March 13, 2013 at 2:49 am #295373
You can now connect to Lake Frank from the Rock Creek Hiker/Biker trail without having to scale the back of the dam and fight your way through bramble bushes.
If you’re heading south on the Rock Creek Hiker/Biker from Lake Needwood, you cross Southlawn Lane and Avery Road. When you get to the Norbeck Road overpass, make a left on the paved trail connector. This used to take you up a steep climb to Route 28 / Norbeck Road just across from the Rock Creek Valley Shopping Center. It still does, but about 1/4 mile up the connector, there is a new intersection where you make a left turn over a bridge. Then there is a gentle incline that leads you all the way into Lake Frank and hits the paved trail just on the south side of the dam.
It makes for a nice family bike ride, particularly with the young ‘uns, to start at Lake Needwood, ride down to Lake Frank and return. A word of caution: The natural surface trails at Lake Frank are hiker only, and it is strictly enforced.March 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm #495395
pm sent.March 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm #495396
I spoke with Chief Antonio DeVaul of Montgomery County Park Police today, and the issue of mountain bikes at Lake Frank is a gray area. As long as they aren’t causing problems, it’s OK.
What I’ve always told people is stay away from the nature center on the West side, top of the hill. Best bet is to stay on the east side mainly a dirt sewer line service road.
As for rules and gray areas: Did you know it’s illegal to sled and ski on Park property in Montgomery County? I kid you not.
It came up at one of the trails meetings. The reason the law was put in place was to keep people from sledding and skiing into wet land areas. This is a prime example of Montgomery County gray area rules and the Park Police do a great job of deciding when to let it go. My kids and I have never been ticketed for sledding at our local park!
The Upper Rock Creek trail passes through Lake Frank and at question now if any of the East side of the Upper Rock Creek will be natural surface or all paved. I keep telling them to build a natural surface trail on the east side as well as the paved trail if they want to make all the west side of lake frank hiker only but so far they are not interested in that. There is still some VERY Strong hiker only people in Parks who don’t like the development of the MoCo Epic loop and are pushing hard to stop any more MTB access elsewhere in the County.
But in the end I’ve been working on the Upper Rock Creek trail for about 9 years now. No one is more frustrated than me that we still have to ride in “gray” areas and the bicycles are not truly accepted in Montgomery County.March 14, 2013 at 3:23 am #495394
Well, that is good news about the “grey areas”. I guess “grey” still beats “hell no”.
Thank you for everything you do for cyclists in this part of the County. You definitely have a tough sell in this part of the County and I’m sure advocacy efforts must be frustrating more often than not. I certainly appreciate your efforts.
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