NCR Trail: 'Bike Through History' Series Starts Wednesday
Guided tours offered over the next eight weeks.
By Ron Cassie. Posted on June 03, 2014, 3:24 pm
Starting tomorrow evening, and for the next eight Wednesdays, guided tours of different segments of the Torrey C. Brown Trail (formerly known as the North Central Railroad Trail) will be offered by members of the NCR/Hereford Volunteers Association. Each weekly tour tackles about 10 miles of the trail, covering specific history of the trail and that week's location, according to a post on the Maryland Hiking and Adventuring Meetup page.
The tours are free and open to the public, with the first tour kicking off tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Paper Mill Road entrance to the trail. Each tour/mini-ride lasts about two hours. Tim Connor, who took the above photo, writes extensively about the trail on his blog here.
Most famously, President Abraham Lincoln rode the train along the what is now the trail to deliver the Gettysburg Address. Later, his body made the same journey on its way from Washington, D.C. to Illinois.
A map and directions to the trail can be found on the state Department of Natural Resources website.
More on the trail:
"Torrey C. Brown Trail—formerly the Northern Central Railroad Trail—is located in northern Baltimore County, Maryland, and extends for nearly 20 miles from Ashland to the Pennsylvania state line. Its route is the former right-of-way of the Northern Central branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Passenger train station stops along the route included Ashland, Phoenix, Sparks, Glencoe, Corbett, Monkton, Pleasant Valley, Blue Mount, White Hall, Graystone, Parkton, Walker, Bentley Springs and Freeland. The trail is maintained as a portion of the Gunpowder Falls State Park. Northward into Pennsylvania, the trail is known as the York County Heritage Rail Trail, maintained by York County."
Taken together, the Torrey C. Brown Trail and the York County Heritage Rail Trail, which is essentially the same trail renamed over the state line, offers an uninterrupted, 80-mile roundtrip ride, if tackled end-to-end from Ashland to York.
Ron Cassie is a senior editor for Baltimore, where he covers the environment, education, medicine, politics, and city life.