Western Maryland Rail Trail Tour

History buffs or those interested in a scenic bike ride are invited to take part in a guided tour featuring tales of the Western Maryland Rail Trail’s past and the plans for its future, starting at 10 a.m. on October 13 at the C&O Bicycle Shop in Hancock.
“During the tour, participants will see the relics of past modes of transportation, which played an important role in making the area what it is today,” said Park Ranger Andy Vecchio.
 The Western Maryland Rail Trail was a former railway that now serves as 22-mile long, paved walking and biking trail. A park ranger will lead the tour and explain how the former Western Maryland Railway shaped the area. Participants will also learn about the current recreational use and future expansion plans of the trail.
The guided tour will last about four hours, taken at leisurely pace and will cover approximately 20 miles round-trip. The tour is on a mostly paved, flat surface, suitable for people of most ages and fitness levels. It will be held rain or shine.
Participants should dress for the weather and pack sunscreen and insect repellant. Everyone should bring water and a snack or lunch. Bike helmets are required for riders under age 16 and encouraged for all others.
The C&O Bicycle Shop is located at 9 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Hancock, Md., 21750. The shop offers bike rentals and can be contacted at 301-678-6665.
More information on the tour is available by calling 301-842-2155 during regular office hours.
The Fort Frederick State Park complex is the home of Maryland’s premier stone fort. Fort Frederick was built by the colony of Maryland in 1756 to protect its western boundaries and as a base to attack French claims to the Ohio River valley. The Western Maryland Rail Trail is owned and managed by the Department of Natural Resources, Fort Frederick State Park complex.
  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Maryland Cyclist Severs Artery in Crash - Baltimore and Annapolis Trail

[B' Spokes: You know, maybe trails should get a safety audit every 10 years or so. Just as things along the road side have design standards for cars that might hit them (e.g. signs have to be high enough so when stuck by a car the sign goes over the top of the car and not through the windshield.) Tails and cyclists deserve the same consideration. A picket fence next to the trail... that alone does not sound like a great idea, was there an adequate clear zone? And there are probably other design considerations as well that should have been done.]
SEVERNA PARK - A 59-year-old man was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after his bike crashed into a fence along Baltimore and Annapolis Trail on Tuesday afternoon.

Just after 1 p.m., when county fire and rescue personnel arrived near the ranger station at 51 W. Earleigh Heights Road, they found the man suffering from a severed artery in his left thigh, fire department spokesman Battalion Chief Steve Thompson said.

The man had been riding his bicycle on the trail and had looked down. When he looked up, he struck a split rail-fence along the trail, Thompson said.

The man's bike went through the fence. The bike's left handlebar went through the man's thigh, Thompson said.

The bicyclist was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore by ambulance.

<a href="http://www.jems.com/article/news/maryland-cyclist-severs-artery-crash">http://www.jems.com/article/news/maryland-cyclist-severs-artery-crash</a>;
  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Torrey C. Brown (NCR) Trail Overnight Parking Policy

Recently, DNR was contacted by a bicyclist who was riding the Torrey C. Brown Trail (North Central Trail) from its beginning in Maryland to its terminus in York , PA, where he and his friends were staying overnight.  He inquired where he could leave his vehicle overnight when state park policy prohibited overnight parking at the DNR trailhead lots.  Ranger Sarah Witcher, DNR's trail manager out of Gunpowder State Park , quickly notified the cyclist about the process for trail users wanting to leave a vehicle overnight.
1.     Contact Ranger Sarah Witcher
        Area Manager
        Gunpowder Falls State Park
        PO Box 480
        Kingsville , MD 21087
2.    Provide Ranger Witcher with the following information:
A.    Dates and times you plan to be parked in the DNR trailhead parking lot 
B.    The specific parking lot you intend to use
C.    The number of participants and the general plan for your trip
D.    Your vehicle tag numbers and/or descriptions for those who plan to park overnight
3.    Once you have provided Ranger Witcher with your vehicle description and general itinerary, she will issue a document called a "use agreement" which will require your signature.
4.    Display the use agreement or some other easy identifier in your windshield on the night you leave your vehicle.
5.    Ranger Witcher will let her staff and the Natural Resources Police know, so they will not issue citations and can be aware of your presence, for your safety and that of the other park patrons.
6.    Ranger Witcher would generally like at least two weeks notice.
Land Trails Planner
Land Acquisition & Planning
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Avenue, E-4
Annapolis , MD    21401
  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Funding for Trails in Maryland

[B' Spokes: I ran across this while researching the previous article and it's cool enough to share.]

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Federal transportation funds benefit recreation including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

Maryland received $1,158,618 in RTP funds in 2010, and $5,622,664 over the course of the last five years.

In the fall of 2010, Governor Martin O’Malley announced the results of the first-ever comprehensive Maryland State Parks Economic Impact and Visitors Study at a meeting with stakeholders at New Germany State Park. According to the study, Maryland State Parks have an estimated annual economic benefit to local economies and the State of more than $650 million annually.[Emphasis mine]

  • Each year, a network of 66 Maryland State Parks welcomes nearly 10 million day visitors and 1 million visitors who stay overnight in campgrounds and cabins.
  • Maryland State Park visitors directly spend more than $567 million during their trips to State Parks, producing a total economic impact of more than $650 million annually.
  • State park visitor spending supported more than 10,000 full-time jobs and generated more than $39 million in state and local retail, gasoline, hotel, and income taxes.
  • 70 percent of spending and employment impacts are concentrated within 20 minutes of State Parks in local, "gateway communities," often in rural settings.
  • 49 percent of overnight visitors and 29 percent of day visitors are from out-of-state.
  • 95 percent of day visitors and 94 percent of overnight visitors had expectations met or exceeded during their trip to a Maryland State Park.
  • 48 percent of day visitors and 63 percent of overnight visitors come to the State Parks with children. One in 10 groups came with five or more kids.
  • Visitors ranked hiking/walking as the most popular activity in State Parks during the time of the survey followed by: general relaxation, swimming, sightseeing, and picnicking/cooking out.
  • More than 90 percent of survey respondents agree or strongly agree that Maryland State Parks offer a safe and affordable way to escape from stress, connect with nature, and offer a positive experience for their children.

“This report demonstrates that Maryland’s network of 66 State Parks is a tremendous asset to our State, providing both exciting recreational opportunities to residents and visitors and significant economic benefits.” said Governor O’Malley. “The impact of visitor spending in our communities proves that our investments in visitor experiences provide valuable returns — including job creation —that help keep Maryland smart, green and growing."

Continue Reading

  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Labor day bike trip – NCR Trail – Baltimore to York PA, round trip

by gnudarwin

Here are some typical spots along the NCR trail, which extends from Baltmore Maryland to York Pennsylvania. There are waterfalls and other beautiful places. In Pennsylvania, the old rails are still in place along the trail. I stayed in a cabin in Maryland, near the Pennsylvania border

<a href="http://gnudarwin.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/labor-day-bike-trip-ncr-trail-baltimore-to-york-pa-round-trip-bicycle-biking/">http://gnudarwin.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/labor-day-bike-trip-ncr-trail-baltimore-to-york-pa-round-trip-bicycle-biking/</a>;
  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Improvements Planned for Short Line Trail

Wheel-friendly curb aprons are planned for the trail crossing Maiden Choice Lane in Paradise.
By Bruce Goldfarb, Arbutus Patch

New curb aprons at the Maiden Choice Lane crossing are planned for the Short Line Trail in Paradise, according to a notice posted at the site.

The Short Line Trail is a two-mile path straddling the beltway that meanders from Mellor Avenue in Catonsville to Charlestown Retirement Community near Maiden Choice Lane and Wilkens Avenue.

Recently announced plans envision a short segment of the Short Line Trail being developed into a bicycle route to connect Frederick Road and the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus.

Inside the beltway, the Short Line Trail runs about a mile from Paradise Avenue, and along Baltimore National Cemetery to a point behind Charlestown.

The curb aprons will facilitate use of the trail with strollers, wheelchairs and bikes.

According to the undated posted notice, construction of the curb aprons will begin in 30 days. Markings at the curb indicate that construction has begun.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Go West - A vision for Garrett County Trails

By Steve Carr

In 1999, the Garrett County Commissioners saw that Pennsylvania’s Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) — a paved rail-trail running from Cumberland to Pittsburgh — was taking shape just to the north. This activity led officials to appoint a Recreational Trails Task Force to explore trail possibilities in Western Maryland.

Task force members developed a Master Trail Plan for the county and created Garrett Trails, a non-profit, volunteer group to implement the plan. In June 2008, the task force voted to formally reorganize Garrett Trails as the permanent organization tasked with carrying out the master plan and more generally, trail development and promotion.

Making connections

Since 2002, Garrett Trails has been focused on the ambitious goal of creating the Eastern Continental Divide Loop Trail, which is envisioned as a 200-mile hard-packed, multi-user pathway through the heart of Garrett County that creates connections between existing trails and also links with larger trail networks outside the county. (See map.)

The trail will eventually pass the Deep Creek Hydroelectric Power Plant and connect to the Fork Run Trail System. From there, the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center will be accessible along with Deep Creek Lake State Park via Route 219 bike lanes and then connect the Meadow Mountain Trail (MMT) north back to Grantsville. This impressive undertaking could take years to complete.

Read more: <a href="http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/naturalresource/summer2012/garret.pdf">http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/naturalresource/summer2012/garret.pdf</a>;
  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Baltimore County Council hearing on mountain biking in Loch Raven Reservoir [video]

Highlights from an important hearing by the Baltimore County Council on May 1, 2012 showing support for urging Baltimore City's Department of Public Works (DPW) to allow mountain biking in Loch Raven Reservoir.

Comments from:
- Councilman David Marks
- Councilman John Olszewski Sr.
- Councilman Todd Quirk
- Maryland State Senator Jim Brochin
- David Ferraro, President of the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE)
- Bob Compton, MORE Trail Liaison for Loch Raven Reservoir
- Alex Obriecht - Race Pace Bicycles and Bike Maryland
- Katie Gore - Joe's Bike Shop and Bike Maryland
- Frank Maguire - Regional Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
- David Norris Cook - Norris Automotive Group

Many others testified in support of mountain biking in Loch Raven Reservoir
  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)

Trails in Maryland - Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Trails provide many economic benefits to local communities and create a wide range of jobs, from B&B's to bike shops. They also help tell the wonderful stories of Maryland and its rich history. And hiking and bicycle trails are for the whole family. They make us all healthier and happier while opening up the natural world around us.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently working closely with the National Park Service, the Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration, Department of Planning, Office of Tourism, local governments, trail groups, and volunteer citizens on a wide assortment of trails throughout the state.

Check out some of the cool trails we are working on:

  • The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHNST)

    DNR is partnering with the Potomac Heritage Trail Association and the National Park Service to evaluate an alignment for hiking between Point Lookout State Park and Marshall Hall, potentially connecting 11 DNR-managed lands, including Chapman’s Landing (Chapman State Park), Smallwood State Park, Chicamauxen WMA, Nanjemoy Natural Resource Management Area, Wilson Farm, Purse State Park, Chapel Point State Park (on Port Tobacco River), Cedar Point (1,737 acres), New Towne Neck (776 acres) and St. Inigoes (985 acres). A natural-surface, mostly off-road trail in the Potomac River corridor, if feasible, would be a significant part of a multi-use trail network between the Chesapeake Bay and two northern termini—Point State Park in Pittsburgh and the northern terminus of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail near Johnstown.

  • Garrett Trails

    Governor O'Malley has put $300,000 in his proposed budget for trail design and environmental upgrades on state lands in Garrett County. DNR recently finalized a Trail License Agreement with Garrett Trails in Western Maryland for the proposed Meadow Mountain section of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop Trail (ECDL), from I-68 to just south of Frank Brennerman Road.

    The ECDL will eventually connect to the Greater Allegheny Passage (GAP) in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania and run through Savage River State Forest, Deep Creek Lake, Oakland, Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Park, Friendsville, and then back into the GAP at Confluence, PA.

    The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) are also assisting Garrett Trails in building sustainable mountain bike trails on The Wisp and closing rogue (illegal) trails throughout the county.

  • Western Maryland Rail Trail Phase IV

    The Maryland Department of Transportation and State Highway Administration have appropriated funds through the Transportation Enhancement Program to add another 4.7 miles to the 20-mile-long Western Rail Trail that is managed by DNR and currently runs from historic Ft. Frederick State Park, through the town of Hancock, and ending along the Potomac River at the forgotten canal town of Pearre. Over 135,000 visitors rode this very popular trail last year.

    The new trail extension will bypass the 106-year-old Indigo Tunnel located ten miles southwest of Hancock, MD within the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. This abandoned railroad tunnel is one of the largest and still healthy hibernaculums, or roosts, in the state and is home to five species of bats including the Eastern Small-footed bat listed by Maryland as endangered and the Indiana bat on the federal endangered species list. In order to reduce any chance of introducing White Nose Syndrome which has decimated bat populations along the eastern seaboard, the trail will bypass the tunnel.

    The National Park Service is the lead on this project and is currently conducting an environmental assessment. The public is welcome to comment. For more information: http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/578996/Trail-focus-of-meeting.html?nav=5006

  • The September 11th National Memorial Trail

    The September 11th National Memorial Trail is a planned 1,140-mile on-road and off-road trail connecting the three 9/11 memorial sites in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa. The trail will be a tribute to all those that perished in America's single worse terrorist attack and serve as a symbol of the resiliency and character of the communities in which the victims and their families lived and worked. The patriotic volunteers at the Memorial Trail Alliance are hoping to create a multi-use, hiking, biking, and driving pilgrimage that will officially be designated by the federal government as a national trail. The Maryland segment, running along the C&O Canal Trail, is already in place all the way to Cumberland and beyond.

  • W3R Trail

    The Washington-Rochambeau was designated a National Historic Trail in 2009, and follows the rambling route taken by General George Washington's Continental Army and French soldiers led by General Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau, starting in Newport, Rhode Island and ending in Yorktown, Virginia where British General Cornwallis surrendered. The Maryland segment of what is primarily a driving trail will include army encampments at Head of the Elk River, Lower Ferry, Bushtown, White Marsh, Baltimore, Annapolis, Scot's House, Spurrier's Tavern, Snowden's Iron Works, Bladensburg, and Georgetown. There will be an official National Park Service website up and running in early 2012, followed by Facebook and Twitter presence, and a blog for highlighting events, stories, and interactive discussion.

Like the flowers of spring, all sorts of interesting and colorful trails are popping up all over the state, from Chesapeake City up near the Delaware Line to way down in St. Mary's County at the mouth of the Potomac River, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is proud to help provide new and rewarding recreational opportunities for our citizens and visitors alike. So now that winter is over and spring is back in town, enjoy a Maryland trail. It's guaranteed to make your day!


Continue Reading

  • Currently 0.00/5
Rating: 0.00/5 (0 votes cast)