Seneca Bluffs Trail: Violet's Lock to Poole's Store

Seneca Bluffs Trail: Violet's Lock to Poole's Store, Montgomery County, MD, USA

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In Short:Two connector routes to Towpath from Poole's Store.
Summary:This is the start of the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail. The trail continues north, along Seneca Creek, to Darnestown Road and beyond. Find the connection at a small wooden bridge, about 200 feet west of the old Poole's Store. Use the Rileys Lock parking area to begin a trip on the towpath west or east, or to explore McKee Beshers.
Activities:horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, hiking
Location:Riley's Lock, C&O Canal to River Road on Riley's Lock Road, and back on Tschiffley Mill Road
  • "Lake Shore Trail" in Gaithersburg wanders around Clopper Lake, making a complete loop. It connects to other trails of the Seneca Greenway via Long Draught Trail and Mink Hollow Trail.
  • "Long Draught Trail" connects to Seneca Greenway Trail just north of Great Seneca Highway in Gaithersburg, and remains on the west side of Long Draught Branch of Great Seneca Creek. It comes to an end at the 3-way intersection on Seneca Creek Road, and becomes Lake Shore Trail.
  • "Mink Hollow Trail connects to Seneca Greenway Trail just north of Great Seneca Highway in Gaithersburg, and wanders east, crossing Seneca Creek Road and ending at Lake Shore Trail at Clopper Lake. It is marked with a grey blaze)
  • "Seneca Bluffs Trail" is the trail on the west side of Seneca Creek betwen the bridge at Pooles Store on old River Road and the bridge on Route 28, Darnestown Road. It is marked with an orange blaze (maps show yellow blaze).
  • "Seneca Greenway Trail" connects the Towpath at Riley's Lock to Great Seneca Stream Valley Park at Frederick Road (Route 355.) Beginning at Riley's Lock on the Towpath, it goes up Tschiffley Mill Road, east on River Road across the bridge at Pooles Store, then up the east side of Seneca Creek. It climbs up at Route 28 east of the bridge, crosses the road, and continues north and east along Seneca Creek. At Black Rock Road it crosses Great Seneca Creek and connects to several unnamed connectors that lead to the southern end of Schaeffer Farm Park. The Greenway Trail continues east and north along the creek from Black Rock Road and crossing under Great Seneca Highway. (Between Riffle Ford Road and Great Seneca Highway, it forms a loop.) It continues on across Great Seneca Highway and under Route 270 to Route 355. It is marked with a blue blaze. The "Seneca Greenway" encompasses all the trails in this list.
  • "Seneca Ridge Trail" begins near Black Rock Road and proceeds east along Great Seneca Creek to Riffle Ford Road, where it connects to the Seneca Greenway Trail.
Length/Surface:2.5 miles. Riley's Lock Rd is paved; Tschiffley Mill Rd is gravel/dirt.

This ride covered a distance of 2.43 miles in 0 hours, 54 minutes -- about 2.7 mph.

Bumps and Lumps:

Distance between highest and lowest altitudes on this trail is 43 feet. The average slope on this trail is 7.8%.

Trail Characteristics:Flat but very interesting, with Seneca Creek flowing under the towpath and into the Potomac.
Drinking Water:no
Water for Horses:Seneca Creek or Potomac River.
Restroom:Outhouses in the parking lot at Riley's Lock.
Access and Parking:Ample trailer parking at Riley's Lock. You may also park a trailer in front of the old Poole's Store, on Old River Road.



Distance between highest and lowest altitudes on this trail is 43 feet. The average slope on this trail is 7.8%.



Download GPX file.A GPX file is a GPS exchange format file in the format of an XML file. You can upload it to fitness tracking and mapping sites such as Strava, Gaia GPS or Endomondo, then use the matching app to load it into your smartphone and take it with you on your ride.
Download KML file.A KML file is a file format used to display geographic data in an Earth browser such as Google Earth. KML uses a tag-based structure with nested elements and attributes and is based on the XML standard. Get Google Earth free here.

Created by David Stang and his trusty partner Freckles, using GaiaGPS. Map recorded: February 13, 2018. Page last updated: March 17, 2018.