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Cabin John

The Cabin John Stream Valley Trail starts near the C&O Canal near MacArthur Blvd and goes north to the trailhead at Goya Rd. The hiker-only portion of the trail from MacArthur Blvd to Rive Road. is one of MoCo’s best natural areas.

The first trailhead open to bikes heading north is on River Rd. less than 1 mile west of the Beltway (River Rd exit). At last ride – 11/10- this trail head was in the process of being expanded to accommodate 5-10 cars. Heading north from this point, trailhead are at Bradley Blvd (limited parking), Seven Locks Rd (no parking), Democracy Blvd (ample parking at the Indoor Tennis Center 7801 Democracy Boulevard Bethesda, MD 20817), Tuckerman Lane (Group Picnic Area) and at the northern terminus on Goya Dr.

Because the entire trail is within an urban setting, riders must be careful when crossing roads as they carry high volumes of vehicular traffic. A portion of the trail traverses Cabin John Regional Park.

The trail is not very technical, but the short, intense climbs will test your fitness level and there are a few spots that will test your technical skills. There are some low lying areas prone to flooding and that stay wet unless it’s been weeks between rainfall. These areas are primarily in the River/Bradley section, just prior to Seven Locks, and near the terminus at Goya Rd. The new MORE Trail Liaison will be focusing on these areas starting in 2015. The county has completed some nice re-routes north of Bradley Blvd and Tuckerman Lane eliminating some chronically wet sections.

Heading north from the southern terminus at River Rd, the trail is blazed Blue and first road crossing is at Bradley Blvd. This section has one offshoot trail that will loop back to the main trail and with the exception of two climbs and stream crossings, is flat and fast. The trail continues immediately across Bradley to a short, steep climb with a hard right hand turn at the top that will test your skill. There are offshoot trails in this section, with all either returning to the main trail or exiting the park at a road. As you approach Seven Locks – a nice downhill section, you can either cross a small creek to your left or go right to Seven Locks. No matter which way you hit Seven Locks, turn left towards the traffic light at Democracy Blvd. Cross Democracy, turn right, and the trailhead is 100 yards ahead to your left.

You are now entering Cabin John Regional Park. There are multiple trailheads as well as trails here with parking. Cabin John Regional Park has amenities such as picnic areas, amphitheater. playgrounds, miniature train & snack bar, baseball fields, ice skating rink, and park headquarters. Exiting the park at Tuckerman, you go left for about 200 yards and the trail picks up on the right hand side of the road for another mile to Goya. At this point, the trail is on the west side of the Cabin John Stream and near the end there is a stream crossing to more trails on the east side.

With offshoots, you can get close to 16 miles on an out/back ride.


Hiking and Biking


Cabin John Stream Valley Park Trail is located in Potomac, Maryland just west of Interstate 270 and Rte 495.

Trail length/surface

8.8 miles, all natural surface.

Trail characteristics

The natural surface trail is open to hikers and bikers but not equestrians. South of River Road, the trail is open to hikers only. The most challenging part of the trail is safely crossing River Road at the southern portion of the stream valley park. In order to cross at a signalized intersection trail users must leave the park system and walk along the north side of River Road and a short distance down Seven Locks Road.

Drinking water

Yes, at Cabin John Regional Park.


Yes, at Cabin John Regional Park.

Access and parking

Parking areas are shown on the printable version of the trail map.


Park Manager may be contacted at 301-299-0024  MORE Liaisons– Kevin Adams & Rob Lowe, cabinjohn@more-mtb.org
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