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Thursday, November 23 2017 @ 10:59 AM UTC
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A Guide to Area Trails

Bike PathsJust a short car can find a paved path along a river, lined by abundant grass and plenty of places to stop and take in the view.
[B' Spokes: That's how this article in the Patch starts. Indeed all state trails have parking lots to accommodate cars but few have bike routes to connect the trail to the local communities they are supposed to serve. And the trail itself is designed to take one away from civilization, no signs where a local convince store can be found if hungry or thirsty.

The sad bit this is how the State plans trails. The hope for the future is that the State will "Start a discussion with the TEP technical committee for on road bike accommodations." That was the highlight from last Fridays meeting with State officials anyway. ]
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C&O Bicycle shop and Hostel, Hancock Maryland on the C&O Canal [video]

Bike Paths

Other resources:
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Cycling in Maryland

Bike Paths[B' Spokes: Great resource from Cycling New England.]
Regional Maryland Bicycle Maps
Bicycle and Hiking Trails in Maryland
(not all are cycling trails)
Allegheny Highlands Trail
Anacostia River Trail Trail  is not a rail-trail
Anacostia Tributary Trail System Trail  is not a rail-trail
BWI Trail
Baltimore and Annapolis Trail Park
Calvert Cliffs State Park trailsCapital Crescent Trail
Catonsville Short Line Rail Road Trail
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park
College Park Trolley Line Trail
Downs Park Trail
Easton Rails-to-Trails
Goldmine Loop Trail
Great Allegheny Passage (Trail System Overview)
Grist Mill Trail at Patapsco Valley State Park
Gwynns Falls Trail Trail  is not a rail-trail
Henson Creek Trail Trail  is not a rail-trail
Indian Creek Trail
Indian Head Rail Trail Trail  is not a rail-trail
John Overstreet Connector
Jones Falls Trail Trail  is not a rail-trail
Kent Island South Trail
Lake Artemesia Trail
Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail
MA & PA Heritage Trail
 Matthew Henson Trail
Metropolitan Branch Trail
Middletown Road Sidepath
North Bethesda Trail
Northeast Branch Trail
Northwest Branch Trail
Number Eight Streetcar Path
Paint Branch Trail
Patuxent Branch Trail
Point Lookout Railroad Trail
Poplar Trail
Rock Creek Trail
Rosewick Road Sidepath
Savage Mill Trail
Seneca Creek Greenway Trail
Sligo Creek Trail
Snow Hill Rail-Trail
St. Mary's River State Park
Three Notch Trail
Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail
Trolley Line #9
Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail - Anne Arundel County
Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail - PG County
Western Maryland Rail Trail
Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail
Maryland Greenways
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Prince George's County priority bike trails

Bike Pathsfrom TheWashCycle by washcycle

The Prince George's County proposed 2011 Priority Projects list for the FY 2011-16 state Consolidated Transportation Program was recently released and it includes a list of 18 trail projects. Now as the letter from County Executive Baker points out, there have been a lot of budget cuts and deferrels so none of these projects are a sure thing to be built - or even designed - any time soon.
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Bicycle group wants off-road trail at city park

Bike PathsBy Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND  — Jack Murray, president of the Western Maryland Wheelmen, recommended at Tuesday’s city council meeting that the mayor and city council members consider an off-road bike trail in Constitution Park.
“The trail will be about three to four miles long and will be very similar to the trail at Rocky Gap State Park,” said Murray. “The trail wouldn’t be just for bikes it would also be open for pedestrian traffic.”
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Things to Do

Bike Pathsimage

Antietam Battlefield

The Antietam Battlefield is just four miles away and a great place for history buffs, walkers, runners, cyclists, and anyone else interested in the details of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The first Saturday in December the park holds a candle vigil - one candle for each soldier who died - a spectacular sight to behold. The annual Independence Day fireworks celebration is another must see event.

C&O Canal

We are located one-half mile from the C&O Canal, mile marker 73 and each year we get to meet hundreds of people from all over the world who are cycling or hiking through on the 184 miles of the Canal or just taking in a short section. The Canal is an important piece of American history used from the 1820's thru 1924 to access coal in the Allegheny Mountains. When the railroad industry and damaging floods closed the canal for the last time in 1924 it sat dormant until the 1970's when it became the C&O Canal Historical Park.

Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is a (crushed gravel) rail trail that connects to the C&O Canal in Cumberland, MD, and continues through the Allegheny Mountains towards Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh end is still under construction, but cyclists can currently access a continual stretch of trail from Cumberland to McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

Potomac River

The Potomac River sits in our backyard and can be accessed by the public boat ramp in Shepherdstown. This section of the river is flat and calm (unless it rains a lot), and is a great spot for fishing or recreational kayaking/canoeing.

Washington County, Maryland Bicycle Tours

If you enjoy road cycling visit Washington County, Maryland, Bicycle Tours for local cycling routes promoted by cycle-friendly Washington County, Maryland.

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Land for trails is under attack

Bike Pathsfrom 1000 Friends of Maryland:


Recent budget discussions threaten to essentialy abolish Program Open Space and all related land conservation programs in Maryland.  Contact your legislators today and urge them to reject recommendations to take dedicated open space funds to balance the state budget!   

Although the Governor had proposed to keep Program Open Space intact in his budget, we learned in yesterday's House Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) hearing that the Department of Legislative Services is recommending that all transfer tax money generated for the purpose of Program Open Space go to the General Fund and be replaced with $50 million total per year, for ALL programs, from 2013 through 2016.

Program Open Space is a nationally renowned program that works, and people across Maryland - people such as yourself - are rightfully passionate about protecting it.  This recommendation made by DLS is a sweeping change in State policy that is a breach of public trust and would essentially end Program Open Space and related preservation programs.

This recommended action strikes at the heart of the spirit and intent of Program Open Space as it was created 41 years ago. It would abolish Program Open Space!  Now is the time to inundate the Senate and House leadership with emails and phone calls, rejecting this recommendation.  

Please contact your legislators today!   You can find your legislator at

Click here to get answers to frequently asked questions about Program Open Space and this proposed attack.

Click here for a template letter you can send your legislators.  Feel free to use this language, but the more you can personalize your letter the better!

Are you a member of an organization? Sign onto our letter to the Senate telling them not to cut this critical funding!

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Bikes should be allowed at Loch Raven reservoir

Bike PathsBy Candy Thomson - Baltimore Sun

When it comes to allowing mountain bikers to ride the narrow trails around Loch Raven reservoir, Baltimore officials have waged a two-year campaign of sticking their fingers in their ears to avoid the voice of compromise.

Let's be clear: Their concern for maintaining the watershed's integrity is admirable given that the reservoir is part of a drinking water supply that serves 1.8 million customers. Loch Raven is not a park.

But these officials act as if they alone possess the wisdom to protect the watershed. In their stubbornness they refuse to acknowledge that time, and best trail-building practices, march on.

And if they are successful in bottling up bikers on a tiny portion of the watershed, what happens to access for anglers, deer hunters and hikers who also embrace open space so close to the city?

After all, if rubber tires are a menace, what of boots?

Ask them about access for other users and city officials refuse to say. Bad sign.

MORE, the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, has been lobbying for continued access — where appropriate — to the single-track trails. Members have put money and sweat equity (more than 800 hours last year alone) into proving they are good stewards.

The Department of Public Works, charged with maintaining Loch Raven reservoir, has rejected those requests, contending that single-track trails create erosion in the buffer zone that protects the water. Officials insist that the only sanctioned riding is on four unconnected fire roads.

In 1998, the cyclists and the city agreed on a plan to allow riding on 12 miles of fire roads and to have the cyclists assist in maintaining them and policing activities.

For years, the plan was largely unenforced because the city lacked the manpower. In the meantime a network of single track trails continued to grow in the woods. Naturally, anglers, hunters birders and hikers began using the narrow dirt paths as well.

But today, that plan works about as well as any other 1998 relic (As the owner of a 1997 Toyota, I say that with great respect and a certain amount of fear).

The mud hit the fan after the city revived its force of watershed rangers, who started confronting recreational users — especially bikers.

Prodded by biking groups, the City Council reacted in November 2009, passing a resolution to get both sides working on a revised mountain bike plan.

Less than a month later came the Great Unpleasantness, when the mayor who liked the idea of bike trails was convicted of gift card hanky panky and resigned weeks later to be replaced by a mayor who wasn't as enamored.

The ensuing rearrangement of the City Hall guard saw the DPW head replaced by Alfred Foxx Jr., the city's Transportation chief and a former Army Corps of Engineers colonel.

All that explains, in part, why a resolution approved in 2009 remains unfulfilled.

Now we come to the tough nut.

Yes, Loch Raven is first and foremost a reservoir and all other uses and activities take a backseat. And there's nothing bad about public officials protecting a public resource — that's what we pay them to do.

But trail construction has improved since the days of Lewis and Clark. Heck, techniques have improved in the last decade. Those advances have allowed paths to be built near sensitive places such as rivers and marshes, areas that drain into reservoir watersheds, with little threat of runoff.

Groups such as Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, American Trails and the International Mountain Bicycling Association have incorporated those practices into their trail-building projects with success and are willing to share their knowledge.

MORE and IMBA have offered to help raise $50,000 for a thorough assessment of the trails and to help close those that are a public nuisance. State Sen. Jim Brochin of Baltimore County is working to broker a deal with the help of Under Armour.

But at a City Hall meeting last Tuesday, DPW officials clutched their talking points about buffer zones, sediment runoff, and the 1998 plan like a woobie.

Riddle me this: if the integrity of Loch Raven is so sacrosanct, why is it OK to have three golf courses and a shooting range within the watershed? And why is the city allowing heavy trucks to chew up the fire roads and create chocolate-colored rivers during the muddiest time of the year?

During the Gulf War, Foxx commanded an engineering unit that built roads to move soldiers and equipment into Iraq. He also managed military public works projects in the Republic of Korea and Germany.

No doubt he is a leader who has seen and successfully adapted to change. It would be nice to see him do it again.

&quot;We've been back and forth and around and around on this,&quot; exasperated city councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke told both sides. &quot;It's bikes, gang. Bikes and sediment. We should be able to work it out.&quot;


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How wide is your cyclepath?

Bike Paths[B' Spokes: In Maryland too often the answer is 8' vs the Danish standard of 13' (4 meters)]
When I say that cycle paths here are quite often 4 m wide, I'm quite sure that a lot of people don't believe me.

An amusing way of demonstrating this occurred to me on Saturday. I put my bike sideways on a cycle path which is being resurfaced (so officially out of use, not that this stops many people) in a position where it wouldn't get in the way, but would demonstrate the width.

As you'll see, if it were possible to ride your bike sideways along here, it would still also be possible for someone to ride in the same manner in the opposite direction without any danger of crashing...
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WABA Action Alert: Rock Creek Park Trail

Bike PathsRock Creek Park Trail is in need of some serious upgrades, read more and take action here:
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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