Northern Central Railroad Trail

Bentley Springs, Maryland 21120

Northern Central Railroad Trail

Northern Central Railroad Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A walk along 8 miles of the 20-mile Maryland section of the Northern Central Railroad Trail, a converted rail-trail through the rolling countryside of northern Baltimore County. Stow a bicycle at the south end for a 16-mile hike-bike excursion. The trail follows the railbed of one of the oldest railroads in America —the Northern Central, completed in 1838. It operated as a milk train, taking daily early-morning runs into Baltimore.

The passenger line carried Civil War wounded from Gettysburg to Baltimore, then carried the body of President Abraham Lincoln north en route to his burial in Illinois. It later become a commuter rail, with daily service to Baltimore until 1959. Special considerations: The trail is 10 feet wide, composed of crushed limestone. At the northern section there is plenty of solitude. As you approach Monkton, weekend bicycle traffic can be substantial. If you want the Monk- ton section all to yourself, travel midweek or, best of all, in winter."

Northern Central Railroad Trail Reviews

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The trail is great. My wife and I started at Bentley Springs. We walked south about halfway, 4 miles, and returned to Bentley. I believe it was aruond Parkton that we saw the outdoor gym. Along one side of the trail for maybe 100 yards there is various structures to utilize for a workout, chipup bars, incline situp boards, step climbing units etc..
Although not a very good hiking trail (too flat and boring), this is a good trail for running--it has a soft, flat "stone dust" surface. The trail can get crowded on the weekend and it is sometimes hard to find a parking spot.

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Trail Information

Bentley Springs
Nearby City
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Gunpowder Falls State Park
Local Contacts
USGS New Freedom, Hereford, Cockeysville, Maryland
Local Maps