Arlington County makes plans for a safer Bluemont Junction Trail, Good news and bad news for the Capital Crescent Trail expansion - victim of the troubled Purple Line, Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), MD Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Prince George's County Bicycle and Trails Advisory Group, Anacostia trails and Western Maryland Rail Trail expansions complete, bike lanes on the bridge over Branchville to Greenbelt Station, used to cross Sligo Creek on the Park Valley Road Bridge, hey could extend by skipping the tunnels and using another abandoned railroad, Best trail tunnel opportunities in the area, effort to turn the Blue Ridge Tunnel into part of a trail, wants to run fracked gas pipe under the WMRT west of Hancoc, Maryland ready to start work on final phase of the Western Maryland Rail Trail, but it shouldn't end there, fourth and final planned phase of the trai, draft copy of their Regional Bicycle Plan last month, Good news (and bad news) about the Western Maryland Rail Trail, decided several years ago to not use these tunnels for the trail, Maryland Department of Natural Resources March-May 2016 Newsletter, Western Maryland Rail Trail Phase IV is on indefinite hold, complete the fourth phase of the College Park Trolley Trail, Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail (RIATT), Western Maryland Rail Trail extension may bypass all tunnels, Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the proposed extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail, TOTAL 200: Washington DC's Double Century, Big Bend Tunnel, WV (6500 feet) - famous for the, Dupont Circle Streetcar Tunnels, DC (2400 feet), Install a bicycle/ pedestrian bridge over the Potomac River (Cacopon to the C&O Canal Towpath), Improve bicycle facilities between Harpers Ferry and Charles Town/Ranson, During game 3 of the NL playoffs, about 9% of all the bikes went to the baseball stadium at least once, in part because they had a, Last week, College Park's City Council selected a contractor to, Another bridge over the Beltway - this time, "For the first time since the end of the Second World War. Most of these aren't likely to be trail tunnels. Bypass options to avoid use of the tunnels and install bat gates are being considered because the tunnels provide habitat (called hibernacula) for many species of bat. Maryland, US. Additionally, White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has killed more than a million bats in the Northeast United States. The whole process is to be complete by the end of the year. In previous interviews, state and federal officials have said that trying to bypass the Kessler Tunnel would be cost prohibitive. It also starts passing through tunnels, three of which; Indigo, Stickpile (or Stick Pile) and Kessler, are on NPS property Due to the presence of bats in these tunnels, it was decided several years ago to not use these tunnels for the trail starting with the Indigo. There also will be interested parties, such as local officials and business owners, Carr said, and Mary E. "Emmie" Woodward of Bridgeport, West Virginia, formerly of Shepherdstown, who will have an opportunity to present her views on extending the WMRT through the Paw Paw Bends. On the map of proposed routes from April, you can see where the train would interfere with the trail if the red or yellow routes were used. When this right-of-way was abandoned, works on establishing a train commenced but were done in phases and this was after the Maryland Department of Natural Resources bought a section of the right-of-way. The Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) is a 26 mile long paved trail that stretches from a mile west of historic Fort Frederick State Park in Big Pool, Maryland to its western terminus at the Potomac River in Little Orleans, Maryland. Trail Map. June 30, 2016 in Rail Trail, Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) | Permalink Now, they're considering bypassing both the Stickpile Tunnel and the Kessler Tunnel for the same reason. Last week I mentioned that phase I of the South Shore Trail opened (the South Shore trail, Aannapolis Maritime Trails and the WB&A Trail are the only ones to be a part of the East Coast Greenway, American Discovery Trail and the 9/11 Memorial Trail, I think), but wait, there's more. If you really must bike through a tunnel of the WM Railroad, there is a small section of the right-of-way that has been turned into the Carpandale Rail Trail in Carpandale, WV. Anyway, point is - the trail is no longer at threat and this may be an opportunity. A visitor sent these photos of the final 4.5 mile section from the Indigo Tunnel to Little Orleans and on to the Potomac river where it ends. But several of the others have real possibilities. The event will be held in the western terminus parking lot, 12719 High Germany Road, Little Orleans. Human activities in the tunnels could cause stress to bats and increase the risk to spread WNS. Elsewhere in the Anacostia Tributary Trail System (ATTS), Route1 Reporter reports that the Little Falls Trail is complete if not officially opened. The event will be held in the western terminus … The Chapline Hill tunnel under Wheeling, WV might someday become part of the Wheeling Heritage Trail; and the Lough Tunnel could become part of an 8-mile long rail trail but it doesn't appear to be on anyone's plans - probably because the whole coal mine spur is kind of in the middle of nowhere (see below). On the other side of Indian Creek, it splits again to connect to the new Greenbelt Station development in three places - at least one includes stairs with a runnel. The State of Maryland has granted the Baltimore Washington Railroad (BWRR) the franchise rights to the defunct WB&A railroad. Even if just from the WMRT to 144, it could get a good bit of use. In addition to these long tunnels, there are a few abandoned lines that offer opportunities for multiple tunnels. Alternative 4 is the best option though. | One worker confirmed this was the extension and they had cleared about a mile down the path. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on June 1 to celebrate the completion of the Phase IV extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail. February 21, 2018 at 09:33 AM. If work has started, we could expect it to end in 2018. And the Dupont Circle Tunnels (above), as much as I'd like to see the west one turned into a "high line" style facility allowing for through bike/ped traffic (I mean seriously, it would be awesome), are unlikely to ever be reopened for transportation. Here, for example, are the longest abandoned tunnels in the area, in order. Columbia has said it would run the line under the Western Maryland Rail Trail, C&O Canal National Historical Park and under the Potomac River to reach West Virginia. The progress is slowly being made,” Carter said during the board meeting. The Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) is about 28 miles long and parallels the C&O Canal Towpath for its entire length. At the top of this list is the Farimont Branch in WV. These means skipping the two tunnels and Potomac River crossings #4 and #5. Twenty-eight mile-long trail runs from Big Pool along the Potomac River and the C&O Canal Towpath, past Sideling Hill, to Little Orleans. The full-color map shows mileage details as well as location of parking and trailside services. | But for now, it will just be good to see Phase IV completed. But this would surely be much cheaper than the original trail and spend more time in West Virginia, passing through Magnolia instead of just near it. The Maryland Department of Natural Resource s will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on June 1 to celebrate the completion of the Phase IV extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail. Now it will either follow the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or the existing Amtrak/MARC Penn Line train tracks, perhaps it will even create an opportunity to create a rail with trail (at least along the above ground portions. Posted by: While it could be considered redundant to the towpath, it has the advantage of passing through these towns. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. this Saturday, June 1 to celebrate the completion of the Phase IV extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail.. These alternatives vary primarily in the distance the trail will be extended. But since then a crosswalk and curb ramp has been added in. Columbia Gas Transmission in March 2017 requested approval to build and operate a 3.4-mile natural gas connector line from an existing pipeline in Fulton County, Pa. through the Hancock area and into Morgan County. Washington County. But since the two trails run nearly parallel and often close together, it's hard to miss. I still they they could extend by skipping the tunnels and using another abandoned railroad, but that is a fight for the future. July 22, 2011 in Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) | Permalink Western Maryland Rail Trail Phase IV is on indefinite hold The longstanding plan to extend the Western Maryland Rail Trail further west, into West Virginia and back again (and then to WV and then to MD) across six different railroad bridges over the Potomac River is on indefinite hold , and a meeting was recently held to discuss … The Rail Trail runs from Big Pool to Sideling Hill Creek a distance of about 20 miles. February 21, 2018 at 09:39 AM, Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com, CWL 2020: Anacostia Trails System Expansion, 18% of DC Households Use a Bike Once a Week, An idea for naming the proposed Potomac Shared-Use Bridge, Bikely - Bicycle Route Mapping and Sharing, Report a Pothole or Street Maintenance Need (DC), Seattle's Urban Mobility Plan - Briefing Book, Report a Pothole or Street Maintenance Need (VA), Report a Pothole or Street Maintenance Need (Arlington), Report a Pothole or Street Maintenance Need (PG County). Of course, environmentalists are opposing the pipeline for other reasons which seem a lot more concerning. Comments (11). It continues on the north side of the C&O canal passing through the towns of Old Town and Spring Gap on the way to south Cumberland. The Western Maryland Rail Trail is a paved, multi-use trail that follows the old Western Maryland Railroad along the Potomac. Updated for 2019. But West Virginia decided that it wasn't interested in an incomplete trail and pulled out (which is ironic since the money being used to pay for the trail to Little Orleans was secured by Robert Bird). The Koontz Tunnel, and the shorter 942-foot long Carnifex, are on the same rail line as the Meadow River Rail Trail. It is an excellent ride with scenic views of the C&O Canal and the Potomac River. The current trail will be continued from its current terminus and then across a rehabilitated Sideling Hill Creek Bridge to the mouth of the Indigo Tunnel. NPS chose a different alternative, one that would extend the trail to the north side of the Stickpile tunnel and then end. A Notice to Proceed would be sent out in July 2016. The right of way goes through Allegheny County, Maryland, into West Virginia and back again six times, ending across the river from Paw Paw near the Paw Paw Tunnel on the C&O Canal National Historical Park. 123 likes. In the immediate area, trail users might someday ride through a replacement for the Air Rights Tunnel along the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda and through the Union Market tunnel under New York Avenue in DC. There also are three railroad tunnels in the section from Pearre to Paw Paw, all on the Maryland side of the Potomac. There it will crossover onto the C&O Canal towpath via an access ramp and will follow the towpath around the bend in the river and back to the other side of the tunnel. ), The area is connected to DC by the C&O Canal and by now-bike friendly Amtrak, and those connections will only become more valuable as the communities covered by this plan work to connect to those resources. It is sandwiched between I-70 to the north and the C&O Towpath / Potomac River to the south. The fourth section has endured considerable delay since the the discovery that bats were living in the three tunnels that were to be used to complete the trail to Paw Paw. Looking at the four closest states to DC and DC, the number of bike/ped tunnels are pretty impressive: But there are still plenty of abandoned railroad and highway tunnels in the area that could be be made into trails or parts of trails. Wood) in Wheeling that are planned additions to the Wheeling Heritage Trail. The trail extension has begun. | A bike ride on the Western Maryland Rail Trail and C&O Canal between Big Pool and Little Pool Md. Western Maryland Rail Trail, Hancock, Maryland. The drawing above pretty clearly shows what work will be done. The longstanding plan to extend the Western Maryland Rail Trail further west, into West Virginia and back again (and then to WV and then to MD) across six different railroad bridges over the Potomac River is on indefinite hold, and a meeting was recently held to discuss the project. find trail maps, reviews, photos & driving directions on traillink.com There were new lights and plantings, the restaurant we ate at was not there last time and was designed to open up to the trail and the street. The seventh edition of the race has been moved to Sunday 4/11/2021. In addition to the biological hazards posed by bat droppings, the past five years have seen numerous bat colonies in the northeastern U.S. become infected with White-nose Syndrome, a serious fungal infection. You can now bike from downtown Washington, D.C., to Beltsville, Maryland, almost entirely on paved trails, courtesy of an effectively-complete, not officially-opened, extension of the Little Paint Branch Trail along Cherry Hill Road. Maybe someday West Virginia will get back involved and/or Maryland will look to build on more of the right-of-way west of Paw Paw to Cumberland. Hiking Trail As the railroad right-of-way gets farther west it starts crossing back and forth across the Potomac from Maryland to West Virginia and back. Rode from Hancock east just to get in a ride. You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post. (they even use a WABA photo on page 46! The Stickpile bypass would be similar to the Indigo one, with the trail crossing over to the C&O Canal Towpath on both ends of the tunnel and going around Stickpile Hill instead of under it. The work will be done in two phases, to the west of the Hancock town limits. I can't find any evidence that they advertised the project, so it may be that April was too ambitious, but it seems like they are very close to starting work on the next section. 42 likes. [The C&O Canal path also passes through town]. | There's already an effort to turn the Blue Ridge Tunnel into part of a trail, with Nelson County, VA amending a bid for restoration work as was just reported today. I've gotten alerts that a couple of Maryland trails were threatened by other projects, but I'm happy to say that it appears one of those is no longer an issue. "Here are these bridges and it would be folly to ignore them," Woodward said. When NPS completed their Environmental Assessment they had identified several alternatives with one continuing the trail to Paw Paw, This alternative, which shows the trail going to Paw Paw through the Stickpile and Kessler tunnels or bypassing them is shown below (I can't find the EA anywhere online so if anyone else knows where it is, put that in the comments). While on a fully loaded bicycle tour of the Great Allegheny Passage rail trail and C&O towpath trail, we encountered the the Western Maryland Railroad tourist train. In partnership with the U.S. Comments (3). The Maryland … And that caused WV to drop out of the project. Western Maryland Rail Trail. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates the Completion of Phase IV The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on June 1 to celebrate the completion of the Phase IV extension of the Western Maryland Rail … But since then the number of routes have been trimmed and those two removed from consideration. The 65 mile long railbed extends from the Monongahela River in Fairmont all the way to the Ohio River in Moundsville, and it passes through 5 old tunnels along the way, the longest of which is the 1250 foot long Welling tunnel. The one that is no longer an issue involved construction of the SCMaglev tracks on the WB&A Trail. According to someone who rides the trail often, work has started on Phase IV of the Western Maryland Rail Trail. This project would provide for better pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between the C&O Canal NHP and the town of Paw Paw, WV. If the project is ready to advertise in by April 2016, then the Maryland Department of General Services will take 90 days to hire a construction firm. The Cooperative Agreement between DNR and the National Park Service regarding Operation & Maintenance and Law Enforcement for the trail has been signed. The Laurel Hill Tunnel which, like the Sideling Hill and Ray's Hill tunnel is an old turnpike tunnel, is currently being used as a test track for race cars. as a tiny piece of the railroad is still extant there, and there would be crossings of 51 and the C&O Canal towpath/Mexico Farm Road that would be needed. GB | It would be bypassed. I'm no biologist so I can't tell you how legitimate a threat this is, but it would be a bummer to lose the tunnels as part of the trail. The section through Little Orleans will include a parking lot, access point to High Germany Road, a new bridge over High Germany Road, a repaired bridge over Fifteen Mile Creek and the 105' long tunnel beneath Pleasant Plains Road SE. In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and maintained by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the 22-mile paved trail runs on an old rail bed along the C&O Canal and Potomac River from Fort Frederick to Pearre Station, Maryland.Hancock, MD, at the midpoint of the trail … And there were signs calling it a "trail town." So I'll give you the bad news first. The Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) is the area's latest rail-to-trail project. Alternative 4 (see below) builds the trail all the way to the Paw Paw Tunnel Access/Campground Parking Area. Kessler is a little tougher, because the C&O Canal doesn't cross it over there, but luckily the B&O Railroad's low line does. Two other connections come off the loop with one connection taking it to Cherrywood Lane and another going across Indian Creek on a bridge. 39.6361864, -78.3228281 Comments (18), Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com. This paved trail is located in the thin Maryland neck between Hancock and Fort Frederick, about 1 1/2 hours northwest of the Capital Beltway. Better known as the C&O Canal Towpath, this pathway parallels the Capital Crescent Trail coming out of D.C. Beginning a stone’s throw from the National Mall and the White House, the 184.5-mile trail that runs along the Potomac River to Cumberland, Maryland, brims with rich history (read about more historical connections along the Great American Rail-Trail … You can't find that anywhere else on the Eastern Seaboard. Representatives of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, State Park Service, State Highway Administration and General Services will be there as well as a representative of the National Park Service, according to Steve Carr, the land trails planner for the Maryland DNR. », According to someone who rides the trail often, work has started on Phase IV of the Western Maryland Rail Trail. There are plans to extend the McCann east, but not to build out the whole ROW, which is too bad since it would make a great addition to the Industrial Heartland Trail system. WNS is a relatively new condition and the NPS in consultation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and United States Fish and Wildlife Service, will examine the potential effects of different options as it relates to the use of tunnels for the extension of the WMRT. Sorry no photos yet. Paved trail popular for cycling, in-line skating … From there it goes north between Indian Creek and a scrap yard to a loop around a little pond. Western Maryland Rail Trail. The WMR right-of-way doesn't end at Paw Paw. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. It is somewhat bittersweet, since as originally planned, this trail was going to go to Paw Paw, WV, passing through 3 large tunnels and over the Potomac 6 times. There are some smaller ones too. That could create a trail from Ft. Meade to either New Carrolton or Greenbelt. The west end of this line is part of the previously mentioned Wheeling Heritage Trail, but the rest of the line would make a great extension passing through numerous towns along I-70. Then there's another Potomac River crossing into West Virginia and the issue of the Welton Tunnel which is currently underneath the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. It's also higher up from the river giving the towpath NEEDED redundancy. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates the Completion of Phase IV The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on June 1 to celebrate the completion of the Phase IV extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail. Rode from Hancock east just to get in a ride. “If this works, which hopefully it will work, the tunnel itself will be substantially restored and rehabilitated, and then we can aim at the third and final phase, which is the trail and the parking lot. The abandoned 17 mile long Bluefield Subdivision from Pocahontas to Weyanoke in WV has a pair of short tunnels just south of Rock. near Fort Frederick State Park to C&O Canal Towpath (Little Orleans). 8th Potomac Crossing with the Welton Tunnel far off. Western Maryland Rail Trail (MD) Route: Western Maryland Rail Trail (MD) Location. Main May 28, 2019. The trail itself is a paved, 10-ft. wide biking and walking trail following the former rail bed of the Western Maryland Railroad, … I haven't been in probably 7-8 years so it was interesting to see how much the town has developed along it. Even with closed tunnels, it would still create an interesting alternative to the C&O Canal Towpath and allow for some amazing views of the Potomac River on the 6 new crossings. December 20, 2017 in Capital Crescent Trail (CCT), National Park Service, New York Avenue Trail, Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) | Permalink Description. Another crossover and ramp will connect the RR ROW to the towpath again, and then the trail will follow the ROW through Little Orleans and all the way to the MD edge of the 1st Potomac River crossing. I was in Berkely Springs, WV over the weekend and we stopped in Hancock, MD - along the Western Maryland Rail Trail - for lunch. Trail map of the Western Maryland Rail Trail from Big Pool Rd. Which is good news. Contact: 301-842-2155 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset ALERT: 6-19-2020 – The Western Maryland Rail Trail remains OPEN during the Governor’s Safer at Home public health advisory to allow for outdoor recreation. September 03, 2015 in Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) | Permalink Maryland worked out a bypass for the Indigo that will use the C&O Canal to get to Little Orleans, but just west of there, the trail passes into West Virginia for the first time, and Maryland has announced that. The event will be held in the western terminus … Western Maryland Rail Trail... Biking in Maryland. Once BWRR has approval through that process, there is no stopping them. This was done as part of a project to replace the road bridge with the new trail alignment designed to enhance pedestrian and bicycle access and safety. In the end, the state and the National Park Service decided that the tunnels would be better used as wildlife preserves (bat hiburnacula, if you must) than as a trail - a decision I have mournfully accepted as the right one. But the the state and NPS decided that the tunnels would be better used as wildlife preserves for bats. The paved Western MD Rail Trail was a very welcome 22 mile break for us to get off the C&O canal towpath on the bike tour from Cumberland to DC. The current trail will be continued from its current terminus and then across a rehabilitated Sideling Hill Creek Bridge to the mouth of the Indigo Tunnel. Beginning approximately one-half mile west of historic Fort Frederick State Park in Big Pool, Maryland, the trail system winds along the Potomac River through rolling farmland, woodlands, and rural towns to its current western terminus at the southern slope of Sideling Hill Ridge. GPS Track. | Will 2018 be the Vision Zero Yearo? Western Maryland Rail Trail runs from Fort Frederick all the way to Pearre Station where it ends. If you enjoy winter walks or bike rides along the Western Maryland Rail Trail around Hancock, note that detours and temporary closings will be in effect through Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. Comments (5), The Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization (HEPMPO) received the draft copy of their Regional Bicycle Plan last month, and while it's a bit outside my coverage area, I figured some in the area might find it interesting. In the Maryland Department of Natural Resources March-May 2016 Newsletter they announced that. The comment period runs to August 15th, so if you have opinions, let them be known now. Now, if the trail is dug up and then rebuilt, that's may not mean the trail is "threatened" but I can see why people would oppose that. The Western Maryland Rail Trail is a 22 mile paved trail that starts in Pierre MD and goes to Big Pool MD. I have literally hundreds of skipped over subjects in the queue. Though there's not a lot of clear indication about the plans to take that north to the Koontz tunnel, this map of proposed trails does show the trail going through it. That has been abandoned now as well and so on the south end (or on the north I guess) of Magnolia Bend the trail would cross over to the low line and follow that to Beven Bend where it could reconnect to the right-of-way via Vista River Road. Finally, and very far away from the Anacostia, it appears that the Western Maryland Rail Trail is finally complete. The new western extension to the Western Maryland Rail Trail is now open (May of 2019). There are a couple of other tunnels (Top Mill and Mt. GB | May 24, 2019 in Anacostia Tributary Trail System (ATTS), Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) | Permalink Western Maryland Rail Trail Parking (at Pearre Rd. The pipeline won't run under the trail - like a shared ROW - but rather pass beneath it for one point. he bends in the river are crossed by the Western Maryland Railway right of way, bridging the river on six trestles high above the water, creating spectacular vistas of the river and mountains. There was at least one B&B along the trail. Find out about Western Maryland Rail Trail - Phase IV (RE-BID) and other projects out for bid. If you are approaching the Western Maryland Rail Trail via the C & O Canal Trail, like I did, the best access spot is milepost 138. Fish & Wildlife Service, DNR biologists are following strict protocols established by the Northeastern WNS Working Group to close Maryland cave access to all human activity except for approved research. ) and other projects out for bid north between Indian Creek and scrap... It goes north between Indian Creek trail was extended north of Greenbelt Road ( and the. 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