Welcome to the Capital Cresent Trail

2020 Annual Meeting presentation is posted on our Documents Page

Little Falls Parkway open for people changed to: 7am Sat - 6pm Sun

CCT is open, but PLEASE follow Montgomery Parks "Recommendations
for Trail Users on Observing Social Distancing Minimums".

Note that trail water fountains are all turned off, so bring your water.

Trail closed east of Bethesda for Purple Line construction until TBD
Official signed detour
Alternate detour routes courtesy of WABA

Welcome to the Capital Crescent Trail

The Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) is a shared use off-road trail from Georgetown, D.C. to Silver Spring, MD (currently closed and detoured between Bethesda and Silver Spring), suitable for walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers. The Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, an all-volunteer organization, has spearheaded efforts since 1986 to develop this first-class shared use trail.

The Trail is a rail-trail, built upon the former railbed of the 11 mile Georgetown Branch of the B&O Railroad. The Trail is complete as a hard surface asphalt trail from Georgetown to Bethesda, with 6 bridges and a tunnel offering users gentle gradients, with grade-separated crossings at most (all but 2) roadways.

The Trail at the Dalecarlia Tunnel
The Trail at the Dalecarlia Tunnel

The trail was a mix of gravel and dirt from Bethesda to Lyttonsville, in western Silver Spring, however that closed in September 2017 for Purple Line light rail line construction on the Georgetown Branch right-of-way. When Purple Line major construction completes, which was predicted for 2023/4 but now could be much longer given the contract disagreements in 2020, the trail will run alongside it, almost completely grade-separated between Bethesda and Silver Spring. This shared use was anticipated from the beginning of the CCT, and is a core part of the Railbanking rules that enable many rail-trail conversions. The Purple Line itself won't open until up to a year after major construction completes, due to rail system testing and correcting any problems found. This links to the Purple Line page on Trail Connections, including the Capital Crescent Trail.
* Click this link for the official signed Montgomery County Department of Transportation Alternate Trail Route.
* Click this link for several shorter detour routes offered by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA).

Our Know the Trail page presents a more complete description of the Trail and its rich history. Use our Directions, Parking & Access page to find directions to the Trail and services available along the Trail.

A 2006 Survey shows that the Trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the nation. A 2015 Montgomery County "State of Bicycling" report reinforces that. But much remains to be done to complete this wonderful trail and to make it a delight for all. The Trail will not be finished until it is completed as a paved off-road trail into downtown Silver Spring, which the Purple Line project should achieve. The Coalition continues to work to complete the Trail and to provide features to make the Trail more attractive and fun to use.

YOU CAN HELP:

  • Support the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, which is a 501(c)(3) organization. Our Donate page shows how to make a donation.
  • Volunteer for trail maintenance or other trail building efforts. Our Volunteer page lists opportunities to help.
  • Join our CCCT Officers and Board at our monthly meetings for opportunities to get involved in ongoing projects. Meeting information is on our Volunteer page.

 

If you have questions or suggestions for the CCCT, please Contact Us.