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Biking & BBQ on the Indian Head Rail Trail

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!


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  • Linda

    Looking forward to another bike ride with this group.

    April 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Jack
    I am back.
    Do i look like..
    losting my bike.

    April 15, 2013

  • Christina L.

    Change of plans - opening up my space for another - have a great ride!

    April 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Was looking forward to riding with you again. Did you sign up for Paul's Ride For Life on the 27th?

      April 13, 2013

    • Christina L.

      Yes! Hope to see you there Cindy!

      1 · April 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fantastic day - loved the ride, new and old friends, and the ribs. Yum. Sorry to peel off quickly, but I was headed to the Caps game last night (yeah-we won!).

    April 14, 2013

  • Cindy

    Jake, thanks so much for another exceptional day. Great seeing everyone again, couldn't have been better.

    April 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Jake - what an absolutely perfect day! It doesn't get much better than that. It was so nice seeing everyone again, and meeting new people. Enjoy the rest of the weekend - it's another beautiful day:) THANKS AGAIN! See you in Annapolis.

    April 14, 2013

  • Bobbe

    JAKE! How do you do it! Absolute perfection starting with the weather followed by a scenic ride (can't wait to kayak there) fun people, amazing finger licking ribs .....a day that filled the heart, soul and stomach! THANK YOU JAKE!

    April 14, 2013

    • Jake

      Good job using all caps on the THANK YOU. Yer a quick learner... ;-)

      April 14, 2013

  • Heide

    Thanks for organizing Jake! Ladies - we were discussing kayaking attire -- check out Sierra Trading Company. Through their friends program I can send you a $10 coupon and discounts. Write me if interested.

    See everyone on the trail or water next time!

    April 14, 2013

  • Gail T

    Beautiful day - beautiful people! Thanks again, Jake!

    April 14, 2013

  • martha

    Thank you Jake, it was a glorious day!

    April 14, 2013

  • Gloria

    Thank You Jake! for another great ride at Indian Head. What a beautiful day with all the spring colors popping out... I was the sweeper, and was rewarded at the end by an awesome Georges Rib dinner brought by the AMAZING Heide! It was so great to see everyone again!

    April 13, 2013

  • Kris

    Friendly people and a great day for biking on a nice trail - thank you!

    April 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    another GREAT Jake adventure!
    Beautiful weather, ospreys, a turkey running across the road, humping turtles...and OMG the ribs!!
    I remember saying "is anyone else hungry?" and Bobbe and Cindy turned their bikes into fighter jets in afterburner!
    ..and YES...I admit it--
    I stopped by on my way home for a FULL RACK of RIBS. -- I'm hooked!

    THANK YOU JAKE! YOU RULE and today we DROOLED!

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • Jake

    We got perfect biking weather on a pretty spring day, so it was an excellent ride. Our large group of FUN people made it special, as always. My legs were worn out at the end, but we took our time and enjoyed the Indian Head trail at a leisurely pace. Thanks to Heide for bringing us laggards a ribs meal with cole slaw and collards from George's Ribs. EXCELLENT. Nice to see old friends and meet new people at one of my favorite places.

    April 13, 2013

  • Ana

    What a GREAT day to be on the trail! Thanks Jake!

    April 13, 2013

  • Belinda M.

    Sorry change of plans!

    April 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My first biking of the year so I may not go the distance. Pretty sure I can make it to the ribs and back! :-)

    April 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry a conflict came up and will not be able to participate.
    Look forward to the next time.

    April 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry can't make it :( have a great ride.

    April 13, 2013

  • Teresa

    Sorry, plans have changed. Have fun!

    April 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I need to be back in Slver Spring by 5:30, so I will miss the BBQ.....

    April 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone interested in the history of this trail (both natural and human), along with other details about the ride and the area, might want to check out a piece I wrote for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's website: http://www.railstotrails.org/news/recurringFeatures/trailMonth/archives/1107.html

    April 10, 2013

    • martha

      nice! never knew that sometimes bald eagles are sighted.

      April 12, 2013

    • Jake

      We saw about 5 eagles cavorting in the trees by the trail about 100 yds. away from us last December. An amazing sight.

      April 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Need to head out of town unexpectedly. Enjoy the ride.

    April 12, 2013

  • Debora Jean D.

    Still trying to find that magic day where I can make it... I have a funeral tomorrow... :(
    But have fun!

    April 12, 2013

  • Heide

    Sorry to miss everyone - have a great ride!

    April 11, 2013

  • HelenB

    Bummer, broken toe, can't bike :(

    April 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry to cancel, but kid duties came up.

    April 10, 2013

  • Jake

    Now that the numbers are reasonable, I've re-opened the RSVP's to 40 people.

    April 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    why are the rsvps closed if there are six more openings, just askin

    April 9, 2013

  • Julie S.

    Unlikely for me this weekend.

    April 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Daughter's 13th B-day party got moved back 1 week so not able to make it after all.

    April 9, 2013

  • Scott

    Have to run to Norfolk on sat :(

    April 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hoping spots open up before Saturday!

    April 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    like to join in the bike trip;
    hope to know by midweek:)
    thanks jake

    April 7, 2013

  • HelenB

    I have an event at 6:00 in Reston that evening, so probably will not be able to stay for the BBQ.

    April 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to miss it.

    March 28, 2013

  • Alison

    I would like to go. I'm waitlisted on another event that day so we'll see what happens.

    March 24, 2013

  • Jake

    I closed the RSVP's because we're more than filled up on what the trail and George's can handle. If enough people drop out to make room, I'll open up the list again. Many people drop out the week before an event.

    March 17, 2013

  • Reid

    Is it possible to sign up even though registration is closed?

    March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If there's a wait list, please add me.
    Muchas gracias!

    March 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yes!!!! I am in Reverend Jacques

    March 3, 2013

  • Belinda M.

    Let's hope for that perfect weather!

    February 15, 2013

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