This 5-day bicycle tour begins at Fort Washington Park, using the signed PHT bicycling route in Prince George’s County, and follows 238 miles of on-road routes, averaging 41 miles a day for the first four days, with options for short-cuts on each day, 52 miles back to La Plata on the last day, and another 20 miles back to Fort Washington Park. The route is described in the Adventure Cycling Association "Tidewater Potomac Heritage" map set and is part of the Southern Maryland PHT Bicycling Route between Point Lookout and Oxon Cove Park.
The tour begins at Fort Washington Park, the only permanent fortification built to defend the river approach to the Nation’s capital. Follow the route south to Smallwood State Park, and then cut across through Pisgah to Port Tobacco where you can explore and eat lunch. Chapel Point Road will take you Bel Alton.
Head back down to Pope’s Creek, across Rt. 301 and up through Amish country to Charlotte Hall for lunch. After lunch riders can visit the nearby farmers’ markets and/or bike a 13-mile loop to the lake and Gilbert Run Park. Here you can enjoy fishing, pedal boating, row boating and canoeing from March to November.
The route passes many Amish farms as you dip down to Chaptico, Bushwood, and Avenue, along St. Clements Bay. Grab lunch along the bay and then cycle back up and around to Leonardtown. You can paddle here as well.
Out of Leonardtown, follow backcountry roads down to Valley Lee, up to Great Mills, and then Route 5 to St. Mary’s City. This quaint, historic town along the river is a perfect place to grab a bite to eat. Then continue down Route 5 toward Point Lookout to the 1828 Lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula, with the Potomac River on one side and the Chesapeake Bay on the other. There is also a nature center in Point Lookout State Park and a Civil War Museum to explore (entry fee). Retrace the route back a few miles to Wynne where you can watch the sun set over the Potomac.
This is a long day, so you may want to get an early start as you head back to La Plata. Once you get back to La Plata, you will need to go the 20 extra miles to get back to Fort Washington, if that’s where you left your car.
Region: Southern Maryland
Last updated: August 2, 2017