Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, completed in 1984, is one of the best hiking and biking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region. It allows for more than 20 miles of flat travel on the crushed-stone surface, punctuated by a number of access points and an abundance of trees that provide refreshing shade on hot summer days.

The trail begins in Cockeysville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, and ends just over the state line in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, where the Mason-Dixon Line divides the southern Atlantic states from the Northeastern states. The history of the rail-trail dates back to 1832, when the Northern Central Railroad carried passengers—people vacationing at Bentley Springs—and freight between Baltimore and York or Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The railroad ran for about 140 years, and you can still see part of the old bed, which was converted to a rail-trail in the early 1980s.

Today, the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as part of the Gunpowder Falls State Park. Amenities along the route include picnic and park benches, drinking fountains for hikers, bikers and four-legged friends, and portable restrooms. Just off the trail you can enjoy a small art gallery, an antique shop and several places to buy food and drinks. Hotels and motels can be found within a mile of the trail, and there is easy access to a bike shop that rents and repairs bikes. The trail cuts through several charming Maryland towns: Monkton (a major stop for hikers and bikers), Parkton, Falls Overlook and Bentley Springs. At the MD–PA border near New Freedom, PA, the trail continues as the Heritage Rail Trail County Park.

The trail is used by an eclectic mix of horseback riders, joggers, walkers, hikers, bikers and people of all ages. On the weekends, the trail is heavily used by local residents and travelers from the Baltimore area, so parking may be a challenge. For those seeking an escape from the urban areas of the region, this trail is a wooded oasis—an escape from the every day stresses of nearby city life.

Parking and Trail Access

There are numerous access points and parking areas along the entire route. Refer to the map for more details.

Reviews

Excellent is an understatement

   July, 2015 by nesh422

First time to use the trail with my wife and we had a ball. Very friendly hikers,cyclists and the trail is just awesome. We got their late and only made it to 13 miles from MD we will be back to conquer the trail all the way to PA read more

Great trail for hiking, walking, running, and biking

   June, 2015 by ronaldriggs

Biked this trail today (6/7/15) from Paper Mill Rd to Monkton and back. The trail is in great shape and has many interesting things to see. The restrooms were clean and the water fountains in good working order. The Sparks Bank Nature Center has finally ...read more

Wonderful trail - great scenery and history

   June, 2015 by khrysinwythe

My wife dropped me off in Ashland and we met up for lunch in New Freedom at Paesano's Pizza . We split a meat lovers Stromboli and a salad. Excellent eating. The weather was great, the trail surface in good shape, and nice little communities along the ...read more