Montgomery Parks building trails better prepared for flash floods

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Crews with Montgomery Parks knew they were working today just to see mother nature take them a few steps back tomorrow.

There are special crews at work building new trails across the county that are more resistant to flash floods than previous trails.

“We’re going through and grading on a hillside, on a slope, and we’re following contour lines,” said Bob Turnbull, the project manager for Natural Surfaces Trails with Montgomery Parks.

The goal is to allow water to flow over the trails and not collect on it making them safer and easier to maintain.

“We’re not trying to put in more stuff that’s harder to maintain and give us more to do,” said Turnbull. “We’re going to put in stuff that gets people into nature.”


Because of the rain Wednesday, Montgomery Parks are asking users to avoid natural surface trails until at least noon Friday.

Turnbull explained that if trails don’t get around 24 hours of rest after a rain then heavy use can damage a trail, prompting the need for paths to be redone. There are also safety issues that users could run into like deep mud, slick conditions and hazards caused by the rain or flash flooding.

Once users are enjoying the trails again parks leaders hope they’ll help the department out by reporting issues like downed trees and other safety issues.

You can email them at or call them at (301)495-2595.


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