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Bowie’s Scenic Trails

Old Town Bowie is beaming with rich autumn colors and brilliance.

Through the town of Bowie there are numerous nature trails and picturesque walking paths that offer opportunities for relaxation, reflection and recreation. Many of the trails are accessible by foot and others present ample space for cyclists as well as group walks.

On the first cool, sunny day of November 2011 this Bowie trail offers a quiet setting for an evening stroll between a young boy and his father. Brisk walkers, joggers and casual strollers were all out taking in the final days of Autumn 2011 and before the days are shortened by Daylight Saving Time this coming Sunday morning.

Luckily the recent below freezing temperatures and brief snow fall did not blow away the vibrant foliage from the many trees throughout Bowie. It is still time to take in some of the beauty that remains on the limbs that top roadways, walking trails and lawns in Old Town Bowie. Make sure to bring along your camera to preserve the splendor you are sure to encounter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Char November 04, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Hey, Patch! Where can we find maps of the trails in Bowie? I get lost on some of them! CM
Jon November 04, 2011 at 05:51 PM
http://www.cityofbowie.org/Parks/pdfs/trailsmasterplan11x17(II).pdf Not ideal, because the dotted ones are only proposed, although I believe a few of those have been built since the map was made in 2002.
Char November 04, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Thanks, Jon! Actually, I would even like to see more sidewalks ... though it appears there is no room for them on my street. But the sidewalks we already have could certainly be better connected. I could walk safely (except on my own street) to Allen Pond Park, if only the sidewalk on Mt. Oak Rd. went all the way to Nottinghill! That appears to be "proposed" ... guess I will just have to wait! However, even if that extension is made, crossing Nottinghill to get to its sidewalk will be tricky, with so many turns being made in that intersection. Looks as if nothing is easy! :o)
Jon November 04, 2011 at 06:43 PM
I wish there were some way to lobby effectively for sidewalk/trail/sidepath extension. At the eastern end of Old Chapel, the sidewalk ends about 0.2 miles before the road. Then, there is no sidewalk on Race Track. Another 0.2 miles of sidewalk (or even better, sidepath) would connect to Saddlebrook West. In addition to connecting that neighborhood to the rest of Bowie, it would allow those of us in the "W" section access to the WB&A Trail w/o taking our lives in our hands. (Or, if Saddlebrook West doesn't want people cutting through, run the sidepath for an entire mile up to the Racetrack intersection with the WB&A.) I think some of these things could happen as a result of some of the proposed Bowie State improvements, but I wish Bowie had a trail advocacy group. (Or a bike one, though I might also want to use the trails and sidepaths with a stroller.)
Sophie Gadgets November 05, 2011 at 10:01 PM
The links below should offer you some information on local trails as well as how you can establish your own cycling group to take part in the many trails around the area. Check out the handbook that lists a variety of scenic interests and tips for starting your own group. http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/Trails/Resources.html http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/Trails/Documents/pdfs/Trail%20Town%20Guidebook.pdf http://www.discoverytrail.org/states/maryland/
Sophie Gadgets November 05, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Just ran across this link for the city of Bowie that lists the many parks and some of the attractions located in each. The city really has a lot to offer. http://www.cityofbowie.org/Parks/park_maps.asp
Bowie Mike November 09, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Jon, I live in the "W" section as well. I'll ride the short stretch on 197 from Rustic Hill Road to the WB&A trail, but I won't take my kids that way. We'll throw the bikes on a bike rack to go to the WB&A, which is unfortunate. I've often thought that it would be nice to have a path linking the "R" section to Saddlebrook West or even a path linking Rustic Hill Road directly to the WB&A, although that terrain might require a bridge. It might even be easier if the path went from the Montessori school to the WB&A, but that's on private property. The City of Bowie did acquire 12.8 acres of land between Rustic Hill Road and the WB&A a couple of years ago to preserve the green space. I haven't heard if there are any plans for that land.
Sophie Gadgets November 10, 2011 at 05:14 AM
Bowie Mike, it seems like you have a lot of experience with the numerous trails in Bowie. Maybe you’d be interested in connecting with the City of Bowie Community Recreation Committee to offer your suggestions? It is only through input from actual users of community resources that policy and program managers will know what works best for residents. Just a thought. Community Recreation Committee Mission The CRC advises the City Council on all recreation matters and works for the continued cooperation among and improvement of all public recreational facilities in the City of Bowie. Description of Duties Provide the City Council with advice on all matters relating to recreation. Act as liaison and advisors to the City Council regarding Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) activities including the Bowie Community Center, the South Bowie Community Center and the Huntington Community Center. Prepare and update the Bowie Recreation Master Plan. Provide input for the annual City budget on recreation matters. Conduct the allocation of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities within the City including facilities owned by the City of Bowie, the Board of Education and M-NCPPC. http://www.cityofbowie.org/Committees/community_recreation.asp
Char November 10, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Thanks, Sophie! Here's a thought for the City of Bowie Community Recreation Committee: assuring good sidewalk connectivity near areas such as Allen Pond Park could alleviate some of the parking congestion when large events are held! I like walking, and I live only a mile from Allen Pond Park, but there's a part of Mt. Oak Rd. near Nottinghill Dr. where there are no sidewalks. If I walk the other way around (via Mitchellville Rd.), it's a longer walk. There have recently been some great improvements at the intersection of Peach Walker and Mt. Oak Rd., so I'm hoping there will soon be a sidewalk all the way to Nottinghill along Mt. Oak.
Sophie Gadgets November 10, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Charlotte, those are some very good points and something that the Community Recreation Committee should take up when they next meet. In the City of Laurel there has been major construction throughout the community to make sidewalks more accessible for all citizens. There have been new pedestrian signals and ramps with tactile warnings to alert blind and SmartPhone preoccupied pedestrians approaching the edge of a sidewalk or street. These new crossings also help with traffic management and flow which are conducive to greater pedestrian safety.
Chuck MacDonald November 15, 2011 at 08:57 PM
On overlooked park is Tanglewood Park off Zugg Rd in Old Bowie. It looks forbidding because of the concrete barriers at the entrance. But that's to keep people from driving in and dumping old refrigerators and the like. It's a lovely hike back there, but quite lonely. Awesome with the leaves. I wrote an article on it once in the Blade.
Sharp Shooter November 15, 2011 at 09:56 PM
Not a 100% paved alternative but there is a 200 foot dirt path at the dead end of Rockledge Drive that parallels a creek. The path will get you within a few feet of the paved Saddlebrook bike trails. Take a left on the bike trail and you can to River Park Rd (Saddlebrook). Saddlebrook's bike paths are great and will get you directly onto the WB&A trail.
Sophie Gadgets November 15, 2011 at 11:26 PM
It is great that there are so many trials and recreational outlets in Bowie from which to choose. It is especially nice that these attractions are free and the majority are accessible to wheelchair users and offer audible and olfactory stimulation for individuals with sight loss.
Bowie Mike November 16, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Sharp Shooter, thanks for the info. I'll have to check that out. At the end of Rockledge, does the trail go off to the right?
Bowie Mike November 16, 2011 at 03:04 PM
Thanks, Check MacDonald. I had never heard of Tanglewood Park, but I did find this trail map on the City of Bowie web site: http://www.cityofbowie.org/Parks/pdfs/tanglewood_map.pdf Where do you park?
Chuck MacDonald November 16, 2011 at 03:19 PM
About Tanglewood Park, just park on the side of the road. It feels weird to do so, but there's almost zero traffic on Zugg. Also there's a parkeing area a couple of blocks back off Chestnut (I think). Tanglewood is lovely this time of year.
Bowie Mike November 16, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Thanks, Chuck!
Josh Flynn November 16, 2011 at 04:24 PM
It's been about a year since I was back on Tanglewood, it is a nice trail once you get back, here is the directory listing I created it for it when we launched Patch: http://bowie.patch.com/listings/tanglewood-park-3#photo-1171540 I have some photos in there of the entrance off of Zugg, it's a little hard to find. Also, be careful when driving around back there, I got a decent sized nail in my tire when I went to get these photos... Thanks, Chuck, for your input!
Bowie Mike November 16, 2011 at 04:32 PM
Thanks, Josh
fred quimby January 23, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I'll be darned. I live right next to this and never knew it was there. There are no signs up even at the entrance. I went there a couple days ago and there are trees down all over the trail, so it's obviously been quite a while since they were cleared.
Sophie Gadgets January 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM
With warmer weather expected this week, there will be plenty of opportunity to get out and view some of the trails now. My hope is to see what the view is like when fresh snow is covering the terrain. Bowie has so much to offer and far too often it goes underused and even unused.

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