February 20, 2017

Local Recreational Bike Trails

The Lower Trail 

The Lower Trail is part the Rails to Trails of Central PA trail network and is located to the North West of Raystown Lake just outside Huntingdon. The trail is just under 17 miles with a surface of crushed limestone that is rolled and has a short 2 mile asphalt section that passes through Williamsburg.

This is a year round trail that is open to hiking, biking, horseback riding, and bird watching. In the winter months the trail is open to cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

"Following the end of the canal era, the Pennsylvania Railroad took over the property and developed the Petersburg Branch of the PRR on this alignment. In 1979 the corridor was abandoned. Over the next 8 years, the rails were sold for scrap and the corridor put up for sale. In 1989, Rails to Trails of Central Pennsylvania Inc. purchased the first 11 miles of the Lower Trail from Williamsburg to Alfarata from the Penn Central Corp and another 5.5 mile extension was added in 2004."

 For directions and more information on the Lower Trail Rail Trail please see the links below:

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail (formerly the Northern Central Rail Trail)

***York Heritage Rail Trail Connects to this trail for a combined 41 miles from York PA to Ashland MD***

The trail begins in Ashland, MD just north of Baltimore and is is easily accessible from Route 83. It heads north for 20 miles to the Mason-Dixon line and merges with the York County Heritage Rail Trail and continues on for another 21 miles for a combined total length of 41 miles (one way).

"The trail is 10 feet wide with a stone dust surface and the majority of the trail runs along the Gunpowder River and Beetree Run. It has a beautiful rural scenery with trees along the trail that makes it a pleasant outdoor experience."

Trail users should note that the southern end access point at Ashland receives heavy use on the weekends during the summer and much less traffic from the northern access points.

 For directions and more information on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail please see the links below:

YCRTA Heritage Rail Trail County Park

The Heritage Rail Trail is over 21 miles long and travels along the former Northern Central Railroad with many scenic stops and historic sites. It was on these rails, now trails, that President Lincoln traveled to give the Gettysburg Address following the Battle of Gettysburg.

"Although the grade throughout the trails is reasonably level, New Freedom is the high point of elevation (818 ft) and the low point of elevation is (400 ft) in York City. Facilities along the trail include benches, picnic tables and restrooms. Communities along the trail offer more extensive services and facilities. Trail and restrooms are ADA accessible.

Other historic features of the trail include Howard Tunnel, four Railroad Bridges, New Freedom Train Station, & Hanover Junction Train Station, as listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 For directions and more information on the Heritage Rail Trail County Park please see the links below:

Conewago Recreation Trail

The Conewago Recreation Trail is a 5 mile long multi-use trail located to northwest of Elizabethtown between Route 230 and the Lebanon County line.

"Formerly the Cornwall-Lebanon rail line, the trail connects to the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail, and follows the Conewago Creek through scenic farmland and woodlands. The Conewago Recreation Trail has well graded, level surfaces and six street crossings that are marked for safe trail use, making it ideal for hiking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. The trail crossings that intersects with Mill Road is the only paved, sloped section of the trail - please use caution in this area."

 For Directions and more information on the Conewago Recreation Trail please see the links below:

Cumberland Valley Rail-Trail

The Cumberland Valley Rail-Trail is 11.1 miles and runs from Shippensburg to Newville with three different trail-heads to choose from at Shippensburg, Oakville, and Newville.

"Trail enthusiasts can enjoy walking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding and other non-motorized recreational uses. The trail, which is wheelchair-accessible, has a crushed limestone surface except for the last 1/2 mile at the Newville trail-head which is paved. All of the road crossings between these two points have been graded to meet ADA specification and paved if it is a long grade. There are two missing bridges that limit access to 1 mile of trail at the Shippensburg eng and 1/2 mile at the Newville end."

"Trail users will appreciate a variety of settings as the trail traverses wooded area and farmland between the historic towns of Shippensburg and Newville. A shaded picnic area in the village of Oakville provides a pleasant rest stop along the way."

 For Directions and more information on the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail please see the links below:

Stony Valley Rail Trail

Stony Valley Rail Trail is just North of Harrisburg along Stony Creek, it is ~19 miles long and runs through State Game Lands 211 from the Ellendale trail head to Gold Mine Rd. The trail passes through some of the wildest mountain areas and largest roadless areas in eastern Pennsylvania. The trail is nearly flat and leads you into a mature oak, hickory and tulip poplar forest with animal life including deer, bobcats, foxes and coyotes.

For Directions and more Information on the Stony Valley Rail Trail please see the links below:

Lebanon Valley Rail Trail

The Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail currently extends from the City of Lebanon south 15 miles to the Lancaster County Line. The trail passes through the communities of South Lebanon, Cornwall, Mt. Gretna, Colebrook and Lawn. Trailheads with parking areas and other amenities are conveniently spaced along the way!

For Directions and more information on the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail please see the links below: