Grand History Trail


The Grand History Trail is a conceptual network of trails encompassing Baltimore, MD; Annapolis, MD; Washington, DC; Frederick, MD; Gettysburg, PA; and York, PA – a region rich in the stories and commemorative sites of our country’s history

The Grand History Trail will expand upon 100-miles of existing, disconnected trails, including such popular trails as Pennsylvania’s Heritage Rail Trail and Maryland’s North Central Railroad, Jones Falls, Gwynns Falls, Stoney Run and Patapsco Trails; and Washington DC’s Metropolitan Branch Trail, to create a 185-mile circular pathway for non-motorized travelers. The pathway will also offer connections to much larger trail networks, such as the East Coast Greenway, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath, and the Great Allegheny Passage, offering opportunities for non-motorized, inter-modal travel along the entire east coast and westward across Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The Grand History Trail has enormous potential to connect densely populated, metropolitan areas to numerous existing heritage sites of national significance, such as the Gettysburg National Military Park, Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park, and Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. The Grand History Trail will offer non-motorized travelers a unique way to visit this heart of America’s history, combining physical activity with learning and exploration.


Beginning early in 2005, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has hosted a series of meetings to introduce local, state, and federal agencies to The Grand History Trail concept and to begin formulating a vision for its development. A working group comprised of trail managers, advocates, and agency representatives is charting a course of action for this project.

RTC continues to work with the partners to focus on such areas as mapping, publicity, inventory of heritage resources, coordinating information sharing among trail representatives, facilitating trail planning efforts, channeling funding information, and development of interpretive themes.

An electronic contact list has been established to provide periodic updates to those individuals and agencies that may have a vested interest in the Grand History Trail project. If you would like to be added to this contact list or have additional questions, please contact:

Kelly Pack
Manager of Trail Development, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
E: kellyp"at"
P: 202.974.5148

The map displays routes in four different color-coded phases:
* DARK GREEN: Existing (completed off-road trail, may include a signed or striped on-street route as part of a trail system)
* LIGHT GREEN: Planned (planned off-road trail, may include a planned signed or striped on-street route as part of a trail system)
* PINK: Temporary (interim on- or off-road route until nearby planned trails are completed)
* RED: Gap (on-street route where there is no planned off-road trail)
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