Upper Paint Branch Limited Area Trail Plan (UPB LATP)

Division: Park Planning and Stewardship
Bookmark and Share

Graphic: Images of trail user icons with the title text of the Upper Paint Branch Local Area Trail Plan logo

The public is invited to help in the development of a trail plan in the Upper Paint Branch Watershed. Your input will help us make this the best trail plan possible for the Paint Branch.

Update | Background | Public Input | Calendar & Meeting Notes | Contact Us


A second public meeting was held on November 8, 2017 to present preliminary ideas to the public and gather more input for the plan. – review the PowerPoint presentation (PDF, 3MB).

What’s Next?

Preliminary plan recommendations and a Working Draft Plan will be presented to the Planning Board in the Spring. Check the calendar below for more details.

The public is encouraged to submit comments online and contact the Project Coordinator for additional information.


Upper Paint Branch Stream Valley Park is one of the Commission’s thirteen Best Natural Areas (BNAs) in Montgomery County.  BNAs contain the best examples of park natural resources, including features such as large wetlands, high quality aquatic resources and forests, diverse native vegetation, uniquely spectacular topography and bedrock formations and/or unique habitats that are scarce and/or fragile.

Parkland in the Upper Paint Branch has been acquired primarily to protect sensitive resources, including a high quality (class III) fishery with a self-sustaining brown trout population, large areas of forest that provide important habitat for many migratory bird species, three plant species considered rare in the State of Maryland, and several unique archaeological resources.

At present, this park does not offer adequate access to the public. There are numerous people’s choice natural surface trails to gain access to the park. Park staff, in an effort to manage both the park’s sensitive resources and the public’s use of the park, are initiating a natural surface trail planning process to provide public access via sustainable natural surface park trails, while at the same time minimizing impacts to the park’s natural and cultural resources. This process will begin with a review of the park’s resources and an understanding from the public’s perspective about how they currently use the park and connect to community facilities such as schools and recreation centers.

The Planning Process

The planning process for this project includes two public meetings, a public hearing, and worksession(s) with the Montgomery County Planning Board.

At the first public meeting, park staff will review the current park conditions, the existing relevant policy for trail-related recommendations in area master plans (listed below), and the 2016 Countywide Park Trails Plan. 

Existing Relevant Policy

Park staff will continue to solicit public input on access to and through the park. This information will be used in conjunction with staff research and knowledge to develop a  preliminary natural surface trail plan aimed at striking the best balance between public access and resource stewardship for presentation at the second public meeting. – view the  Public Meeting #2 presentation (PDF, 3MB). 

Staff will then fine-tune the preliminary recommendations and present a draft plan to the Montgomery County Planning Board for review and approval. The public will then be able to testify at the Public Hearing about the draft plan and any park-related concerns they may have.


Tell us what you think!

Help make our trail system the best it can be. Ideas and comments from the public are welcome throughout the planning process. There will be multiple chances to weigh in on this plan throughout the Planning Board approval process.

Public Outreach

Public outreach for this project includes this project web page, public meetings, focus group meetings, media releases and email campaigns to individuals and registered Homeowner and Civic Associations.

Notices and updates will be sent out through the Commission E-newsletter, our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #FutureTrails and via the Parks Department Media Center.


Please find information below related to the plan schedule, meeting notices, memos to Planning Board and County Council, and presentation materials.

Winter – Spring Staff Research and Analysis  
June 22 Public Meeting #1 – Information gathering and public input opportunity – meeting notice (PDF, 177KB), –  presentation (PDF, 3MB) Marilyn J Praisner Library 14910 Old Columbia Pike Burtonsville, MD 20866
Summer Staff Analysis – Parks Staff development of the Preliminary Plan Recommendations
November 8 Public Meeting #2 – Presentation of the Preliminary Plan Recommendations and Public input opportunity. –meeting notice (126KB, PDF), powerpoint presentation (PDF, 3MB). Marilyn J. Praisner Library 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866
Spring Planning Board Presentation –Preliminary Recommendations, Working Draft Plan Presentation. The public is welcome to attend; public testimony will not be taken. – meeting notice (coming), presentation (coming) M-NCPPC – Montgomery Regional Office (MRO)Auditorium 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910* Times for Board items are subject to change, please check the Planning Board Agenda before the meeting.
Public Review Period – Parks Staff invites you to review the Hearing Draft document, for the public to give testimony to the Planning Board at a public hearing. – Public Hearing Draft Document (coming)
Planning Board Public Hearing – Final public testimony taken. – meeting notice (coming), presentation (coming) M-NCPPC – Montgomery Regional Office (MRO)Auditorium 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Planning Board Worksession(s) – Final review before plan approval. M-NCPPC – Montgomery Regional Office (MRO)Auditorium 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Plan Approval  


Chuck Kines, Project Coordinator
M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks, 95OO Brunett Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20901
Charles.Kines@MontgomeryParks.org | (301) 495-2184

Last Updated: March 6, 2018