The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is at Paint Branch Trail, 4289 Metzerott Road, College Park. The course is run on a mixture of asphalt trail paths and wooden footbridges. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please give way to other park users. This won't hurt your time, it won't stop you from getting a PB and it will make sure everyone continues to enjoy the event.

Please, wherever possible walk, jog, cycle or use public transport when attending the event. If you do have to drive, please consider car-sharing to reduce our impact on both the environment and other park users. Please also watch out for other park users when arriving and leaving. Parking may be limited so try to arrive early.

Course Safety

College Park parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the event as safe as possible, so participants, spectators and helpers are asked to take care about the following:

  • Please be considerate to the park and other park users at all times.
  • Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm's reach) throughout the run by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice.
  • Please arrive by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport if you can - your efforts help to reduce our impact on the park and the planet.
  • Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - this event survives only because of your generosity - please visit the volunteer page for more information.
  • Take care near roads and car parks - some vehicles drive very quickly. Please congregate away from the cars and be careful in particular if you have children. If you’re driving to the run, please drive carefully even if you’re late!
  • When running, take care on uneven surfaces – whether on grass or on tarmac. Watch out for cyclists, other runners, pedestrians, children, dogs, wildlife, park animals, vehicles, park maintenance work, falling branches, bollards, posts and other obstacles around the course.
  • Please ensure that you are fit enough to walk, jog, run 5k (3.1 miles) with us.
  • Remember to warm up before the run.
  • If you see a runner with a serious problem, please stop to help them out and get help as soon as possible.
  • If you’re watching, keep clear of runners on the course, and look after any children and dogs you may have with you.
  • It is not permitted to run with a pushchair and a dog at the same time.
  • Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Consider protecting yourself by wearing repellent when at parkrun events in grassy or wooded areas. See for further details.
  • You are welcome to take part with one dog by your side, within reach at all times, on a short, handheld, non-extendable lead. Please also see this Support Site entry for further details about parkrunning with dogs.
  • Runners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take care of others around you and do your best to start at an appropriate place in the field for your pace.

We hope these tips help to ensure that College Park parkrun is fun and safe for everyone.

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help parkrunners compare results.

Age Grading takes your time and uses the world record time for your sex and age group to produce a score (a percentage). This score allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances even though they might be a different age and a different sex to you - the higher the score the better the performance. The scores can also be compared across different race distances - to allow you to, for example, compare a 5km time against a marathon.

For more information, please see our Support page.

Course Map

Course Description

The course is an out-and-back route on the Paint Branch Trail, just north of the University of Maryland. Starting just north of Metzerott Rd, runners head north along the bike trail, under Rte. 193, through a ‘tunnel of trees’, past a ‘tornado damage area’, and over several wooden bridges. The turnaround is shortly before the trail reaches Cherry Hill Rd. The course is flat and almost entirely shaded.


Toilets. Summer only: at playground just west of the start/finish. The nearest bathrooms year-round are at the businesses along Route 1.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts just north of Metzerott Rd.

Getting there by public transport

From Greenbelt Metro station, take the C2 bus (Wheaton Station). Exit at Baltimore Ave. and Metzerott Rd. (about 6 stops). Walk 100 yards downhill on Metzerott Rd.
From College Park Metro station, take either the 86 bus (Calverton) or the 83 bus (Cherry Hill). Exit at Baltimore Ave. & Tecumseh St. (about 4 stops). Walk 1 block north, cross Baltimore Ave, and walk 100 yards downhill on Metzerott Rd.

Alternatively, walk (30 mins), bike (10 mins) or Uber ($5) from College Park Metro.

Getting there on foot

The start is easily reached on foot or by bike on the Paint Branch Trail, which connects to many other area trails. The trail abuts the Univ. of Maryland campus. The start is a 7 minute walk from the footbridge behind The View.

Getting there by road

Directions to limited parking next to the START
From Route 1 (Baltimore Ave), turn West onto Metzerott Rd. (landmark: Rita’s Italian Ice). At the foot of the hill the Paint Branch Trail crosses the road. The start is directly on the right. There are three small parking lots just beyond the trail.

Directions to ample parking near start and post-run coffee
On most Saturdays there is ample free parking in University of Maryland Lot 11b, a pleasant 0.4 mile walk to the start, and convenient for post-run coffee. This lot is unavailable before football games and other special events ? check signs for restrictions. Enter the Univ. of Maryland campus at Route 1 and Campus Drive. Turn right onto Paint Branch Drive. Drive 1/3 mile and turn right into the lot. Park in the SE corner next to the Paint Branch Trail and walk 0.4 miles north to the start. Post-run coffee and snacks can be found directly across the footbridge from this lot.
Our course map shows this parking location.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in The Board & Brew, 8150 Baltimore Ave, College Park - please come and join us!