Something new! Rail bikes!

It felt a lot like spring this week, which made me start thinking about getting outside, and about one activity in particular that I’d like to share with you. In October, some friends and I went on a Traveling Tuesday expedition to Frostburg, Maryland, where we rode rail bikes!

It was a first time experience for us and we loved it. There is little pedaling because the track is on a gentle downhill grade and you can’t fall off because there are seatbelts! It makes it easy to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of rolling hills and farms as you coast along the tracks. Because we went in the fall, the trees were gorgeous. As we rode along through the forested tunnel, bright yellow and orange leaves were floating all around us like confetti. It was kind of magical!

The bikes use hand brakes to slow down and stop. Becky was our brakeman!

The ride starts at the old train depot in Frostburg and the tracks follow a mountain ridge along the Great Allegheny Passage biking trail. We opted for the ten mile ride to Cash Valley, which was probably a good choice for us since it was cold the day we rode. We were picked up in Cash Valley and shuttled back to the depot, enjoying a bit of a tour on the way. The area has an interesting history.

When I go again, I’m going to do the 15 mile Queen City ride into Cumberland. On this trip, you have some free time to explore Canal Place (Be sure to check out the Queen City Creamery while you’re there!) before riding back up the mountain on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad train. Better yet, you can combine this ride with a kayak or tube float on the North Branch of the Potomac River. Doesn’t that sound fun?

If you’re even more ambitious, you can ride your own bicycle from Frostburg to Cumberland and catch the train back. Riding a rail bike is just a few steps beyond your normal bike ride but all these tours point to a good time! (The rides can be booked on tracksandyaks.com)

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