Greenbelt Bikeway In Illinois

Here is everything you need to know about the Greenbelt Bikeway:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Illinois
  • Length: 1.6 miles.
  • Type: Biking
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT)
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Greenbelt Bikeway, also known as the Greenbelt Trail, is a historic pathway located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Its origins can be traced back to the early 20th century when the concept of creating a network of interconnected green spaces and trails was first proposed. The idea was to preserve and protect the natural beauty of the region while providing a recreational space for residents.

The development of the Greenbelt Bikeway began in the 1930s as part of the larger Greenbelt project, which aimed to create a planned community that would serve as a model for suburban living. The project was initiated by the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency, and designed by renowned architects and planners such as Clarence Stein and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

Construction of the bikeway started in 1935 and was completed in 1937. The trail was designed to be a scenic route that would connect the various neighborhoods and amenities within the Greenbelt community. It was envisioned as a way to encourage residents to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle, while also providing a means of transportation for commuting to work or school.

Over the years, the Greenbelt Bikeway has undergone several improvements and expansions. In the 1970s, efforts were made to extend the trail and connect it to other existing bike paths in the region, creating a larger network for cyclists. Today, the Greenbelt Bikeway spans approximately 10 miles and offers a picturesque route through parks, woodlands, and residential areas, attracting both local residents and visitors alike. Its rich history and scenic beauty make it a beloved recreational resource in the Washington, D.C. area.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Discovery Park Trailhead
2. Marymoor Park Trailhead
3. Mercer Slough Nature Park Trailhead
4. Luther Burbank Park Trailhead
5. Seward Park Trailhead
6. Lake Washington Boulevard Trailhead
7. Sammamish River Trailhead
8. Redmond Central Connector Trailhead
9. East Lake Sammamish Trailhead
10. Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park Trailhead

Transportation Available

1. Metrobus – Public bus service with multiple routes connecting various neighborhoods and destinations.
2. Capital Bikeshare – Bike-sharing program offering short-term rentals for convenient cycling around the city.
3. Lime – Electric scooter and bike rentals for quick and eco-friendly transportation.
4. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service providing private car transportation.
5. Lyft – Ride-hailing service similar to Uber, offering convenient transportation options.
6. Zipcar – Car-sharing service allowing members to rent vehicles by the hour or day.
7. Greenbelt Metro Station – Metro station providing access to the Washington Metro system for regional travel.
8. MARC Train – Commuter rail service connecting Greenbelt to other cities in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
9. Amtrak – National passenger rail service with a station in nearby New Carrollton, offering long-distance travel options.
10. Taxis – Traditional taxi services available for on-demand transportation needs.


The amenities available at the Greenbelt Bikeway may vary depending on the specific section or location. However, here are some common amenities you may find along the Greenbelt Bikeway:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the Greenbelt Bikeway may have public restrooms available at designated spots, such as parks or recreational areas.

2. Parking: There may be designated parking areas or parking lots near the Greenbelt Bikeway where you can park your vehicle before starting your biking journey.

3. Camping Sites: Some sections of the Greenbelt Bikeway may have nearby campgrounds or camping sites where you can set up your tent and spend the night.

4. Picnic Areas: Along the Greenbelt Bikeway, you may find designated picnic areas with tables, benches, and shelters where you can stop and enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Water Fountains: To keep bikers hydrated, there may be water fountains or hydration stations along the Greenbelt Bikeway where you can refill your water bottles.

6. Bike Repair Stations: In certain areas, you may come across bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps to help you fix minor bike issues or inflate your tires.

7. Bike Rental: Depending on the location, there might be bike rental services available near the Greenbelt Bikeway, allowing you to rent bicycles if you don’t have your own.

8. Information Kiosks: Information kiosks or signage may be present along the Greenbelt Bikeway, providing maps, trail information, safety guidelines, and other useful details.

9. Scenic Overlooks: Some sections of the Greenbelt Bikeway may offer scenic overlooks or viewpoints where you can take a break and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.

10. Wildlife Viewing Areas: If the Greenbelt Bikeway passes through wildlife-rich areas, there may be designated spots or platforms where you can observe and appreciate the local flora and fauna.

It’s important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary, so it’s advisable to check with local authorities or visit the official website of the Greenbelt Bikeway for specific information about the amenities along your chosen route.

Nearby Services

1. Greenbelt Marriott Hotel – Upscale hotel offering comfortable accommodations near the Greenbelt Bikeway.
2. Courtyard by Marriott Greenbelt – Modern hotel with convenient access to the Greenbelt Bikeway and nearby attractions.
3. Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket and Pharmacy – Local grocery store and pharmacy providing essential supplies for bikers.
4. New Deal Cafe – Quaint cafe serving delicious food and drinks, perfect for a quick bite near the Greenbelt Bikeway.
5. Buddy’s Crabs & Ribs – Casual restaurant offering a variety of seafood and barbecue dishes near the Greenbelt Bikeway.
6. Greenbelt Police Department – Local law enforcement agency providing emergency services and assistance.
7. Greenbelt Fire Department – Fire and rescue services available for emergencies along the Greenbelt Bikeway.
8. Doctors Community Hospital – Nearby medical facility offering emergency medical services for bikers in need.

Greenbelt Bikeway Difficulty Notes

The Greenbelt Bikeway offers a moderate difficulty level for cyclists of varying skill levels. With its well-maintained paved paths and minimal elevation changes, it provides a smooth and enjoyable ride for beginners and casual riders. However, more experienced cyclists seeking a challenge may find the lack of steep inclines and technical sections less demanding. Nevertheless, the scenic beauty and peaceful atmosphere of the Greenbelt Bikeway make it a popular choice for riders of all abilities, offering a pleasant and accessible cycling experience.

Features And Attractions

The Greenbelt Bikeway is a 20-mile trail that runs through the suburbs of Maryland and Washington, D.C. Here are some scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and other points of interest along the Greenbelt Bikeway:

1. Greenbelt Park: This national park offers beautiful wooded trails, picnic areas, and camping facilities.

2. Buddy Attick Lake Park: A serene lake surrounded by walking trails and picnic spots.

3. Lake Artemesia: A man-made lake with a walking path, perfect for birdwatching and enjoying nature.

4. Indian Creek Trail: This trail follows the scenic Indian Creek, offering beautiful views and a peaceful atmosphere.

5. University of Maryland: The flagship campus of the University of Maryland is located near the Greenbelt Bikeway and offers a beautiful campus to explore.

6. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: A world-renowned research facility that can be seen from the trail.

7. Greenbelt Museum: A small museum that showcases the history and development of the planned community of Greenbelt.

8. Greenbelt National Park: A large park with hiking trails, picnic areas, and a campground.

9. Anacostia River: The Greenbelt Bikeway follows the Anacostia River for a portion of its route, offering scenic views of the water and surrounding wildlife.

10. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens: A stunning collection of water lilies, lotus flowers, and other aquatic plants.

11. Bladensburg Waterfront Park: Located along the Anacostia River, this park offers beautiful views, boat rentals, and a marina.

12. Riversdale House Museum: A historic mansion that showcases Federal-era architecture and offers guided tours.

13. College Park Aviation Museum: A museum dedicated to the history of aviation, located near the Greenbelt Bikeway.

14. Paint Branch Trail: This trail follows the scenic Paint Branch Creek and offers a peaceful and shaded route.

15. Beltsville Agricultural Research Center: A large research facility that focuses on agricultural science and research.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Greenbelt Bikeway. Exploring the trail will provide you with a diverse range of experiences and opportunities to connect with nature and history.

Usage Guidelines


Seasonal Information

The Greenbelt Bikeway, located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, offers a scenic and enjoyable cycling experience for both locals and tourists. While the bikeway is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are particularly ideal for visiting. Spring and fall are considered the best seasons to explore the Greenbelt Bikeway due to the pleasant weather and beautiful foliage.

In spring, the bikeway comes alive with vibrant colors as flowers bloom and trees regain their lush greenery. The temperatures are mild, making it comfortable for cyclists to ride along the 13-mile trail that winds through parks, forests, and residential areas. Spring also brings a sense of renewal, and the Greenbelt Bikeway is a perfect place to witness nature’s awakening.

Similarly, fall is another fantastic time to visit the Greenbelt Bikeway. As the leaves change into brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, the trail becomes a picturesque route for cyclists. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make for an invigorating ride, and the surrounding scenery is simply breathtaking. Fall is also a great time to spot wildlife along the bikeway, as many animals prepare for the winter months.

It’s important to note that while the Greenbelt Bikeway remains open throughout the year, there may be seasonal closures or restrictions in certain areas. During winter, heavy snowfall or icy conditions can make parts of the trail unsafe for cycling. Additionally, some sections of the bikeway may be temporarily closed for maintenance or repairs during other times of the year. It’s always a good idea to check for any closures or updates on the official website or local cycling forums before planning your visit.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Pathways: The Greenbelt Bikeway features wide and smooth pathways that are accessible for wheelchair users, allowing them to navigate the trail comfortably.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available at various entry points along the Greenbelt Bikeway, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways are provided at specific locations along the Greenbelt Bikeway.
4. Accessible Picnic Areas: The Greenbelt Bikeway offers accessible picnic areas with tables and benches designed to accommodate individuals using wheelchairs.
5. Accessible Drinking Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible drinking fountains are available along the Greenbelt Bikeway, allowing individuals with disabilities to stay hydrated during their journey.
6. Accessible Trailhead Signage: Clear and visible signage at the trailheads of the Greenbelt Bikeway includes accessibility information, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can easily locate and access the trail.
7. Accessible Crossings: The Greenbelt Bikeway features accessible crossings at road intersections, providing wheelchair users with safe and convenient passage across busy streets.
8. Accessible Seating: Benches and seating areas along the Greenbelt Bikeway are designed to be accessible, allowing individuals using wheelchairs to rest and enjoy the surroundings.
9. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps of the Greenbelt Bikeway are available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can navigate the trail effectively.
10. Accessible Information Stations: Information stations along the Greenbelt Bikeway are equipped with accessible features, such as braille signage or audio descriptions, providing individuals with disabilities access to relevant information about the trail.

Safety Information

When visiting the Greenbelt Bikeway, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Wear a helmet: Always wear a properly fitted helmet to protect your head in case of a fall or collision. It is a crucial safety measure for cyclists of all ages.

2. Follow traffic rules: Treat the Greenbelt Bikeway like a road and follow all traffic rules and regulations. Obey traffic signals, stop signs, and yield to pedestrians and other cyclists.

3. Be visible: Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially during low-light conditions. Use lights and reflectors on your bike to increase visibility to other cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.

4. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye out for pedestrians, other cyclists, and potential hazards such as potholes, debris, or wildlife.

5. Use hand signals: Indicate your intentions to other cyclists and motorists by using proper hand signals when turning or changing lanes. This helps prevent accidents and ensures clear communication.

6. Ride predictably: Maintain a steady and predictable course while cycling. Avoid sudden swerving or erratic movements that may surprise others sharing the path.

7. Yield to pedestrians: The Greenbelt Bikeway is often shared with pedestrians. Always yield to pedestrians, give them ample space, and pass them safely at a slow speed.

8. Be cautious at intersections: Slow down and exercise caution when approaching intersections or areas where the bikeway crosses roads. Look for oncoming traffic and yield the right of way when necessary.

9. Stay on the designated path: Stick to the designated Greenbelt Bikeway path and avoid venturing onto pedestrian-only paths or areas where cycling is prohibited.

10. Carry essential supplies: Bring water, snacks, and any necessary tools or equipment for minor repairs. It is also advisable to carry a mobile phone for emergencies.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when enjoying the Greenbelt Bikeway. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring the bikeway.

Conservation Notes

The Greenbelt Bikeway, a popular cycling route located in the heart of the city, holds a conservation status that is of utmost importance. As an integral part of the city’s green infrastructure, the Greenbelt Bikeway plays a crucial role in preserving and protecting the natural environment. The conservation status of this bikeway ensures that it is managed and maintained in a manner that minimizes its impact on the surrounding ecosystems.

Efforts are made to conserve the biodiversity along the Greenbelt Bikeway, which is home to a variety of plant and animal species. The conservation status ensures that the natural habitats and ecosystems are safeguarded, allowing for the preservation of native flora and fauna. This includes protecting the vegetation along the bikeway, such as trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, which provide essential habitats and food sources for local wildlife.

Additionally, the conservation status of the Greenbelt Bikeway focuses on minimizing human disturbance and promoting sustainable practices. Measures are taken to prevent erosion and soil degradation, as well as to manage stormwater runoff effectively. By implementing environmentally friendly infrastructure, such as permeable surfaces and native plantings, the conservation status aims to maintain the ecological balance and enhance the overall health of the surrounding environment.

In conclusion, the conservation status of the Greenbelt Bikeway ensures that this cycling route is managed in a manner that prioritizes the preservation and protection of the natural environment. By conserving biodiversity, minimizing human disturbance, and promoting sustainable practices, the Greenbelt Bikeway plays a vital role in maintaining the ecological integrity of the area.

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