Trail Corner: The Bethesda Trolley Trail
By Nathaniel Wu
The Bethesda Trolley Trail is a local trail in the DMV area that stretches from North Bethesda down to Bethesda. Short compared to other trails, it is about 4 miles long. The endpoints are at the intersection between Edson Ln. and Woodglen Dr. (North Bethesda) and the
intersection between Old Georgetown Rd. and Charles St. (Bethesda). Although it is short, it certainly provides a fun trip for all. More information can be found on the website.
What’s great about the Bethesda Trolley Trail (BTT) is the variety. Unlike some other trails that have the same environment throughout, the BTT includes sections in
scenic forests, beautiful neighborhoods, and even a bridge over the highway. The surface is mainly pavement but also becomes sidewalk occasionally, which adds to the variety of the BTT. For bikers, the trail includes a fair amount of uphills and downhills, creating a thrilling ride on the descents. Even when the trail is not going through forested areas, the whole trail is generally peaceful. Overall, the BTT provides more than the 4 mile length may suggest.
On the flipside, one disadvantage to riding the BTT is that it isn’t very continuous. It is split into many “mini sections'' and there are moments where it can be difficult to stay on the trail, especially during transitions between sections. Constant switching between pavement and sidewalk can be confusing, but doing some extra planning can mitigate the confusion. Common points of confusion are at the North Bethesda endpoint, where Pike and Rose are located, and near the NIH campus.
Be sure to follow general trail etiquette when enjoying the BTT. This includes staying on the right side when there are others on the path, giving audible warnings when passing, not going too fast, and keeping the trail free of litter. In order for us and future generations to be able to enjoy this local trail, we must preserve it. Thanks for reading this installment of the Trail Corner, and try the Bethesda Trolley Trail sometime!