Trail Guide Map 7
This portion of the hiker/biker paved trail is about 0.8 miles. It might be called the Sligo Gorge since it is mostly hemmed in by high ridges on both sides. It also has more twists and turns along the way. The trail crosses the creek eleven time between Piney Branch Road and New Hampshire Ave. Note that on most Sunday afternoons the Parkway from Piney Branch to Maple Avenue, and again from Maple Avenue down to Old Carroll Avenue, is closed to cars.
The trail passes through dense woods for about a half mile before opening up a little for a small meadow and parking area just upstream from a handsome stone bridge at Park Valley Road. The bridge was built in 1931 and has been deemed worthy by the State Highway Administration to be included in the National Register of Historic Places, so give it a more than a glance before it is replaced sometime in 2017. The streets of the steep Sligo Hills neighborhood up from the bridge were recently improved to better protect the creek from storm water damage.
On the other side of the bridge, the trail continues to a popular picnic area at Kennebec Street. It includes a playground and good access to the creek. Past the park, Comstock Branch comes in from the right. This modest stream carves a charming glen in the hillside alongside Mississippi Avenue for a couple of blocks up to Piney Branch Road.
A little further along, the remains of an old concrete dam can be seen. It was used from about 1900 until 1930 to capture drinking water for Takoma Park and nearby communities. The U.S. Geological Survey maintains a water monitoring station adjacent to the dam. Look for a white box with a tube in the water. Data from it can be perused on our website, under Water Quality.
Rachel Carson rented a house in 1943-1944 a stone’s throw from the creek, near the intersection of Maple and the Parkway on the right bank of the creek. The small bungalow was replaced by the apartment building on the spot sometime in the 1950s. See Rachel Carson Lived Here on our website.