Rails To Trails: Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia
by Barbara A. Noe (The Globe Pequot Press)
© 2000 Barbara A. Noe/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.
I traveled the entire length of this trail on my bike and my I must say it is a very good trail. If you want to start from the beginning of the trail, I suggest you arrive at the parking lot well before 9 am as it fills quickly since there is only enough parking for about 10 cars. If you dont get there early you can always parking in one of the other parking lots along the trail. The farther north you go the less crowded it will be. Most of the trail is pretty well shaded by trees so it shouldn't be to hot in the summer. The only problem I found with this trail is that people ride their horses on this trail in the northern parts of the trail and leave the horse's droppings behind ON THE TRACK.
Beautiful rail trail, but it can be very crowded. Once we were riding north to the PA state line and hit 500 runners in a marathon. Also the PA state line is not marked so we ended up ridding an extra 4 miles into a little PA town before we realized where we were. Only that town and Monkton are there places to eat. Carry food and drink. Go another 20 miles on a connector trail and you hit York, PA for a total of 80 miles round trip.
Great Trail that is relatively flat and easy to bike/walk. There are few shops and rest rooms about 1/2 way through. There are no trash cans along the trail or at the stop, so be sure to keep your trash with you.
I have cycled the combined North Central Railroad (NCR) Trail and York County Heritage (YCH) Trail many times both in sections and the entire length, up and back. It is a well maintained trail and a fantastic resource for walkers, joggers, cyclist, horseback riders and others. I generally begin my rides at the south terminus (Ashland) and cycle north. The trail is fairly flat until you reach MP15 where the grade increases to the MD-PA border. After crossing the state line, near New Freedom, the grade declines all the way to York, PA. It is not bad but is noticeable. In general, I find the MD NCR, which parallels the Gunpowder Falls River, to be more scenic, shadier and with a quieter surface than the PA YCH which seems to focus more on the historic. The trail can get crowded near the trailheads on weekends and holidays but is for the most part peaceful. There are many places to access the trail and plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat along the way. Recommended.
A very easy ride. We parked at Parkton and rode the trail north all the way to the PA line. It is a very gradual upgrade that you hardly notice. My bike meter said it was 7.2 miles and at our pace it took us 1 hour and 1 minute. On the return trip back south we stopped at one of the picnic tables for lunch and it was so peaceful as we had lunch and listened to the water running in the stream over the rocks. Our return trip took only 35 minutes. Very little bike traffic.
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