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Explore the best rated trails in Front Royal, VA, whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Meadowlark Connector Trail and Ox Road Sidepath . With more than 32 trails covering 4179 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I started my experience at the trailhead of the charming and historic town of Purcellville at 7:30 on a Saturday morning in late October. I only went about six miles, but was surprised at the amount of fitness minded people using the trail so early in the day. It was primarily walkers and runners, but every now and then serious speed demons on their bikes would race past me. It's certainly a good trail for building up speed.
As for me, a tourist from California, I was moving along the trail moderately so as to take advantage of as many photo ops as possible. I especially enjoyed the fall colors, rolling hills of farm and pasture land, and some historic, vintage buildings. The stately country homes were absolutely stunning! I wish I'd had more time to explore more of this trail further!
The trail is great starting at Cumberland. Pretty smooth and scenic. Not very far in there were quite a few detours as the trail was damaged in many places. I wish there had been more amenities along the trail. The last 40 miles into DC were surprisingly bad, with muddy rough conditions and detours. The trip was memorable and challenging and we were proud to raise money for theplummerhome.org for homeless veterans.
Day1: DC to Williamsport. Day 2: Williamsport to Cumberland. This was an amazing ride with beautiful fall scenery. Trail was well maintained and easy to navigate. It was mostly hard parked gravel with lots of historical sites and great views. Paw Paw tunnel was open. The trail thru tunnel is uneven and wet. Met some great people along the trail. I’ll definitely ride the trail again in the summer.
We took the Amtrak bike train to DC. Had to switch trains in Philly. Between Harrisburg and Philly we had to remove the front wheel and hang the bike. From Philly to DC they were stored in the baggage car and didn't require tire removal. The ride through DC was fantastic and much easier than we expected. The trail got a little confusing to get out of town but once we did we found the trail in much better condition then we expected. We stayed along the way in a hotel and a lock house. My favorite part was the area around the pawpaw tunnel but the trail was in very poor condition in spots. At one point when I tried to go my rear wheel would just spin and the bike wouldn't move. Very mucky and muddy. I'm sure it all depends on the amount of rain they had recently. It completed the ride from Pittsburgh to DC for me. I had ridden the GAP trail about 6 years prior. The only reason I didn't give it a five star rating is because of the mud in some areas. Overall it was great.
Because of the rainy weather before we arrived, we decided to do this trail instead of the muddy C and O Towpath. There were some tree roots riding from New Orleans to Hancock, but the vistas and beauty of the fall ride made up for it. We are leisurely cyclists with hybrid tires.
All I wanted to do was get from the Springfield Metro Station to Springfield - by Sydenstricker/Rolling Road. It's really unclear (or at least on both my GPS apps) on how to get back. Bike baths just kept ending and there was no sign (that I could see) indicating an alternate path, I had to weave thru neighborhoods guessing - but again w/no real signs and sometimes it just felt like it kept leading me again and again to the parkway. A few more signs, a bit more clarity. I've never struggled with a path so much and I bike all over MD, DC and VA. I seriously went around in circles around Hooes and Rolling for over 1.5 hours. I finally just biked on the emergency lane on the Parkway to get to Backlick.
Great trail, no complaints there, but the tree roots are indeed a real problem. Crushed limestone would be far safer. As an experienced long distance traveler with roughly 50 years of experience since my first 100 mile ride, I blithely dismissed reviews citing tree root issues. However, to my great surprise, the vertical 6" tree root bumps in the trail (and yes, I'm talking about passing through Hancock) are so severe that they will...
a) bump my wife completely out of her seat on a recumbent trike, and we kept slowing down further and further, to roughly 8 mph or less.
b) throw my monster battery off the bike despite it being locked down.
c) bend my 20" front rim on my recumbent 2 wheeler and cause a pinch flat with 3 holes in the tube about 1/4" in length, cut right into the tube.
And bear in mind that you CAN'T see them coming. Other riders remarked upon this, and I blithely dismissed that, too.
I could easily envision the unwary rider without a lot of experience, expecting a beautifully paved ride, getting injured.
We rode a 10 mile section of trail north of the Williamsport visitors center. Sunny day, high 60’s. It was the day after a 30 minute rain storm. Trees were in full bloom. Why 2 stars when it could be a 5? The trail needs a good layer of hard packed stone. Any rain will turn many spots into mud, as we encountered. The trail rides along the Potomac River. You could just about see otherwise the trail is under cover. To make it a 5, make sure the trail has dried out and the leaves have not bloomed or the have already dropped. It would sure be a 5.
If you are a history buff, esp. of the civil war, this trail is a must, and I highly recommend making Antietam Battlefield part of your trail ride. The surface is bumpy in spots, but overall, a very enjoyable ride and something to be experienced, esp. seeing Washington DC magically appear at the end of a long journey from Cumberland, MD to DC. Favorite spots were the boardwalks bordering the Potomac River and Harper's Ferry, be sure to stop at HF see the surrounding start of the Shenandoah Valley and Harper's Ferry from the bridge connecting the trail to HF.
This is a shady asphalt trail closely paralleling the adjacent gravel C&O canal path. I suppose the trail was paved as a road bike as a differentiator to the C&O path. But it needs repaving. There are not potholes at all, but the tree roots and rock movement have buckled and upheaved the paving in many places, making for some unpleasant surprises - de-chained my bike twice, I ended up with grease fingers from putting it back on. Hard to see the upheavals in the dappled sunlight, so it's quite distracting as you spend time a lot of slow time out of saddle to see and accommodate the crested bumps. The upheavals are not marked, btw. The trail is shady but the trees also conceal the views of the Potomac and mountains, so there is really only a couple of places with remarkable views. The best thing about the trail is its former Western Maryland railroad, so there is history. If it was paved at least it could be taken fast, but the buckled pavement requires a slower run, ok for casual biking but not for avid cyclist doing the length of the trail. The section from Hancock to Little Orleans is far better than Big Pool to Hancock, the latter basically features the loud sound of Interstate 70 which directly parallel. Fort Frederick by Big Pool is nice to visit though. Nearer Little Orleans, Indigo Tunnel on the trail is permanently closed as a bat haven and the reroute is on to the C&O. Which I found actually preferably more smooth than the WM Rail Trail, even on a road bike. All in all this could be a nicer trail, but the state of Maryland needs to invest in repaving and clearing some trees from the trail's shoulders to prevent more of same. Asphalt trails need more maintenance than cinders trails, pavement always degrades not necessarily just potholes, and this trail is an example of what happens when repaving or maintenance does not happen. It rates "ok" in my book, glad I did it but not one I would repeat on a road bike until they clean it up.
Too many road cyclists going way too fast! This is a trail not a road. So watch out if you want to leisurely ride your bike on this trail because they are flying by.
I've ridden the WMRT a few times, but in the last year or so root growth has undermined the asphalt paving on most of the 28 mile trail length. The trail is in poor condition at best and a unsuspecting biker could be thrown from their bike by hitting one of these raised asphalt root growth locations. The trail needs to have all of these bump areas ground flush or resurface the entire trail. I drove from Columbia, Md out to Hancock and was disappointed in the trail.
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