Charles County Gains 13-Mile Rail Trail

LA PLATA, Md. - The Charles County Commissioners today announced that the National Park Service’s Federal Lands-to-Parks program has transferred, at no cost, a 13.4 mile (160-acre) abandoned railroad corridor to Charles County for use as a rail-trail.

Since 1918, the rail line served the needs of the Naval Surface Warfare Center on the Potomac River in Indian Head.

The rail corridor, valued at just over $3,060,000. will be developed by the County into a walking and bicycling trail between White Plains and Indian Head, traversing the western half of the County.

The County had identified the rail corridor as a critical addition to its Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan.

The transfer of this surplus rail corridor, which occurred in October, will further the County’s goals of creating a County-wide trail and greenway system by providing a continuous pedestrian pathway between the center of the County and the Potomac River at Mattawoman Creek.

The Department of Public Facilities, which is managing the project, will begin removing the steel and wood materials from the corridor early next year. Revenues from the salvage operation will provide funding to begin the trail construction.

Within the next year, a portion of this hiker/biker trail should be open to the public.

Funding will be provided by Federal, State, and County Funds.

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