MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — More people are taking to the trails in Montgomery County since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Montgomery Parks.

Darren Flusche, a trails master planner with Montgomery Parks, says some trails are seeing thousands of hikers, walkers, and bikers on busy days.

Since Montgomery Parks started shutting down roadways next to some of the trails to make more room for people to get moving several months ago, some popular trails have seen increases in people coming out to use those trails, some seeing increases of 40 percent.

“The park trails, especially the most popular park trails, are really crowded. In a time where everyone’s supposed to be socially distant, the one place you could go, which is the outdoors, suddenly felt really crowded. We were able to provide additional capacity on our trails with these parallel roads being open,” said Flusche.

The “Open Parkways” program will continue until further notice. The closures include the following parkway portions, on weekends:

  • Sligo Creek Parkway
    • Old Carroll Avenue to Piney Branch Road (1.1 miles)
    • Forest Glen Road to University Boulevard West (1.5 miles)
  • Little Falls Parkway from Massachusetts Ave. to Arlington Rd. (1.3 miles)
  • Beach Drive from Connecticut Avenue to Knowles Avenue (2.7 miles)

Flusche says he encourages local hikers, walkers and bikers to “take the trail less traveled,” find a trail they may not have heard of before, or try out a trial in the Upcounty region.

Ready to find your trail? Check out Montgomery Parks’ list of trails here.