This all-season, multipurpose rail trail can be enjoyed on bicycle, inline skates, hiking, snowshoeing, or nordic skiing. Some... more » portions of the trail (grassy area beside the trail) can also be enjoyed on horseback.
With the bike-friendly town of Hancock located smack-dab in the middle of the trail, this route is easy to reach, easy to use, and easy to love. One of the unique and extremely attractive calling cards for this trail is the option to make it into a loop trail by combining it with the C & O Canal Towpath trail that runs all the way from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. In fact many C & O through-riders enjoy the respite of detouring onto the smoothly paved Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT)as a break from the bouncing dirt path of the canal trail. Since the two trails run nearly parallel to one another, they make perfect companion trails.
The WMRT can be accessed from near Fort Frederick State Park on the east end, Old Pearre Rail Station on the west end, or from the town of Hancock in the middle. Whichever route you take, the town of Hancock makes a nice staging area due to the local availability of lodging, camping, shopping, dining, & bike shops.
Some of the historic points of interest near the trail include: Fort Frederick State Park, the old Round Top Cement Mill, Hepburn Orchards Fruit Market, Old Pearre Station, Big Pool, and Park Head Cemetery.
Each season brings a new attraction to the trail with snow sports in the winter, wildflowers in the spring, wildlife viewing & apple harvest in the summer, and fall foliage in the autumn. And with Washington D.C. & numerous Civil War exhibits nearby, there are year-round attractions for nature lovers, history buffs, outdoor recreationalists, and active travelers galore. less «