A Rail Trail Bike Overnight Great for Beginners!
The Torrey C. Brown Trail and the The Heritage Rail Trail Park connect Ashland, MD and York, PA, making for the perfect rail trail, overnight excursion.
Bicycle Adventurers: Leslie Aguila and Sven Eric Radhe
Accommodations: Indian Rock Campground, near York, PA, right next to the trail.
Distance: Eighty miles round trip.
Bonus: Royal Rabbit Vineyards in Parkton, MD. Weather:
The Route: Starting in Ashland, MD, Leslie followed the The Torrey C. Brown Trail north to the Pennsylvania border where the trail turns into the The Heritage Rail Trail Park. She continued north to a campground near York, PA, spent the night, and returned the next day.
These rail trails provide the opportunity for a great overnight tour, especially for relative beginners like me! They’re mostly flat along the way, but keep in mind that it can be bumpy at times and watch for foot traffic. With plenty of stops for basic needs, portable toilets, a few regular bathrooms, water fountains, cafes and restaurants, even a bed and breakfast, this trip required little planning.
What DOES require planning is being able to park overnight in the lots around the NCR trail. The Ranger is super friendly and responsive but does admit that if not given two weeks notice there is a risk of getting a ticket from local officers. (She also suggested not to make it obvious that the car is being left overnight as previous people's cars were vandalized, so no notes or visible valuables.)
Once you bike into the PA side of the trail you will notice an incredible difference in the quality of the trail and amount of things you can do right along the trail. Two spots that I've eaten at: Paesano's for the pizza and pasta, the people are really friendly and serve yummy sandwiches, and coffees at New Freedom Railroad Café. Both places are bike friendly and welcome bikers daily. You’ll find many photo opportunities biking along the water on the Maryland side and all the train tunnels in both Maryland and Pennsylvania. The bike sculptures are beautiful too!
On our way back we took a detour to visit Royal Rabbit Vineyards (Open Saturdays and Sundays, $5/person for tasting), which was a nice added bonus and not too far off the trail. Keep in mind, there are short steep hills once you are off the trail––you must earn the wine! Another site that includes information about the NCR trail: http://kelleycreative.net/ncrtrail.pdf
Tip for this Adventure:
About This Adventurer:
I work as a high school counselor and after school art teacher, and I love to spend weekends and breaks cycling (individual, group, or touring), camping, attending live musical events, rock climbing, traveling, cooking, appreciating different cultures, and being outdoors as much as possible. I love to stay busy and physically active too, which sometimes results in my sleep suffering (working on it!).
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