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What is the Maryland:  A Greener Way To Go Trails Plan?

In response to growing interest in trails, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) led a comprehensive interagency planning effort to develop a long-term strategic plan that will guide implementation of a seamless trail network throughout the State. The Maryland Trails: A Greener
Way To Go Plan communicates a vision for trail development in Maryland and provides policy direction for partner agencies and local governments. The Plan serves as a coordinated and strategic approach for developing a connected system of trails throughout the State, improving existing trails, and ensuring smart planning for future trail development.

The Maryland Trails Plan follows a framework that is common to strategic plans:

  • Goals - set a broad strategic direction for Maryland’s trail network.

  • Objectives - break down the Goals into manageable components that help to guide future implementation strategies.

  • Performance Measures - track progress toward objectives and in turn towards goals through quantitative metrics.

  • Implementation Strategies - provide specific actions to take to improve the performance of Maryland’s trail network and attain the Plan's goals.


2009 Maryland Trails Strategic Implementaion Plan

TSIP - Final Document (PDF format)
TSIP - State of Trails (PDF format)
TSIP - Transportation Trail Planning (PDF format)
TSIP - Outreach (PDF format)
TSIP - Trail Inventory (PDF format)


How was the Trails Plan developed?

Marylanders want safe, well maintained trails that provide expansive connectivity to places of interest. Given Maryland’s history in pursuing “smart growth”, MDOT sees an opportunity for Maryland’s trails to be utilized more effectively as a practical travel option and to enable trail planning to look beyond traditional recreation purposes. This strategic planning effort advocates for an integrated Statewide trail system that supports access, mobility, and critical linkages. MDOT recognizes the important role that partner agencies and local governments play in making Maryland’s trails a world class multi-purpose system. In order to achieve this vision, the Plan outlines shared goals and objectives that will serve as guidance for State agencies and local governments when developing trail systems. This coordinated approach to Maryland’s trail development encourages collaboration, strengthens partnerships, promotes a more inclusive planning process, and provides valuable direction for partner agencies and local governments.

          Bike path leading to business district          

Why is the Trails Plan important?

We want the Plan to become a living document that supports State agencies and local governments in creating a connected trail network. MDOT collaboratively developed the Plan in the following ways:


Advisory Committee
– MDOT invited partner agencies and representatives of local governments to jointly develop the Plan. These partners are represented on the Trails Plan Advisory Committee, which acted as the guiding body throughout the development of the Plan. Advisory Committee members represent the following partner agencies:
Maryland Association of Counties

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland Department of Planning

Maryland Department of Transportation

Maryland Municipal League

Maryland State Highway Administration

Maryland Transit Administration

Stakeholder Outreach – MDOT conducted interviews directly with stakeholders across the State that represent an array of interests (i.e., bicycle groups, pedestrian groups, Departments of Parks & Recreation, local governments) as well as with partner agencies involved in Maryland’s trail development in order to gather information on trail issues related to transportation and of Statewide importance.
Consultation and Coordination of Planning Activities – MDOT reviewed relevant plans and studies to ensure that the Plan is consistent with planning efforts and initiatives in the State.

MDOT developed draft goals and objectives using the cross-cutting themes and information we received from stakeholders and partner agencies. Under the guidance of the Advisory Committee, MDOT developed performance measures to track progress toward meeting the Plan goals and objectives and will also cultivated specific action oriented strategies to implement the Plan.