FKT: Emily Riehl - Every Trail in Cromwell Valley Park (MD) - 2024-02-24

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1h 41m 2s
GPS track(s)

Firstly, kudos to Laryssa Richards for creating this route. I've had my eye on it for a while.

Cromwell Valley Park is a wonderful park, with clearly marked, runable trails over a variety of terrain with a variable elevation profile. The start of this route is flat and fast, with the end more challenging, which is a lot of fun.

Navigation is one of the most challenging elements. I came out to scout this once in November and once in December and made significant navigation errors both times (missing loops or taking them in the wrong direction), even though I was familiar with the park already thanks to various BRRC trail races. I made a few small errors of navigation today but all were mistakes I'd made before so I caught them quickly and new exactly how far I needed to backtrack to course correct. 

There is one major loop in this park that this route misses --- that I think is within the park boundary --- and I think it would be fun for someone to create an "extended route" to grab it. This is a little loop that appears early in the Super Bowl Trail Race course, back in the wooded section but nearer to Loch Raven Drive, and involves a  brutal uphill climb when traversed counterclockwise. 

I brought poles, since I've been learning to use them, and took them out just after the second river crossing near mile 5.5 and used or held them the rest of the way. I had 500ml of water and an Precision Hydration 90g gel, neither of which I finished but both of which I was glad I had. Conditions were perfect: a little muddy but not slippery with temperatures in the high 40s. My Coros Apex 2 had this at 9.63mi, which is about what I was expecting from my scouting runs.