|This picture was taken in September, a|
few weeks before the best fall colors
on the Western Maryland Rail Trail.
I envy the residents of Hancock, Maryland. They have one of the greatest loop rides in the United States right out their back door.
But don't fret; even if you don't live in Hancock, you can still experience this wonderful bike trail with just a wee bit of advanced planning.
If you are approaching the Western Maryland Rail Trail via the C & O Canal Trail, like I did, the best access spot is milepost 138. But since the two trails run nearly parallel and often close together, it's hard to miss...
The trail is 23 miles long and is paved, so it makes for smooth bike riding and carefree strolling. While on the trail watch out for turtles crossing the path. The old C & O Canal makes for perfect turtle habitat, except that the canal is flanked by heavily traveled trails on both sides. That's bad news for the turtles, but good news for bikers. If you start in Hancock, Maryland, it's quite easy to do a 45 mile loop ride utilizing the Western Maryland Rail Trail and the C & O Canal trail. Both paths are flat trails and can be done with just about any kind of bike, but a road bike would not do well on the towpath trail after any type of moisture.
Read more about the Western Maryland Rail Trail at trailsnet.com.
And, as always, we'd love to hear from you if you've ever ridden the Western Maryland Rail Trail or the C & O Canal Towpath trail. Please leave a comment below.