Silver Spring is an unincorporated area in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It had a population of 76,716 according it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown.
The urbanized, oldest, and southernmost part of Silver Spring is a major business hub that lies at the north apex of Washington, D.C. The downtown area of the Silver Spring community has recently undergone a significant renaissance, with the addition of major retail, residential, and office developments.
Rock Creek Park passes along the west side of Silver Spring, and offers hiking trails, picnic grounds, and bicycling on weekends, when its main road, Beach Drive, is mostly closed to motor vehicles.
Sligo Creek Park follows Sligo Creek through Silver Spring; it offers hiking trails, tennis courts, playgrounds and bicycling. The latter is facilitated on weekends, when parts of Sligo Creek Parkway are closed to autos. The bike trails are winding and slower than most in the region. Recently, rocks have been spread along either side of the road, providing a hazardous bike ride, or skating leisure.
Downtown Silver Spring hosts several entertainment, musical, and ethnic festivals, the most notable of which are the Silverdocs documentary film festival held each June and hosted by Discovery Communications and the American Film Institute, as well as the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade (Saturday before Thanksgiving) for Montgomery County. The Silver Spring Jazz Festival has become the biggest event of the year drawing 20,000 people to the free festival held on the second Saturday in September.
The major roads in Silver Spring are mostly 3 to 5-lane highways. The Capital Beltway can be accessed from Georgia Avenue (MD 97), Colesville Road (US 29), and New Hampshire Avenue (MD 650).
Silver Spring is serviced by the MARC Train, Metrorail Red Line, Metrobus, Ride On, and the free VanGo. The Purple Line light rail construction is planned to begin in 2015.