Another day, another ride. That's how we Empty Nesters roll. Or, at least that's how we roll when we plan a day off to ride another new (to us) rail trail.
Today we took on the Western Maryland Rail Trail. The weather was overcast skies with temperatures in the low 70's. We began our ride at eastern end of the trail in Big Pool and headed west. We had read a little about this trail before we started, which helped us plan our day. We decided to break the 22 mile or so trail into two visits. We rode the original part of the trail from Big Pool to Hancock, MD this visit. It was just over 10 miles. This seemed manageable to us given that we had done the 26 mile ride in Virginia yesterday. I should say, it seemed reasonable until we actually remounted our bikes. At that point, anything beyond jumping off immediately seemed unreasonable. But, were pushed through the pain (because that's how hard core we are – ahem.)
It was a lovely ride from the beginning. The first thing I noticed were the railroad tracks right next to the start of the trail. I love that! There was also a body of water, Big Pool, that I could see beyond the tracks. It was so nice. There was also a pretty stone bridge over the trail a few yards into the ride (photograph at top of post). It was so quiet and peaceful. The only other folks we saw initially were several older couples. We passed a working farm or two but not really any housing developments. It was woodsy and scenic until we got close to Rte. 70. The trail runs parallel with that busy highway for a good part of the trail. We decided that the road noise was a little annoying, but the beauty of the views opposite the highway completely outweighed the highway noise.
The trail was very flat, wide, and paved, which was good, I guess. It was strange to me to have such a flat, straight trail, but John loved it. It was getting increasingly more windy as we rode back to Big Pool. This made our return trip noteworthy (tougher) in that we had to fight that headwind. But, we got back to the car not much worse for the wear. All in all a good day and a good ride.