One of the good reasons to consider the occasional bicycle commute to campus is that we are surrounded by a beautiful trail system that you can take for big portions of your commute. In the case of Sligo Creek parkway the route is complete with a beautiful creek, lovely homes and a road that has a max speed limit of 25 mph allowing you to choose whether you prefer the trail or the road.
The trail is a relaxing and curvy route for people coming to campus from the downtown Silver Spring area, or for true road warriors you can actually ride the trail all the way to Wheaton. Some of the bridges on the trail are simple board walks traversing the creek. Others are road bridges, some of which are designed by the same architect who built National Building Museum in DC. The photos in this post show the parkway in the spring before the flowers bloom. The parkway is particularly beautiful in the fall when the autumn colors are breath-taking. The trail also features 9 parks and playgrounds along its 10.2 mile length.
To get to campus you can enter the Carole Highlands neighborhood pictured here on the left. Traffic in the neighborhood is slow and the roads are wide. On the other side of the neighborhood is the Riggs Road intersection. Please be careful there. We have a series of posts about that crossing.
Alternatively you can continue on to the Northwest Branch Trail like one of our current bike commuters describes on our maps page: https://bikeumd.wordpress.com/maps/ Look for Commuter #8.
All told the commute is about 45 minutes from downtown College Park if you start at Colesville and Sligo Creek Parkway. Sometimes the trail and the road floods so be prepared for mud on days after heavy rains.
As an added note, parts of the parkway close to traffic on Sundays, so if this is your neighborhood, take advantage of the chance to ride with your trailer in the street! From that point to Chillum Park and back is just over 12 miles so it is a nice comfortable Sunday ride with tons of playgrounds to stop at for picnics.