Trail Riders of Today; Horseback riding on trails in Maryland

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Good Morning Horse

Doncaster Demonstration State Forest
Charles County, MD

20930 Lake Ridge Drive
Boyds, MD 20841
(301) 934-2282
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/DoncasterDF.asp

Location: Charles County, off Port Tobacco Rd. (rte 6).  For directions see below.
Click here for a map of the locale with roads.
Click here for a trail map.

Directions: From the Capital Beltway 495, take Branch Ave (Rte. 5) south.
Continue south on Rte. 5 till it joins with Rte. 301 south.
Continue south on Rte. 301 thru Waldorf and south to La Plata, Md.
At the third light in La Plata turn right on Rte. 6 west. Drive west approximately 14 miles.

The main entrance to Doncaster Forest is on your right a short way past a police training facility.
After turning into Doncaster you will be on Forest Rd. There is no single large parking area.
A short way down Forest Rd is the DNR Storage shed and Hunter Sign-in Kiosk.
There is limited parking there for maybe 3 rigs, backed off the main road
or you are allowed to park in the large grassy area adjacent to the old farm house.
You can continue on down Forest Rd and there is another small parking area on the left,
which will hold slightly longer trailers backed in. All roads in Doncaster are gravel/dirt and good riding.

Information: At the Hunter's Kiosk is a box with maps but they don't show all the trails. I would suggest exploring around. The forest boundaries are marked with yellow paint rings around tree trunks. Please don't follow trails that pass beyond these boundaries as you are then on private property unless you are riding with a local rider who has property owner permission to cross. Doncaster is in three sections, North or Main Doncaster, Middle Doncaster and South Doncaster. North Doncaster has the most trails. From the Ranger Station you can take the West trail (just to the left of the office) westward. It will cross Rawlings Rd (a gravel forest road) and continues on. (If you turn right on Rawlings there are two different trails on the right side of the road that you can ride). Watch for a trail that branches to the left off West Trail just past a fallen tree. It will take you out to Rte. 6. Cross Rte. 6 to where the trail continues on the other side, past a wood gate. This is Middle Doncaster. Follow this lovely trail till it comes out on Gilroy Rd (paved) turn left and ride down the road 1/8th of a mile (crosses a swamp) and you will see a trail on the right behind a cable. (Gilroy is a pretty quiet road traffic wise). Go up this trail and turn right on the gravel road. You are now in South Doncaster. Continue down this road to a Y. Bear right and pass behind the cable across the road. There are several excellent loop trails off this road, all to the left. If you follow the trail straight ahead you will come back to Rte. 6 but that is the far boundary of Doncaster. I suggest you try the loop trails then go back to North Doncaster.

Terrain: The trails are mainly single track forested trails, largely flat or moderately rolling. Numerous bridges over creeks. There are a couple of creek crossings to get down to water at but please do not attempt this anywhere there are bridges. The bridges are there because the banks are too soft for horses. There are lots of trails that don't have markers so as you ride down the roads watch for trails and try them.

Doncaster Demonstration Forest is open for regular hunting of all types, be aware of the hunting seasons! Do not trespass onto private land, please.

 


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