My Top 4 Maryland Bike Rides

Periodically (i.e., whenever the whim strikes me, I’ll post my top picks on a Sunday or Monday; right now I’m aiming to post a Top Pick at least twice a month. This is the first of the My Top Picks posts. Links to the original posts will be embedded in the text. Let me know what you think of this new blog feature!

My Top 4 Maryland* Bike Rides

4. Western Maryland Rail Trail, west of Hancock
Although the east of Hancock portion is not a favorite, the half that’s west of Hancock offers interesting scenery, including views of the Potomac and the C&O Canal, as well as remnants of historical buildings. It’s mostly shaded and far from busy roads or highways.

3. Indian Head Rail Trail
The Indian Head Rail Trail is a lovely 13-mile paved path that goes through some pretty countryside. At the far end, there’re sweeping views of Matawoman Creek. In the spring when the red bud is blooming, it’s really lovely. And mostly flat.

2. NCR Trail, including the Heritage Trail continuation in PA
Since my friend introduced me to this trail, I’ve returned again and again and again. It’s easy to ride, pleasant scenery, and I’ve encountered friendly bikers and hikers and dog walkers along the trail in both Maryland and PA. There are also a couple of nice wineries near Parkton, MD, which is where I usually park.

A scenic train still runs alongside the Heritage Rail Trail near New Freedom, PA.

1. C&O Canal Towpath
I’m in love with the towpath, plain and simple. I got a bike, after 20 years of not riding, just so I could ride the towpath. I’m planning a big honkin’ 4-day ride in 2016. And I’ve ridden sections of the towpath again and again and again and again! I enjoy seeing what’s left of the locks and the lockkeepers’ houses and other structures associated with the canal. Although the quality of the path varies significantly, the history is fascinating, the ride is always interesting, and the scenery is lovely.

* I realized I’ve almost entirely been riding in Maryland. I will have to fix that in 2016! I also avoid road biking, which will not change in 2016. (However, I’d love to publish a guest blog by a dedicated road biker!!)

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One Reply to “My Top 4 Maryland Bike Rides”

  1. Great rides. I have done them all. I would add the Mt. Vernon trail in Virginia and the Capitol Crescent trail from Bethesda to Georgetown. Oh and Rock Creek Park on the weekends when Beach Drive is closed.

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