The Western Maryland Rail Trail
(WMRT) is a long shared-use asphalt-paved rail trail
from Fort Frederick
to Pearre Station, Maryland
, United States
, that is suitable for walkers, joggers, bikers, rollerbladers and, weather permitting, cross country skiing
The trail runs on the abandoned right-of-way
of the Western Maryland Railroad
. The track was closed in stages. The last train ran through the Indigo Tunnel in 1975 and the last train on any part of track in 1987. In August 1990, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources
purchased the right-of-way from 1/2 mile west of Fort Frederick State Park
to Little Orleans
from CSX Transportation
. Construction began on the first ten-mile (16 km) section from Fort Frederick to Hancock opened in 1997 and was completed in 1998. The second section, running from Hancock to Pollypon, a small body of water where canal boats would winter, began in 2001 and opened on June 10, 2002. Construction began on the third section, a extension from Pollypon to Pearre Station in 2003 and it opened in 2005.
An additional extension to Little Orleans has been funded.
The $4.6 million planned extension would take the trail to the Indigo Tunnel
, but not through it, because an environmental impact study determined it houses the largest known bat refuge in Maryland. The tunnel is one of the... Read More