Much hiking and biking over Labor Day weekend here – the weather gods must have forgotten about the holiday weekend and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. On Monday, managed to get a ride in with my wife, who has been doing much more running than biking in recent years.
We drove out to Hancock MD and did 14 miles out and 14 miles back on the Western Maryland Rail Trail. We went west, out to where the paved rail trail stops and you have to switch to the C&O Canal Towpath for 2.5 miles. The obstacle is the Indigo Tunnel, which houses several protected species of bats – no plans to run the trail through the tunnel. Not usually a major obstacle when the Towpath is dry, but we were about at Carole’s mileage limit, so we parked the bikes and walked into the woods a bit to see how close we could get to the tunnel opening for an arch picture.
The topo map above shows the sheer cliffs at either end of the tunnel. The does appear to be a path in the middle of the bend that would get you to the top – if you are a mountain goat. The towpath along that bend is 2.5 miles, the tunnel is about 4,500 feet long – boring the tunnel through the mountain wasn’t easy back in those days, but saved the WMRR over a mile of track.
Turns out, not very close – in a hundred yards or so the path ended at the “small arch” seat (and fire ring to the left) in the picture above. We turned around, biked back to the Blue Goose Market and enjoyed fine locally baked goods and picked up some local corn and tomatoes for dinner.