The Three Notch Trail is a non-motorized pedestrian and bicycle trail being constructed on the St. Mary’s County railroad right-of-way. The trail is constructed of asphalt and is 10 feet wide in most sections, with 2 – 3 ft. grass shoulders.
The trail in the northern area of the county begins at Deborah Drive (just past the St. Mary’s County line) in Charlotte Hall and runs south to John V. Baggett Park in Laurel Grove for a distance of about eleven miles. The trail in this area provides connections to the Northern Senior Center, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Charlotte Hall Library, St. Mary’s County Farmers’ Market, the St. Mary’s County Welcome Center, various businesses, churches, Mechanicsville Elementary School and Baggett Park.
Parking and restrooms along the Charlotte Hall section of the trail can be found at the Northern Senior Center, St. Mary’s County Welcome Center and at the Charlotte Hall Library. Parking is also located at the Gospel Light Baptist Church in Mechanicsville and at John V. Baggett Park at Laurel Grove. Weekend parking is available at Mechanicsville Elementary School. Restrooms at Baggett Park are open from April through October; seasonal port-o-lets are also available along the trail.
Other trail phases: Phase III, from Wildewood to Wal-Mart, is being constructed by several private developers in the California area. The Wildewood, South Plaza, and Wal-Mart sections are now complete. The county constructed Phase IVA, from Wal-Mart to Chancellor’s Run Road; Phase IVB, from Chancellor’s Run Road to Pegg will be constructed as part of the future FDR Boulevard community road project. Phase III and Phase IV-A are currently short lengths of trail, but will be more "user-friendly" when additional sections in this area are completed.
Concept planning is underway for Phases VII of the trail from Wildewood to MD 245 in Hollywood. Phases VIII and IX, from Hollywood to Baggett Park, are planned in future years, as funding permits.
The trail is open daily, from sunrise to sunset.
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
- Travel only at speeds which are safe and appropriate to trail conditions and usage.
- Travel in the right lane; move left to pass; give appropriate warning to trail users ahead; and move off the trail when you come to a stop.
- Pedestrians have the right of way.
- Obey the helmet laws.
- Stop at all road/street crossings.
- Pets must be on a leash and controlled at all times.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- No bicycle races or competitive speed training.
- Please respect private property. Be a courteous user of public lands.