TAKE AN OFF-ROAD RIDE
THE FAMOUS FIELD OF DREAMS line, “If you build it,
he will come,” rings true for paths that were blazed on a
patch of Germantown land in the ’90s. The Schaeffer Farm
trails quickly became popular among their intended users—
mountain bikers—and were so successful that they spawned
many more places across the region for off-road riders.
The terrain of the 15 ride-ready miles at Schaeffer Farm
includes rocks, roots, logs and lots of dirt—the challenges
that are typically part of mountain biking. A section on the
yellow trail that’s leased to a local farmer by the Maryland
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is used for the
alternating production of soybeans and corn; the crops make
a green carpet one year and a tunnel of tall stalks the next.
The white trail is the other main artery, and a few smaller
trails are accessible from it or the yellow trail.
Through a partnership with DNR, the nonprofit Mid-Atlantic
Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) created and maintains the
trails. For those new to mountain biking or looking to ride with
others, MORE offers periodic kids rides and weekly adult rides
more-mtb.org for details).
The Schaeffer Farm trails are open from 8 a.m. to sunset. They
are closed from late November to early March and when trail
conditions are poor. Parking is in a lot on Kingsview Village Avenue off of Schaeffer Road in Germantown. Another lot, at Black
Rock Mill, also offers access to the trails, as well as to Seneca
Ridge Trail and Seneca Bluffs Trail.
—Kathleen Seiler Neary