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The Third Annual Fall Northern Central Rail Trail Ride

The second annual Fall North Central Rail Trail Ride last October 9th was one of the best ever. And once again, Ray W, one of our west side members has helped me plan this special [b]Fall[/b] foliage ride. This rides takes place on what was once the North Central Railroad that traveled between Baltimore. MD and York, PA. It originates just north of Baltimore and travels parallel of the Falls River. It is very scenic and has only a very slight upgrade when heading north and, of course, a delightful steady downgrade when returning. We begin at the Monkton Trail Station: This is just after mile point 7 on the trail. Planned Rides: - 31 miles: Monkton to New Freedom, PA, Lunch and return to Monkton. - Rides up to 82 miles can be arranged. Riders can choose to continue past New Freedom along the Heritage Rail Trail to York, PA. (If you want this longer distance, you should plan to start earlier than 10 am at the Phoenix Parking lot, which is south of the Monkton parking lot). Directions: Monkton: Take Exit 27 off I-83, go East on Mt. Carmel Road. Turn Right at the stop light on York Road. At the next light turn left (east) onto Monkton Road. Follow for 3 miles, and look for parking lot and park office. NOTE: You may have to park on the street. Google Maps Link to Start:,-95.677068&sspn=42.089199,71.630859&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Monkton&ll=39.579083,-76.6... Nearest crossroads to start: Monkton Road and Remare Road. Lunch – at New Freedom, PA. This is the eatery: Northern Central Rail Trail Map: With Mile Markers shown: While this version of the Trail Map has advertisements, it also shows the Mile Markers that are placed on the trail: York Heritage Rail Trail: - Please note that there are several road crossings north of New Freedom, PA where they wind the trail at the road crossings. You will have to stop and walk across at those points. Lunch Options in New Freedom, PA: Some popular places in New Freedom include Rutters, The Treehouse Florist, Paesano's pizza shop, Bonkey's ice cream shop, Hodle Tavern, and Railroad Café. Option: Want a longer ride? Start at the Phoenix Road Parking Lot earlier than 10am and meet us at Monkton Train Station at 10am – this adds 7 miles (one way). And/Or continue your ride north of New Freedom, PA to York, PA. (this adds up to 20 miles – one way). 41 Miles (one way) if you ride from Phoenix Road to York, PA Here is an overview: Elevation map from Ashland, MD to York, PA Nice details about each Section of the NCR Trail: Notes: Mini bike shop at Monkton Station Bike Shop at New Freedom, PA (Mini bike shop across from the Phoenix, MD /Ashland Road Stop at the 0.5 mile marker, but this is 7 miles south of the planned start for this ride.) Latrines: 1. At Monkton Station, mile 7 1/4. 2. At White Hall, mile 10 3/4. 3. At Parkton, mile 13. 4. At Freeland, mile 18. Water: 1. Fountain at Monkton Station, mile 7 1/4. 2. There is a small store in Parkton, carry a little money to buy refreshments. 3. At Freeland Watch for chickens wandering across the path at the Bee Tree crossing (yes, really). Small Waterfall: Just past the 12 Mile Marker. Take a moment to stop and view: NCR Brochure: Questions, Contact Ray Weglein – [masked][masked],. Cell[masked]-8830.

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  • Sue T.

    Loved the ride, but not the road surface for a road bike. The average speed was only 8.5 mph and I had to be very cautious. Next time I would take my hybrid! Veiws were great, distance was perfect, new friends were even better!

    October 14, 2012

  • Sue T.

    Since it is crushed stone I am assuming it isn't for road bikes??

    October 11, 2012

    • Ray

      Sue, this is crushed/level stone. I see many road bikes on it.

      October 11, 2012

  • Ray

    Mary, this is a crushed stone trail. Since it is a rail trail it is flat and never more than a 2% grade.

    October 10, 2012

  • Mary B.

    Is the trail paved or crushed stone?

    October 8, 2012

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