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Western Maryland Rail Trail

Maryland Recreation Site

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 along the Potomac for 26 miles. 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 trail through rolling farmland, towns, and woodlands. Today, the trail extends from the trailhead at Big Pool to Pearre. Parking is available at Fort Frederick, Hancock, Sideling Hill, and Little Orleans. 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 50-mile loop trail. The western extension of the trail, opened in 2019, takes it to Little Orleans, Md., with a 2-mile bypass on the canal, around several tunnels which have endangered species.

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