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Western Maryland Rail Trail

This 22-mile paved trail bisects two centuries of history & can be explored by itself or as a loop with the C & O trail.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 21.5 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This all-season, multipurpose rail trail can be enjoyed on bicycle, inline skates, hiking, snowshoeing, or nordic skiing. Some... more »

Tips:  - Utilize the amenities in Hancock. They are very welcoming to recreationalists and have most necessities within easy use of the trail... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Ernstville Rd for last eastern access to C and O Canal Towpath trail

The eastern trailhead is slightly less than one mile from here. If you take this road, it will get you to the C & O Canal Towpath trail. This is a great turtle crossing area, so ride with caution & do not molest the little critters.
Near the eastern end of the Western Maryland Rail Trail, you will find such historic points as Big Pool and ... More

2. Park Head Level Graveyard

One of the most recent visible tombstones at this cemetery is that of Susan Long who died on December 24, 1838. Most of the burials at this historic graveyard are from the early 1800s. There is an interpretive sign near the trail for more information.

3. Little Pool

As the name implies, this is literally a (nearly mile long) pool of water. It was originally part of the main channel of the Potomac and was utilized as one of the water supplies & transfer areas for the C & O Canal. It is now a popular fishing hole.

4. Hancock, Maryland

This quaint little Maryland town makes a great starting or stopping spot for both the Western Maryland Rail Trail and the C & O Canal Towpath trail. It is a true trail town with food, beverages, trail services, bike rental, & lodging not far from either of the trails.

5. Round Top Cement Mill

This cement mill operated from 1863 to 1909 and produced cement for such famous projects as the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol.

6. Woodmont Waiting Shed

What do Amos & Andy, Babe Ruth, Gene Tunney, and seven American presidents have in common?
They have all waited at the Woodmont Waiting Shed (normally after a Maryland hunting expedition) for a ride on the Western Maryland Railway.
The area is now part of the Woodmont Natural Resources Management Area.
As you can see by the accompanying photos... More

7. WMRT Pearre Station Trailhead and parking area

This is probably the best place from which to join the WMRT if you are coming from the C & O Canal Towpath. You will also find a trailhead with ample parking at this spot.

8. C & O Canal Towpath trail viewing areas

Since the C & O Canal trail and the Western Maryland Rail Trail are often a stones-throw away, you will have numerous viewing opportunities to see from one trail to the other.