Buddy Attic Park/Old Greenbelt


Greenbelt was created by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration in 1938.It is said that Eleanor Roosevelt prodded her husband into building it.The local high school is named in her honor.As one of the first planned communities in the country and a public works project, the city provided construction jobs and affordable co-operative housing.Laid somewhat concentrically, the houses surround Greenbelt Lake and the town center.They are all connected by many foot trails.Woods and farmland, though much diminished, still surround the housing.The routes start at Buddy Attic Park on the edge of Greenbelt Lake.


Getting There


From the Capital Beltway (I-95), take Kenilworth Ave. (201) north and outside the beltway.Turn right immediately onto Crescent Rd.Turn right again into Buddy Attic Park.


Area Routes


Greenbelt Woods (5.4 miles, IV)

Tour the green belt of Greenbelt on a hot day.The shady route begins with a leisurely stroll three quarters of the way around Greenbelt Lake (the full loop around the lake is 1.28 miles) then passes through the town center.Many trails carpet Greenbelt Woods and generally lack blazes; hence for clarity many extra cues are described ahead.An easy rule to keep in mind, in order to stay on-route in the woods, is that you generally go counter-clockwise (right turns) around the perimeter.Obvious landmarks such as fencing define the perimeter and help keep you on-track.The unpaved natural surface of the wooded trail is 2 miles long.At one point the course passes near the grave sites, of some of Greenbeltís earliest pioneers.They lived 1747-1823 and their graves are now surrounded by private resident garden plots.Cycling is not allowed in Greenbelt Woods.Sighting of deer is common. Go slowly and you may see the owls and woodpeckers too.Watch out for occasional roots hidden by leaves and for fallen logs on the trail.Return to the lake along a short paved hiker/biker trail.


Ridge Road (3.4 miles, II)

Circling the original town, this route also starts along the lake but is on sidewalks most of the rest of the way.After climbing a short hill to the rim of the natural bowl shaped topography that the town sits on, youíll first pass the small cooperative duplex houses with small yards and nice gardens.Gradually climbing higher, pass some of the Greenbelt Woods.Near the highpoint, just before the water tower, youíll have a view of the cow pastures below in the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) below.A descent along the gravel portion of Ridge Rd. quickly returns you to the lake.


Beaverdam Road West (8.0 miles, VII)

Rural-like farm roads through corn fields make-up the bulk of this route.In the BARC, itís hard to believe that youíre only a little over a mile away from the busy Capital Beltway and not in the Shenandoah Valley.Getting to the BARC from Buddy Attic Park, a steady and gradual mile long climb up to and over the top of Research Rd. affords you the reward of a similar run down along the BARCís cow pastures to Beaverdam Creek.Before you can go far down however, you may encounter a closed gate which you can pass under if closed.The gate is closed from†† 6:00PM to 6:00AM weekdays and on weekends but runners, walkers and cyclists are tolerated during daylight on the road inside.Stay on the road only (hazardous pesticides may be in-use in the nearby fields).At Beaverdam Creek, the beaverís work is evident though the beavers are rarely visible. Great Blue Herons, Snowy White Egrets and other wetland creatures are visible.Once on Beaverdam Rd. you may think youíre on a bike trail; especially in the spring.A peleton or two may pass you as local cyclists regularly train and recreate here.At rush hours, the road is busier but still not uncomfortable for most who are used to running longer distances and seeing occasional traffic.No shoulder is available on Beaverdam Rd. but an adequate one is available on the busier Edmonston Ave. and Powder Mill Rd.Climbing a hill before heading back, a right turn off Powder Mill Rd will pass you pass in front of the Agricultural Research Serviceís National Visitor Center, a log lodge structure built by the Civilian Conservation Corps 1936-1937.Return to the lake the much the same way you came.No water is available on the sunny route so you may want to drop off some for yourself before you start.


Nearby and Connecting Zones


Beltsville Agricultural Research Center

Greenbelt Park

College Park/Riverdale


What to do Afterward


Food and Drink

Generous Joeís Deli - Subs and Pizza; Centerway in the Greenbelt Town Center - 301 474-4998

Beijing - Chinese Cuisine at Centerway in the Roosevelt Mall - 301 345-3996

New Deal Cafť - 301 474-5642


Entertainment and Edification

Greenbelt Museum - historical exhibits - 301 507-6582

Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge - short hikes, waterfowl, indoor nature exhibits, tram ride301 497-5760

P & G Old Greenbelt Theater - large screen movies - 301 474-9744

Ultimate games - pick-up flying disc games in the Northway Fields (summer Sundays at 5PM).

Greenbelt Woods

Distance:††††††††† 5.4 miles

Rating:††††††††††††† IV; shady, mostly unpaved trails, moderate hills



S††††††† 0.0†††† from parking; down toward lake (unpaved)


R†††††† 0.0 ††† Lake Trail (unmarked cinder trail; water L)


BL†††† 0.2 ††† at T after bridge at dam


L††††††† 0.4 ††† trail X (unmarked; continue around lake)


S††††††† 0.9 ††† bridge on L; leave the lake (unmarked)

††††††††† 1.0 ††† bridge over stream


R†††††† 1.0 ††† at T; Greenbelt Trail (unmarked, paved ashpalt); pass volleyball & tennis cts.


BL†††† 1.1 ††† toward Recreation Center (mile 1.2, water, restrooms) and pool on left


BR†††† 1.3 ††† counter-clockwise around parking lot


L††††††† 1.3 ††† Centerway on sidewalk before Crescent Ln.; pass town center (food/drink)


R†††††† 1.4 ††† Xwalk to tunnel, under Crescent Ln


L††††††† 1.4 ††† on sidewalk at T after tunnel


R†††††† 1.5 ††† Gardenway; becomes 28 Ct Ridge Rd.


S††††††† 1.7 ††† Gladys Noon Spellman Trail (paved asphalt, unmarked) toward E. Roosevelt H.S.


L††††††† 1.8 ††† trail head into Greenbelt Woods (unpaved) opposite dedication plaque on R.See the No Bicycling sign.The trail parallels the B.W. Pkwy

††††††††† 2.0 ††† gully

††††††††† 2.1 ††† top of cemetery hill (Hamilton Cemetery is hidden 50yds to left)


BR†††† 2.3 ††† trail X; Hamilton Cemetery trail on L


R†††††† 2.5 ††† trail X/diving board bridge over gully


S††††††† 2.6 ††† exit woods, through gravel parking area


L††††††† 2.7 ††† Northway Rd. (unmarked/unpaved)


R†††††† 2.7 ††† trail head (unmarked;@ look for dirt mound and no cycling sign)

††††††††† 2.8 ††† wooden bridge


BR†††† 2.9 ††† trail X (unmarked, go uphill)

††††††††† 3.0 ††† trail X (unmarked trail is on left)

††††††††† 3.4 ††† trail X (unmarked, stay along fence)


S††††††† 3.6 ††† trail X @ deep gully (unmarked, cross gully and continue along fence)

††††††††† 3.7 ††† trail X (unmarked faint trail is sharp to left, stay along fence)


L††††††† 3.8 ††† 4 way unmarked trail X; take 2nd wider trail on L; leave the fence


BR†††† 3.9 ††† at trail split along drainage (unmarked)


S††††††† 4.0 ††† leave woods onto Laurel Ct. (unmarked)


R†††††† 4.3 ††† Hillside Rd


R†††††† 4.3 ††† ramp to Northway Stream Valley Park hiker/biker trail (unmarked asphalt path)


R†††††† 4.4 ††† Northway Stream Valley Park hiker/biker trail through tunnel under Hillside Rd.


R†††††† 4.7 ††† Crescent Ln trail (unmarked/paved asphalt)


L††††††† 4.8 ††† Cross Crescent Rd at Hillside Rd and enter woods on gravel road marked "Service Vehicles Only";toward lake.


R†††††† 4.9 ††† Lake Trail (unmarked cinder trail)


R†††††† 5.3 ††† Uphill to parking lot.(water before turn)


††††††††† 5.4 ††† Finish at Buddy Attic Park parking lot

Ridge Road

Distance: 3.4 miles

Rating:†††††††††† II; in-town paved foot trails, moderate hills, view of BARC



S†††† 0.0†† from parking; downhill towards lake (unpaved)


R†††† 0.0 Lake Trail (unmarked cinder trail; water L)


BL0.2 at T after bridge at dam


BR0.4 trail X (unmarked; leave lake)


S†††† 0.4 Lakecrest Dr on sidewalk/bike trail


CL0.6 Lakeside Dr


R†††† 0.7 Westway


R†††† 0.9 Ridge Rd

†††††† 1.0 at 14C Ridge Rd

†††††† 1.1 Southway (!)

†††††† 1.4 28 Ct Ridge Rd/Gardenway

†††††† 1.9 Northway

†††††† 2.0 51 Ct Ridge Rd.

†††††† 2.4 Research Rd. (foot path narrows)


BR2.6 Ridge Rd (donít cross Ridge Rd on crosswalk; stay on R side of road & use shoulder)


S†††† 2.7 Ridge Rd at Lastner (pavement ends and water tower is on L)

†††††† 3.0 pavement begins

†††††† 3.1 Ivy Ln


S†††† 3.3 X Crescent Rd (!) at T onto asphalt foot trail


L†††† 3.3 access road to Buddy Attic Park parking lot


†††††† 3.4 Finish at Buddy Attic Park parking lot

Beaverdam Road West

Distance: 8.0 miles

Rating:†††††††††† VII; three major hills, sunny farmland roads



S†††† 0.0†† from parking; downhill towards lake (unpaved)


L†††† 0.05 Lake Trail (unmarked cinder trail; water)


L†††† 0.4 at T (leave lake)


CR0.5 Crescent Rd on paved foot trail


L†††† 0.6 Lakewood - Northway Stream Valley Park hiker/biker trail


L†††† 0.95 ramp to Hillside Rd just after tunnel


BR1.0 Hillside Rd (unmarked)


R†††† 1.05 Research Rd

†††††† 1.2 Ridge Rd

†††††† 1.4 BARC gate (pass under if closed)

†††††† 2.05 Beaverdam Creek bridge


L†††† 2.3 Beaverdam Rd (just past gate; pass under if closed)

†††††† 3.15 one lane bridge


R†††† 3.65 Edmonston Rd(!) (use shoulder or grass)


R†††† 4.0 Powder Mill Rd. (!) (use shoulder)

†††††† 4.05 Guard Office & map; Bldg 156

†††††† 5.0 Poultry Rd

†††††† 5.25 Research Rd


R†††† 5.4 to National Visitor Center


BL5.5 through parking area; downhill just after the visitor center


R†††† 5.75 Beaverdam Rd (unmarked)

L†††† 5.85 Research Rd (pass under gate if closed)

†††††† 6.0†† woods at edge of fields

†††††† 6.15 Beaverdam Creek bridge

†††††† 6.8 BARC gate (pass under if gate closed)

†††††† 7.05 Ridge Rd.


R†††† 7.2†† Greenhill Rd


R†††† 7.55 Crescent Rd (on asphalt path)

†††††† 7.7†† Eleanor Roosevelt memorial tree


S†††† 7.9†† Lastner La (begin shoulder on Crescent Rd


L†††† 7.95 into Buddy Attic Park parking lot

†††††† 8.0 Finish at Buddy Attic Park parking lot