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Western Maryland Rail Trail

Maryland Recreation Site

Photo of Western Maryland trail

The railroad alignment along the Potomac from Big Pool to Cumberland has been converted into a "rail trail." The Western Maryland Rail Trail is a paved, multi-use trail that follows the old Western Maryland Railway for 28 miles along the Potomac. The Western Maryland Railway built a popular section of track from Hagerstown to Big Pool, then extended it to Cumberland in the early 1900s. By 1906, the Western Maryland reached Cumberland.

In 1990, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquired the abandoned section of the Western Maryland Railway and began planning a 20-mile trail through rolling farmland, towns, and woodlands. Today, the trail extends from the trailhead at Big Pool to Hancock, with a 10-mile extension beyond Hancock that was completed in 2002. Parking is available at either end of the trial (Big Pool and Hancock). This is a paved alternative to the C&O Canal towpath, popular among cyclists and rollerbladers. Combined with the towpath, the Western Maryland Rail Trail can provide a 40-mile loop trail. A 4.5 mile extension of the trail takes it to Little Orleans, Md. Passage through the 4,400-foot Indigo Tunnel is restricted, however, due to preservation effort for eight species of bats. A two-mile long bypass follows the C&O Canal towpath .

Yelp reviews for the Western Maryland Rail Trail are shown below. Read Sara D.'s review of Western Maryland Rail Trail - Hancock on Yelp

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Contact Information
Fort Frederick State Park
1100 Fort Frederick Road
Big Pool MD 21711