|Trees on the Woodmoor side of the creek near the Williamsburg Drive entrance.|
|The trails along Northwest Branch in Burnt Mills.|
Green= Rachel Carson Greewnay Trail.
Blue= Northwest Branch Trail.
Red= Unrecognized Northwest Branch Trail south of Route 29.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Entry: The dead end of Lockridge Drive, enter between the guardrails.
This access point connects to the unrecognized section of the Northwest Branch Trail which runs along the Woodmoor side of the creek. Since this trail is not maintained by M-NCPPC, there is no signage marking the entrance. This access trail follows a tributary stream to the bottom of the hill, where it joins the mainline trail which parallels the stream to Route 29 and beyond. Once at the bottom of the hill next to the creek, hikers can turn left to head north towards Route 29, or right to head south towards the Beltway. Note that the mainline trail ends several hundred yards before reaching the Beltway bridge due to terrain changes, so there is no access to the Beltway bridge or points south from this side of the creek (unless you're up for climbing over some boulders and ascending 60 degree slopes).
The access trail from Big Rock to the creek is moderately difficult, with a long steady hill and a few fallen trees across the path. The mainline trail ranges from easy to very difficult, with some grades being completely flat, and others being so steep that you have to use your hands to climb up (which is why the M-NCPPC does not recognize it as an official trail). However, this trail offers the best views of the rapids and large boulders along the creek just south of Burnt Mills (which is, in my opinion, one the most scenic places in Montgomery County aside from Great Falls).
Devere Drive & Branch View Court
Trail Difficulty: Moderate
Entry: dead end of Devere Drive, enter to the left of the guardrail.
This access trail is not in Four Corners, but it provides the closest trail connection to the Beltway bridge from a street. To get to this location, turn onto Cresthaven Drive from New Hampshire Avenue, then take a right on Devere Drive and go to the end of the road. It is located deep in the neighborhood, but entering the woods here is more direct than entering at Burnt Mills if you're trying to get to the Beltway bridge and points south. This trail connects to the Rachel Carson Greenway Trail (east side of the creek, section south of Route 29). I believe this access point is recognized by M-NCPPC, since it appears on their maps as well as Google Maps. The trail descends a fairly steep slope to get to the mainline trail along the creek bed, but it is easily passable if you go slow (there are no fallen trees or large rocks in the way). To get to the Beltway bridge, turn left at the base of this access trail and go south on the mainline trail (you'll hear the bridge before you see it).