After a frustrating weather pattern in the Mid-Atlantic of warm, beautiful weekdays followed by cold, gray weekends and a slow start to our biking season, Robin and I got the chance to ride one of the more picturesque sections of our favorite (not so far away) bike trail last weekend.
The Bentley Springs trail head of the NCR (Northern Central Railroad) Trail, now known as the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, is about 5 miles south of the Mason-Dixon line in Parkton, MD. Once on the trail you cross the state line into Pennsylvania, ant the trail becomes the “York County Heritage Rail Trail”. Then you arrive in New Freedom, which is the high elevation point of the 40 mile trail that runs between Cockeysville, MD and York, PA.
New Freedom is also the southern terminus of the Northern Central Railway train ride. On Front Street, where the train is boarded, you’ll find the New Freedom Rail Trail Café. It’s been a favorite refreshment stop of ours since we’ve discovered the Pennsylvania side of the trail. April, 2015 the Rail Trail Cafe reopened for the season under new ownership with the “New Freedom” prefix added to its name. I chose Bentley Springs as our first long ride’s departure point for its proximity to the cafe, knowing I wanted to start off easy and work in a lunch stop on our return. We rode 10 miles north and turned around between the towns of Railroad and Glen Rock, PA.
Being the high point of the trail, Robin and I like to use New Freedom as our turnaround point, or at least a rest stop so that the return will be downhill. The route we frequent most often on the NCR is from Monkton, MD to New Freedom. It’s a 28.5 mile round trip. At one time or another, we’ve seen every mile of the 40 between Cockeysville and York, but haven’t done the whole thing at once. It’s on the bucket list to have someone drop us off in York and ride to the south end in Maryland.
With many weeks left in the Mid-Atlantic bike season, Robin and I are excited to explore many more trails, some of our favorites, and new ones along the way.
What are your favorite trails to ride? Comment below and let me know some of your suggestions!
My name is Rob, and my wife/ partner in crime is Robin. We’ve been together for a little over three decades, and married 27 years. We have a daughter and son, both in their 20’s and we have one grandson who will have his first birthday in July. I have many interests and hobbies, including all forms of mechanized transportation. I’m a tinkerer who has been riding, maintaining and rehabilitating bicycles since around 8 years old.
This year, 2016, will be our 5th year of biking adventures around our home state of Maryland, and into Pennsylvania and Delaware. Maryland has the nickname of “America in Miniature” and we experience the whole state from the rail trails of the Allegheny Mountains out west, to our neighborhoods in the Northeast, to the Atlantic beach resorts.
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