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Old 09-20-08, 08:47 AM   #1
donheff
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NCR Rail Trail trip report

My wife and I joined another couple in a ride on the Northern Central rail trail from north of Baltimore to York Pennsylvania the other day. It was a very nice, relaxing trip. The trail runs about 41 miles from Hunt Valley, MD to York Pennsylvania. The surface is a mix of packed gravels and stone-dust varying from limestone to old pottery factory shards. It was an excellent surface for our 700/32c's and was OK for our companions' road bikes. We rode out from the Maryland end on Thursday, spent the night in Yorkstown and rode back Friday morning. The trail involves a gradual climb to the midpoint at New Freedom, PA. This makes it ideal for a relaxing ride. You climb the first 20 miles in each direction and then cruise down to the finish on the second half. The trail takes you through beautiful rolling countryside and a number of picturesque railroad towns. On both trips we stopped for lunch at a preserved railroad station in New Freedom. Made for a nice stop. In York, we stayed at the Yorktowne Hotel, a couple of blocks from the trail. the Yorktowne is a nice place, very welcoming to trail riders. They gave us a choice of storing our bikes in their garage or our rooms. We opted for the rooms which were spacious enough to take the bikes without crowding. The hotel restaurant is the home of an "Iron Chef" contestant and was great -- a very pleasant surprise.

I forgot to take my camera but here are a few photos I found out and about on the web.

A train tunnel about five miles from Yorktown:


The former New Freedom Station where we stopped for lunch:


The Yorktowne Hotel:


A random shot along the trail from the trail website:
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Old 09-20-08, 08:54 AM   #2
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I'd wanted to do this ride on an overnight tour, but I couldn't find any place to camp near the Maryland end. Pity.
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Old 09-20-08, 05:36 PM   #3
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Looks like a great trail. I hope to do a ride like that with the wife one day after were finished with college (not ours the kids). We have a very nice trail about 6 miles from our house and that is about as far as we can afford to travel for the near future.
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Old 09-20-08, 11:12 PM   #4
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Nice pics. Nice ride.
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Old 09-21-08, 07:37 AM   #5
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Good pics--I used to live just a few miles from Monkton, MD, where there is also a restored train station. The stream that runs along the trail is a premier trout stream now, but used to be a "dead" stream, and along with the trail, the stream was cleaned up, stocked, and is in excellent shape once again. Sure do miss that area--lots of great mtn.bike trails around the York, PA. area also.
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Old 09-21-08, 09:40 AM   #6
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Thanks for the report, Don. Amazed that Ye Olde Yorktowne Hotele let you put your bikes in your rooms. Did they look at your bikes first and notice that they weren't grimy/oily?
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Old 09-21-08, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Good pics--I used to live just a few miles from Monkton, MD, where there is also a restored train station. The stream that runs along the trail is a premier trout stream now
Most of the trail is along streams. The Gunpowder River runs along much of the Maryland portion. I saw a fair number of people fishing. A kid and his father/brother were fishing off a little bridge - idyllic scene, wish I brought my camera.

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Amazed that Ye Olde Yorktowne Hotele let you put your bikes in your rooms. Did they look at your bikes first and notice that they weren't grimy/oily?
They didn't hesitate. It surprised me too. I thought they would insist that we lock them up in their garage.
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