Self-Guided Opportunities
 
Cycling
Location St. Mary's County
Start/End Anyplace along the suggested routes. There are many public parking areas marked on the Southern Maryland Bicycle Map.
Distance Colton's Point/Amish country, Loop G: 25.8 miles
Sotterly, Loop H: 5.3 miles
Piney Point, Loop I: 40.5 miles
St. Mary's City/Point Lookout, Loop J: 27.5 miles
Time Varies with route selected, number of stops, and condition of cyclist.
Trail Paved country roads
Generally level roads, with some rolling hills and the occasional steep hill.
Some roads have paved shoulders but many of the secondary roads do not.
Skill Level Novice to moderate
Suitable For Families? Yes, taking into account the ages and experience of the children
Hazards/Restrictions Traffic on the country roads. The occasional family pet dog may challenge riders. Obey bicycle laws.
Potable Water There are many commercial establishments along the route. It is suggested that riders map store locations if depending on them for food and drink.
Natural Features Quiet roads roam through gently rolling countryside providing vistas of farms, water front communities, forests and streams. Waterways visited include the Patuxent River, St. Mary's River, Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River.
Historic/Cultural Features St. Mary's County includes some of the oldest settled areas in Maryland. Antique shops, old country stores, and museums offer way points to punctuate cycle tours. The St. Clements Island/Potomac River Museum, Old Jail Museum, Amish farms, St. Mary's City attractions, Point Lookout Civil War Museum, and Naval Air Test Museum offer riders possible destinations. Amish carriages along St. Mary's county byways increase the yesteryear ambiance. St. Mary's City boasts a replica of the Dove (one of the two ships that brought Maryland's first settlers), reconstructed 17th century buildings, a tobacco plantation, and active archaeological digs. The Point Lookout and Piney Point lighthouses are popular destinations.
Bike Rentals/Services
Camping Point Lookout State Park, 1-888-432-2267
Several private operated establishments also offer camping.
Other Points of Interest Amish farms near Mechanicsville and Thompson Corner; Amish Farmers Market, St. Mary's Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary's Division of Tourism, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Point Lookout State Park, Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.
Other Accommodations There are hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts in the area.
Fees or Permits The historic sites, parks and museums have entrance fees.
Description G-Loop: This bike trip takes you around the northern part of St. Mary's County. Here many of the farms are still tended to by Amish families. You may see them on the roads going to market and school. There are also many tobacco farms still operating in this area. If you are in the area toward the end of March you may see the Amish farmers taking their tobacco to auction.
H-Loop: This route takes you into a less visited area of St. Mary's County. Quiet country roads take you past Sotterly Plantation and Greenwell State Park where you will find beautiful views of the Patuxent River, as well as a spot to relax and enjoy.
I-Loop: This bike trip takes you into an interesting area of St. Mary's County. In the Great Mills area there are several antique/craft shops and Cecil Mill Historical District. At the southern tip of this trip you will find Piney Point Lighthouse and St. George's Island. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is along the route.
J-Loop: This route takes you down the peninsula from St. Mary's City, through several small towns to Point Lookout State Park. Sites to visit along the route include: A Confederate Monument, a Civil War Museum, Elms WMA, Historic St. Mary's City, Trinity Church, St. Ignatius Church and Point Lookout Lighthouse.


Resources
  • Southern Maryland Bicycle Map, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's Boards of County Commissioners
  • Greater Washington Area Bicycle Atlas, 5th edition, (Jim McCarthy and Sharon Gang)
  • St. Mary's County Road Map
  • Point Lookout State Park homepage
Recommended Gear and Safety Tips
  • Be aware of your skill level and make safety your constant companion
  • Tire repair kit or tube
  • Helmet
  • Bike pump