Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Rails to Trails

There are a lot fewer active railroad lines in the United States then there were at the peak of rail roads in America.  There is a huge push across the country to convert the abandoned rail road right of ways into trails.  This one is on a trail that runs from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The first 15 miles of it from Cumberland to Frostburg Maryland is very steep, rising over 1,500 feet in about 10 miles, but the rest of the trail is low grade, less then 3%, very easily rideable.  Railroad lines make excellent trails, in part because for the most part the rail roads changed elevations very gradually, making them easy to hike or ride a bike on.

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad runs from Cumberland to Frostburg.  The ride is wonderful, passing through a couple of tunnels and around a great horseshoe bend.  For a small fee you can load your bike on the train up the mountain side.  The ride back down is mostly a coast, very easy and very fun.  Try it, you will enjoy it.  I look forward to being back on the bike in a few months.  I need to go ride this again.

The C&O trail from DC, ends at Frostberg (though there are some gaps that require riding on busy streets) making it possible to ride from DC to Pittsburgh.  I have ridden a couple of segments of the ride.


  1. ooooooh, another goal - ride from WAS to PGH!

  2. I LOVE RAILS TO TRAILS! You should try the Greenbrier Trail in WV, the New River Trail in VA, and the Virginia Creeper Trail from Abington to Damascus (and on up to Whitetop Mountain, but you REALLY want to be shuttled up, and ride down to Damascus, then to Abington).

    I've ridden all three from end to end, and they are spectacular!

    Peace <3