General ruleIn general, the trail is intended to be a clearing 4 feet wide and 8 feet high. As with every rule, there are exceptions as noted below.
PruningWhen pruning a bush, remember that they grow fast, so prune it far enough back so it won't be a problem again next year. When pruning a branch, it should be cut flush with the trunk. This permits the tree to grow over the cut and prevents people from accidentally being caught by it. Also, if a stub is left sticking out, when it rots, it will introduce disease into the tree.
If a tree is a leaner, be very careful since it is hard to determine which way it is going to fall. It may be better left for a trail crew.
Vines, such as the wild grape vine, provide food for wildlife. Try
to find a way to move them out of the way or work around them.
Cutting them is only the very very last resort.
Borrowing ToolsTools needed to maintain the trail may be borrowed from Seneca Creek State Park. They must be returned the same day they are borrowed. Contact Ranger Dave Powell. He may be reached by calling the State Park at 301-924-2127.
Chain Saw UsageThe Seneca Creek Greenway Trail passes through two jurisdictions (see below). The rules for using a chain saw are different in each one.
STATE PARK LAND
Before using a chain saw, contact the Seneca Creek State Park Ranger in charge of trail maintenance. He/she needs to be assured of you knowledge of safe chain saw handling and may request that you take a chain saw safety course offered by the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and others.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY (M-NCPPC) LAND
Currently, a memo of understanding is being worked on to permit volunteers to maintain the trail. Until that is finialized, please send requests to cut fallen trees to this web site or the Trail Master, Mark Nelson, at MNelson@rei.com. We, in turn will contact Art Nelligan, of the M-NCPPC, to have the work done. Please provide the location and size of the tree to be cut.
Bicycle and Horse Restrictions
State Park Land (Potomac to Rt. 355)The Seneca Creek Greenway Trail passes through an environmentally sensitive stream valley, which is often wet and susceptible to damage and erosion. Both bicycles and horses cut into and loosen the soil, creating an erosion problem during rains and high water. For this reason, bicycles and horses are not allowed on the trail except for certain sections.
Bikes are only allowed on the yellow blazed Long Draft Trail. The trails at Schaeffer Farm were created to serve the mountain biking users of Seneca Creek State Park.
The sections of trail, from the C&O Canal to Route 28, are open to horses because horses were using them before the Greenway Trail was built. The foot bridges in these sections should not be used by horses because they were not designed to carry their weight.
Montgomery County Land (Rt. 355 to Huntmaster Rd.)The use of bicycles and horses on this section of trail is currently under review.
Trail Maintenance JurisdictionThe section of the trail from the Potomac to Rt. 355 is managed by the state. Contact the ranger in charge of trail maintenance at Seneca Creek State Park.
The section from Rt. 355 to the Patuxent River Park is managed by Montgomery County via the Maryland National Capitol Parks and Planning Commission (MNCPPC).
The Trail Master works with both organizations to obtain approval for any trail construction and coordinates maintenance activities with them.
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