green Ridge Bike Rentals – Bike rental service offering bicycles for exploring the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System.
3. Green Ridge Taxi – Taxi service available for convenient transportation to and from the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System.
4. Green Ridge Car Rentals – Car rental service providing vehicles for independent travel to the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System.
5. Green Ridge Bus – Local bus service with routes connecting to the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System.


The amenities available at the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at designated areas within the trail system.

2. Parking: There might be parking lots or designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail system may offer camping sites for visitors who wish to stay overnight. These sites may include tent camping areas or designated spots for RVs or campers.

4. Picnic Areas: There could be designated picnic areas with tables, benches, and possibly grills for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals and gatherings.

5. Hiking Trails: The trail system may have various hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels for visitors to explore.

6. Biking Trails: There might be specific trails or sections of the trail system dedicated to biking, allowing cyclists to enjoy the scenic surroundings.

7. Equestrian Trails: The Green Ridge S.F. Trail System may offer trails suitable for horseback riding, with designated areas for equestrian use.

8. Fishing: If there are bodies of water within the trail system, fishing opportunities might be available for visitors who enjoy angling.

9. Wildlife Viewing: The trail system may provide opportunities for wildlife observation, with designated areas or viewpoints for visitors to spot and appreciate local fauna.

10. Interpretive Centers: There could be interpretive centers or visitor centers within the trail system, offering information about the area’s history, flora, fauna, and conservation efforts.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System authorities or their official website for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Green Ridge Campground – A campground located within the Green Ridge State Forest offering tent and RV camping.
2. Rocky Gap State Park – A nearby state park with a lodge, cabins, and camping options, as well as a restaurant and emergency services.
3. Cumberland – A city near the trail system with various lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services.
4. Flintstone – A small town near the trail system with limited lodging options and a few dining establishments.
5. Hancock – A town located close to the trail system with lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services.
6. Little Orleans – A small community near the trail system with limited lodging options and a couple of dining options.
7. Paw Paw – A town near the trail system with lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services.

Green Ridge S.F. Trail System Difficulty Notes

The Green Ridge State Forest Trail System offers a moderate to challenging difficulty level for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. With over 50 miles of trails, the system provides a diverse range of terrains and elevations, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers. The trails vary from easy, well-maintained paths to more rugged and steep sections, offering a good balance of difficulty. Hikers can expect to encounter rocky terrain, stream crossings, and some steep ascents, which may require a certain level of physical fitness and endurance. However, the breathtaking views, serene forests, and abundant wildlife make the challenges well worth it for those seeking an adventurous and rewarding outdoor experience.

Features And Attractions

1. Green Ridge State Forest: The trail system itself is located within the Green Ridge State Forest, which offers stunning scenic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests.

2. Town Creek Aqueduct: This historical site is a stone aqueduct that was part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. It offers a glimpse into the region’s transportation history and provides a picturesque view of the waterway.

3. Fifteen Mile Creek Overlook: This scenic overlook provides breathtaking views of the Fifteen Mile Creek valley, with its rolling hills and meandering creek.

4. Pine Lick Overlook: Another scenic viewpoint along the trail system, Pine Lick Overlook offers panoramic views of the forested landscape and the Potomac River in the distance.

5. Log Roll Overlook: Located near the Potomac River, this overlook provides a stunning view of the river and the surrounding mountains. It is a great spot for birdwatching and enjoying the peacefulness of nature.

6. Oldtown Bridge: This historic bridge spans the Potomac River and offers a unique perspective of the waterway. It is a popular spot for fishing and enjoying the river views.

7. Sideling Hill Overlook: Situated on the western edge of the state forest, this overlook offers sweeping views of the Sideling Hill region, known for its unique geological formations and colorful layers of rock.

8. Green Ridge Lake: This man-made lake is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and picnicking. It is surrounded by lush forests and provides a tranquil setting for outdoor activities.

9. Warrior Mountain Wildlife Management Area: Located adjacent to the state forest, this area is home to diverse wildlife and offers opportunities for hunting, wildlife viewing, and hiking.

10. Evitts Mountain: The trail system passes through parts of Evitts Mountain, providing hikers with scenic views of the mountain range and the surrounding countryside.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Green Ridge State Forest Trail System. Exploring the area will reveal many more hidden gems and beautiful spots to enjoy.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Horseback riding is allowed only on designated trails.
3. Bicycles are permitted on designated trails only.
4. Camping is allowed only in designated camping areas.
5. Hunting is allowed during specific seasons and with the appropriate permits.
6. Off-road vehicles and motorized vehicles are prohibited.
7. Fires are allowed only in designated fire rings or grills.
8. Littering is strictly prohibited; please carry out all trash.
9. Fishing is allowed in designated areas and with the appropriate licenses.
10. Swimming is allowed only in designated swimming areas.
11. Hiking and walking are allowed on all trails.
12. Please respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
13. Respect seasonal closures or restrictions for certain trails or areas.
14. Use designated parking areas and do not block access roads.
15. Follow all posted signs and instructions from park rangers or staff.

Seasonal Information

The Green Ridge State Forest Trail System, located in western Maryland, offers a diverse and picturesque landscape that attracts outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. The best times to visit this trail system largely depend on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. However, spring and fall are generally considered the most popular seasons due to the pleasant weather and vibrant foliage.

In spring, the forest comes alive with blooming wildflowers and the return of migratory birds. The temperatures are mild, ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying the scenic beauty of the forest. The trails are less crowded during this time, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.

Fall is another fantastic time to explore the Green Ridge State Forest Trail System. The forest transforms into a breathtaking palette of red, orange, and gold as the leaves change color. The crisp air and cooler temperatures, ranging from 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, create a perfect atmosphere for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Fall also offers opportunities for wildlife spotting, as animals prepare for the winter months.

It is important to note that some sections of the trail system may have seasonal closures. During the winter months, certain trails may be inaccessible due to snowfall or icy conditions. It is advisable to check with the forest authorities or visitor center for up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions before planning your visit. Additionally, some trails may be temporarily closed for maintenance or restoration work during other times of the year. Being aware of these closures will help you plan your trip accordingly and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience on the Green Ridge State Forest Trail System.


1. Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the trailhead, providing convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
2. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are located at the trailhead, ensuring comfort and convenience for all visitors.
3. Paved Trails: The trail system features paved pathways, allowing individuals using wheelchairs or mobility aids to navigate the trails easily.
4. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating are provided, ensuring everyone can enjoy outdoor dining and relaxation.
5. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the trails includes Braille and tactile elements, aiding individuals with visual impairments.
6. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps, handrails, and other accommodations for individuals with mobility challenges.
7. Accessible Viewing Areas: Scenic viewpoints along the trail system are designed to be accessible, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the trails, providing support and companionship to individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Information: Trail maps and other informational materials are available in accessible formats, such as large print or electronic versions, ensuring equal access to information for all visitors.
10. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are available along the trails, providing hydration options for individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

When visiting the Green Ridge State Forest (S.F.) Trail System, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Trail Conditions: Be aware of the current trail conditions before starting your hike. Check for any closures, weather alerts, or potential hazards. It is advisable to consult the forest service or park authorities for up-to-date information.

2. Navigation: Carry a detailed map of the trail system and a compass or GPS device. Familiarize yourself with the trail route and landmarks to avoid getting lost. Stay on marked trails and avoid venturing into unfamiliar or restricted areas.

3. Weather Awareness: Check the weather forecast before your visit and be prepared for changing conditions. Dress in layers, wear appropriate footwear, and bring rain gear if necessary. Be cautious of thunderstorms, high winds, or extreme temperatures that may pose risks.

4. Wildlife Encounters: Green Ridge State Forest is home to various wildlife species. Respect their natural habitat and keep a safe distance. Do not approach or feed any wild animals, as they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

5. Tick and Insect Prevention: The forest area may have ticks and other insects, so take precautions to prevent bites. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and use insect repellent containing DEET. After your hike, thoroughly check your body and clothing for ticks and remove them promptly.

6. Hydration and Nutrition: Carry an adequate supply of water and stay hydrated throughout your hike. Pack nutritious snacks or meals to maintain energy levels. Avoid consuming unknown plants or berries unless you are certain they are safe for consumption.

7. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by minimizing your impact on the environment. Pack out all trash, dispose of waste properly, and avoid damaging plants or wildlife. Respect the natural beauty of the area and leave it as you found it.

8. Emergency Preparedness: Inform someone about your hiking plans, including the trail you will be taking and your estimated return time. Carry a fully charged cell phone, a whistle, and a basic first aid kit. In case of an emergency, call for help and stay calm until assistance arrives.

Remember, safety is paramount when exploring any trail system. By being prepared, aware of your surroundings, and respecting the environment, you can have a safe and enjoyable visit to the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System.

Conservation Notes

The Green Ridge State Forest (S.F.) Trail System is a significant natural resource that is carefully managed to ensure the conservation of its unique ecological features. The conservation status of this trail system is of utmost importance to protect the diverse plant and animal species that inhabit the area. The forest is home to several rare and endangered species, making it a critical habitat for their survival.

Efforts are made to maintain the ecological integrity of the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System through various conservation practices. These include regular monitoring of the trail system to identify any potential threats to the environment. Additionally, measures are taken to prevent the spread of invasive species that could disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem.

Conservation efforts also focus on preserving the water quality of the streams and rivers that flow through the trail system. These water bodies provide essential habitats for various aquatic species and contribute to the overall health of the forest ecosystem. Strict regulations are in place to prevent pollution and ensure that the water remains clean and suitable for the survival of these species.

Furthermore, the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System is managed to minimize the impact of human activities on the environment. Sustainable trail design and maintenance practices are implemented to prevent erosion and habitat destruction. Visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles, which emphasize responsible outdoor recreation and minimizing human impact on the natural surroundings.

Overall, the conservation status of the Green Ridge S.F. Trail System is actively managed to protect its ecological integrity and preserve the diverse array of plant and animal species that call it home. Through careful monitoring, invasive species control, water quality preservation, and sustainable management practices, efforts are made to ensure the long-term conservation of this valuable natural resource.

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