Running & Fitness

84 Miles in 2 Days: Biking the Northern Central Railroad and York County Heritage Rail Trail!

This post is long overdue, (as is many others,) so I’m doing a little catch-up today by sharing a fun adventure my husband and I did back in July: Biking the Northern Central Railroad Trail and York County Heritage Rail Trail both ways for a total of 84 miles in two days!

A little backstory first, though.

See, for the longest time … I’m talking at least fifteen years … we’ve had a goal of biking the entire Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath – all 184.5 miles of it. As a family, we used the bike the C & O with our kids all the time from Brunswick, Maryland to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia for an ice cream break. Biking the entire distance always seemed like this major, awesome accomplishment.

84 Miles in 2 Days: Biking the Northern Central Railroad and York County Heritage Rail Trail!

It comes with some difficulties, though. Like, being dropped off at the start in Georgetown, DC and then being picked up in Cumberland, Maryland. Then there’s the amount of time it would take … would we bust butt and finish in three days, leaving little time to explore? Or stretch it to four or five? And who would watch our dogs during that time? Then there’s the biggest glitch: Sleeping. Many folks to take on this feat sleep in tents at bare-bone campsites.

We do NOT sleep in tents at bare-bone campsites.

For one night? Sure, I’d tough it out. But no more than that. There are hotels along the way that we could bike to but it all just seems like a ton of work for a goal that might not be as majorly awesome as we’re thinking.

But then we discovered the York County Heritage Rail Trail thanks to a friend’s tip. Ah, what a lovely trail! We had so much fun biking from Monkton, Maryland up to York, Pennsylvania where we grabbed a quick lunch at the White Rose Grill before heading back to Monkton. Then after doing some research, we realized that biking from Ashland, Maryland along the Northern Central Railroad Trail, (officially knows as the Torrey C. Brown Trail,) up to York was only 42 miles.

Hmm. What about a two day trip back and forth?

After all, we did celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary by buying two gorgeous Trex hybrid bikes. (This gal is not a flowers-jewelry-fancy-dinner kind of wife. Give me something I can use!)

Use we did, on a FANTASTIC two-day adventure! Want to see what happened from beginning to end? Awesome, check out this video I just posted this past weekend!

Will we ever take on the C&O? The answer is maybe … but probably no. The two trails are just so lovely and convenient, making the trip a challenge but still enjoyable.

Now what about you.

QOTD: Have you ever biked on either the Northern Central Railroad or York County Heritage Trail? Or have you ever gone on an overnight bike trip? If so, when and where? I’d love to hear about your adventure in the comments below.

Until then, thanks for reading, take care and have a joyful day!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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