Let's go for another relaxed ride on the Indian Head Rail Trail, with a side stop at George's Ribs for a soul-satisying meal. During April, this trail is 26 scenic miles of spring greenery and budding forest life framing its flat paved riding surface. We did it last year and had a terrific time.
Although it's just 20 miles outside the Beltway from National Harbor, going to Indian Head is like a trip back in time to a relaxed country lifestyle where people are friendly and you see local roadside BBQ places instead of chain stores.
With excellent recreational biking and kayaking, Indian Head is a perfect nearby destination to get away for a day and enjoy a peaceful place and time which no longer exists in the busy Washington metropolitan area.
The Bike Ride
The Indian Head Rail Trail is the main attraction for cyclists. It's flat and very wide with good facilities, running 13 miles from Indian Head to White Plains near La Plata. The trail closely follows the Mattawoman Creek nature preserve while passing through hardwood forests and wetlands that feature a beaver dam, birding areas, occasional farms, an archery range, and country homes.
We'll start our bike ride at Mattingly Park and pick up the Indian Head Trail nearby for a pleasant ride to White Plains at an average pace of 11 mph, which is about normal for most people.
This ride is suitable for all types of bikes and for riders in decent shape who can pedal for three hours with occasional rest breaks. The total roundtrip riding distance is 26 miles. Since this is an up and back ride, we'll collect any stragglers on the return journey.
HELMETS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL RIDERS!
On the way back, we'll take a side road to George's Ribs restaurant to indulge in REAL country BBQ. Then we return to the trail and ride the final two miles to Mattingly Park where we can sit and relax watching the evening light reflect on Mattawoman Creek as the sun goes down. Bring a folding chair and a friendly beverage to make the scene complete. It's a public park, so please be discreet with any alcoholic beverages.
George's Ribs BBQ
George's Ribs is a local Charles County favorite located on the main Rt. 210 highway leading into Indian Head. It's a casual restaurant with a place-your-order and pick-up counter, and no-frills dining on inside and outside tables.
The popular pork ribs are succulent, tender, and tasty. Simply heaven! The pulled pork and beef, BBQ chicken, and fried fish are also very good. And the sides of collard greens, cole slaw, potato salad, green beans, etc. are all freshly made. Even the french fries are crisp and tasty.
A whole meal big enough for two people runs about $15. They don't sell beer or wine, so carry something along on your bike if you want some refreshments with your meal.
A meal at George's reminds us how good American highway food used to be. Nothing fancy, but very hearty with generous portions and delicious flavors that fill you up. Not a place for vegetarians, although George's does have good mac & cheese. Nobody leaves there hungry!
Final Details and Driving Directions
From the Beltway, take MD Route 210 Exit 3-A (Indian Head Highway) toward Indian Head. Go 20 miles to the end of the highway at the Indian Head Naval Station. Make the last left before the Naval Station Gate onto Mattingly Ave. Then drive .5 mile on Mattingly Ave. to where it ends at Mattingly Park.
As this is an outdoor event that depends upon good biking weather, I'll post a notice here on Saturday morning before 10:00 am if it needs to be changed or canceled. Call Jake at[masked] with any questions.
I hope to see you there!