" And again, the weekend crowds can cause big problems. People with dogs. People riding 4 abreast. Hammer heads flying around like there is no one else using the trail. The usual stuff you encounter on many busy MUPs.. "
in r.I. and cap cod I find the same problems you do.
seems to be universal. so I ride only week days and early am try to finish befoe 10-11am to beat the crowds.
>>>>in r.I. and cap cod I find the same problems you do.<<<<
(Same guy whomade the "golden era" comment about the Schuylkill): Funny...I've also ridden the East Bay Bike Path and the one in Rhode Island that goes from Narragansett to the Kingston train station and I never experienced crowds, hammerheads, or anything negative.
I guess a big factor in one's perception of a rail trail is how far it is from home. Now that I'm thinking about it, the ones that are distant enough to allow me the freedom to just pedal and relax all seem "perfect" to me; while the ones that are within a short drive of my house show all the same blemishes you guys are describing.
Anyway, again, I will refer you to my website, which lists and describes several rail trails and rail trail-type rides in the New York area and beyond. The address is nyrides.freehosting.net
I LOVE the Pine Creek Rail Trail which starts just south of Wellsboro, PA and part of which is in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. We camped at the 1/2 point on the rail trail so we could go north one day, and south another day. Literally no one else was on the trail. The rail/trail closest to me, and one that is absolutely gorgeous (has a large stream along side of it for much of the ride) is located in York County, PA and goes across the Maryland Line as well. You go through some cute little towns in PA and through beautiful farmland, and through a town called New Freedom that now gives rides on a civil-war era steam engine. In PA the rail/trail is called the Heritage Rail trail http://yorkcountypa.gov/parks-recrea...rail-park.html
It continues down into MD...not sure how many miles...at least 10 maybe...in MD it is called the Torry C. Brown Rail/trail (I think).
Papa Tom, thanks for your site. I see you list the Wallkill trail. It's really nice. Our place in High Falls is close to it. We are on the hill that the Mohonk House is on. If you (or anyone else here) are ever in the area, let's get together for a ride. I like quiet flat trails, and I also like steep roads. I like it all. I've ridden trails in Minnewaska State Preserve, on my road bike. I don't have an off-road bike. I haven't ridden off-road in the Mohonk Preserve yet, which is crazy, because it is extremely close to our back yard.
I have been on a number of the trails and or MUPs mentioned before. Starting with the most rural would be the Airline in Connecticut it is in two sections north and south both meet at Willimantic, Ct. the Airline South runs from the Willimantic River to East Hampton through mostly wooded hills with cuts through rock ledge and raised roadbed crushed stone and shared with horses so watch for muffins. There are no amenities to speak of. Very beautiful lots to see and shady. The Airline North is a mixed bag and not suitable for a through ride without a MTB. From Willimantic out for a few miles is paved, then crushed stone for a few more then impossible sand for a few miles. At Route 6 in Hampton it gets better until terminus in Putnam, Ct.Very rural and no amenities. Both sections are about 25 miles. These are rarely crowded especialy the southern section. Also starting in Willimantic is the Hop River Linear State Park it terminates in Manchester, Ct. All forested and roughly following the Hop River and Route 6, many water views, pastures and a few back yards there are places to get food or drink when the highway is close. This trail climbs over Bolton Notch and decends into suburbia at the end. Again not overly used until Manchester and Vernon, Ct.also about 24 miles. I have spent many hours on these trails and I recomend them highly.
In Rhode Island I have used most of the trails and bike routes. In summer these are clogged with the usual MUP clowns but are clustered near the towns on the weekends.
The William C. O'Neill runs from Kingston to Narragansett all paved and A nice ride through wooded swamps and small villages ending at the beach or close to it. About 6 miles. The Washington Secondary Bike Path runs from Providence to Coventry, RI from the gritty ghetto through industrial areas to suburbs and mill towns and woods this trail has it all. This is part of the Greenway and will connect with the Trestle Trail in Connecticut. At present the trail is being extended from it's current end point to the Ct. border. Mostly paved but the new section is crushed stone and will allow horses. About 15 miles now. this is a great ride for the variety of scenery and getting through the hills. The Blackstone River Bikeway has a section of off road railtrail that runs beside the river or the towpath of the Blackstone Canal. many great water veiws and mill buildings and dams. From Pawtucket, RI to Woonsocket, RI tracing the route of the American Industrial Revolution up the Blackstone. The street routes are marked with sharrows and sometimes are hard to see. There is a street route from Pawtucket to the East Bay MUP well marked and bike laned. The East Bay is the oldest and most used, I avoid the weekends in the summer and try to ride before or after dog walking hours. Many cross streets but if you want to race there is a good main road to hammer on. great for most of the ride along Narragansett Bay many places to eat and drink along the way a mix of town and suburb on one side nature on the other, about 14 miles.
The website for RI DOT is http://www.ri.gov/bikeri.
I know this can't compare to some of the longer trails but they are all good rides if you pick the right time to ride.
Add the Nashua River Rail Trail to the list. It runs from Ayer, Massuchusetts, to Nashua, NH, passing through working farms, conservation land, and a state park, as well as several Central Massachusetts towns. If you go at the right time (about 2 weeks before the photo below), the Fall foliage is stunning.
Wow, this really brings back memories. I grew up in Leominster, MA, very close to this trail. Never thought I'd be nostalgic for The Bay State!
It's retirement time. Maybe back to Massachusetts?
A few of my favorites from the PA area not already listed:
York Heritage Rail Trail: runs from York PA to the Mason-Dixon line at the MD border (about 20 miles or so). This trail links up on the MD side with the Northern Central Rail trail which will take you as far south as Cockeysville MD (another 20 miles).
The Western MD Rail Trail runs through Hancock MD and about 10-12 miles east and west from there. Paved, flat and nice views as you head west. Parallels the C&O Towpath.
Oil Creek Trail in Oil Creek State Park is a beautiful ride (You can round-trip that one in 20 miles)
Sandy Creek Trail (from Fisherman's Cove to Van, PA) is a favorite of mine in that same area. Roundtrip is about 25 miles; bit of a grade at the eastern end.
Something a bit different: Presque Isle Bike Trail in Presque Isle State Park in Erie is a fun ride. You go around the peninsula (about 13-14 miles) with views of the Erie bayfront on one side and views of Lake Erie on the other. Not actually a rail trail, but a ride you need to do at least once.