Columbia Hiking Trails and Maps

969 Reviews

Looking for the best Hiking trails around Columbia?

Find the top rated hiking trails in Columbia, whether you're looking for an easy short hiking trail or a long hiking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a hiking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
63 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Angelica Creek Trail

1.9 mi
State: PA
Gravel

Bear Hole Trail

5.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Belmont Trail

0.5 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Big Woods Trail

3 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Blue Marsh Lake Multi-Use Trail

28.6 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Dirt, Grass, Gravel

Brighton-Reidenbaugh Park Trail

0.5 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Butterfly Acres Trail

0.5 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Capital Area Greenbelt

20.9 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Cinder, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Chester Valley Trail

14 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Chickies Rock Overlook Trail

0.5 mi
State: PA
Dirt

Conestoga Greenway Trail

1 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Conewago Recreation Trail

5.1 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Creek Road Trail

2.3 mi
State: DE
Dirt, Gravel

Cumberland County Biker/Hiker Trail

2.2 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

9.4 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Grass

East Branch Brandywine Trail

2.5 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Elizabethtown Connector Trail

0.3 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Enola Low Grade Trail

27.6 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Exeter Scenic River Trail

2.3 mi
State: PA
Cinder, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Gettysburg Inner Loop

1.03 mi
State: PA
Asphalt
Accordion

Gravity Trail

4.15 mi
State: PA
Ballast, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel

Hanover Trolley Trail

3.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Heritage Rail Trail County Park

24.9 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Heritage Trail (PA)

1.1 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Boardwalk

Herring Run Trail

2.5 mi
State: MD
Asphalt

Hollow Creek Greenway

1.7 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone, Gravel

James F. Hall Trail

1.8 mi
State: DE
Asphalt

Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail

13 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Jones Falls Trail

9.1 mi
State: MD
Asphalt

Kissel Hill Commons Trail

1 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Lancaster Junction Trail

2.3 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

LeTort Spring Run Nature Trail

2 mi
State: PA
Cinder, Dirt, Grass

Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail

14.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail

2.5 mi
State: MD
Crushed Stone

Lykens Valley Rail Trail

9.2 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

MA & PA Heritage Trail

5 mi
State: MD
Crushed Stone, Dirt

Manheim Township Bikeway

0.7 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Middle Creek Trail

1.3 mi
State: PA
Gravel

Mill Creek Trail (PA)

0.9 mi
State: PA
Woodchips

Muhlenberg Rail Trail

1.75 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Neversink Connector Trail

1.2 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Northwest Corridor Linear Park

0.7 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

14.1 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Parrish Trail

1.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone, Gravel

Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail

4.4 mi
State: DE
Asphalt, Gravel

Red Clay Creek Trail

1 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone, Gravel

Red Lion Mile

1 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Schuylkill River Trail

76.6 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Springlawn Trail

2.1 mi
State: PA
Dirt, Gravel

Stony Run Trail

2.9 mi
State: MD
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel, Woodchips

Stony Valley Railroad Grade

21.5 mi
State: PA
Dirt, Gravel

Struble Trail

2.6 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Swatara Rail-Trail

10 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel

The Lions' Trail

0.4 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

19.5 mi
State: MD
Crushed Stone, Dirt

Union Canal Trail

6.3 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Uwchlan Trail

2.5 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Warwick Township Linear Park Trail

1.2 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail-Trail

4.1 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Wyomissing Creek Trail

2.6 mi
State: PA
Asphalt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Angelica Creek Trail, in Reading's suburbs, begins at a scenic stretch of the Schuylkill River Trail, then goes south along the river a short distance before heading northwest toward Angelica...
PA 1.9 mi Gravel
Swatara Creek runs through the vast woodlands of Swatara State Park in eastern Pennsylvania. Bear Hole Trail traces the eastern side of the waterway, while the Swatara Rail-Trail runs along the other...
PA 5.5 mi Crushed Stone
Constructed as part of the Belmont subdivision/Shoppers At Belmont mixed use development, the Belmont Trail is part of Manheim Township's growing network of multi-use greenways and the latest of...
PA 0.5 mi Asphalt
Envisioned as a multi-use trail that will eventually connect the Thun Trail section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Union Township in southeast Berks County to the towns of Elverson and St. Peters in...
PA 3 mi Crushed Stone
The Blue Marsh Lake Multi-Use Trail loops around a manmade reservoir just outside of Reading in southeastern Pennsylvania. The trail has a mixture of surfaces (hard-packed dirt, grass, gravel and...
PA 28.6 mi Asphalt, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
Located in northern Manheim Township, the Brighton-Reidenbaugh Park Trail is a link in the suburban Lancaster County municipality's growing network of multi-use trails. The trail consists of 3...
PA 0.5 mi Asphalt
Situated near the south end of Lititz borough, the half-mile long Butterfly Acres Park Trail follows a restored wetland and small stream, connecting two neighborhoods. A smaller segment, which is...
PA 0.5 mi Asphalt
Originally conceived by landscape architect Warren Manning (a disciple of Frederick Law Olmsted), the Capital Area Greenbelt is a 20-mile ring of parks and trails circling the Pennsylvania capital...
PA 20.9 mi Asphalt, Cinder, Concrete, Crushed Stone
Chester Valley Trail currently stretches 14 miles between Exton and King of Prussia. Its west end is anchored by Exton Park, while its east end stops just shy of the King of Prussia Mall. Along the...
PA 14 mi Asphalt
As its name implies, hikers on the Chickies Rock Overlook Trail will be rewarded with a beautiful vista at the end of their excursion. The trail follows an old trolley line route that once took...
PA 0.5 mi Dirt
This trail is not offically part of the Lancaster County Park system. It runs next to the Conestoga River at Sunnyside. The one end of the trail is at Lancaster County Central Park. Although there is...
PA 1 mi Asphalt
The Conewago Recreation Trail in northwestern Lancaster County parallels Conewago Creek over most of its length, as it passes through farmland and forests. A unit of the Lancaster County Department of...
PA 5.1 mi Crushed Stone
The Creek Road Trail extends north from a connection with the Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail in White Clay Creek State Park. The scenic park features over 37 miles of hiking trails through wooded...
DE 2.3 mi Dirt, Gravel
This gently winding trail in Pine Grove Furnace State Park passes along the shores of two lakes and through the woodlands of Michaux State Forest. Pine Grove Furnace began operating in 1764 to take...
PA 2.2 mi Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone
The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail runs down the middle of its namesake: the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania, between the South Mountain and Blue Mountain ridges on the eastern flank of the...
PA 9.4 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Grass
Less than an hour west of Philadelphia, the East Branch Brandywine Trail begins south of Downingtown and continues south along its namesake river. The paved trail passes through meadows and wooded...
PA 2.5 mi Asphalt
The first section of the Elizabethtown Connector Trail officially opened in May 2015. Although just shy of a mile this trail provides such beautiful scenery that you'll feel like you could stay...
PA 0.3 mi Asphalt
Caution: On April 12, 2018, a fire severely damaged the Martic Forge Trestle, which runs over Pequea Creek and River Road on the Enola Low Grade Trail. Access to the trail going west from the Route...
PA 27.6 mi Crushed Stone
The Exeter Scenic River Trail traces the north bank of the Schuylkill River. The tree-lined route provides views of the river and runs to the Klapperthal Trail at the base of Neversink Mountain. Visit...
PA 2.3 mi Cinder, Crushed Stone, Gravel
The Gettysburg Inner Loop is a network of multi-use trails and signed, on-street bicycle routes, paralleled by sidewalks for foot traffic, currently being built around the perimeter of the historic,...
PA 1.03 mi Asphalt
Accordion
Constructed in 2012, the Gravity Trail is one of the newer additions to the extensive network of trails and greenways that criss-cross the Greater Reading metro area. The trail's unusual name comes...
PA 4.15 mi Ballast, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
The Hanover Trolley Trail is being built along the 16-mile corridor of the York-Hanover Trolley Line that ran between the two cities in the early 1900s. Currently, about a quarter of that distance is...
PA 3.5 mi Crushed Stone
Note: Per the York County website, "A section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park will be closed starting March 21, 2016. The closure will begin at the Colonial Courthouse in York, south to...
PA 24.9 mi Crushed Stone
Part of the township's ongoing efforts to create a network of multi-use greenways, Manheim Twp.'s Heritage Trail begins at Valley Road and extends south, along the eastern boundary of Landis Woods to...
PA 1.1 mi Asphalt, Boardwalk
Baltimore’s Herring Run Trail runs through scenic Herring Run Park, centered on a tributary of the Back River. The winding trail follows Herring Run through a woodlands environment so peaceful you're...
MD 2.5 mi Asphalt
The Hollow Creek Greenway follows its namesake waterway through scenic woodlands and valleys, offering a quiet oasis in the suburbs. The trail provides an important link between neighborhoods, schools...
PA 1.7 mi Crushed Stone, Gravel
The JFK Walking Trail is a hidden gem created to be part of the Pottsville Community flagship recreation complex. The paved trail is located behind the tennis courts and pool. A stylish sign complete...
PA 0.82 mi Asphalt
The James F. Hall Trail—a rail-with-trail—packs a lot into a short stretch: Its paved surface is great for bicycling, in-line skating, and strolling, and there are multiple playgrounds, picnic areas,...
DE 1.8 mi Asphalt
The Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail, named for a local resident who died in a bicycling accident, offers a safe paved route through Derry and nearby communities. It begins in a rural area just south...
PA 13 mi Asphalt
When complete, the Jones Falls Trail will extend 10 miles between Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the Mount Washington Light Rail Station. Currently, a paved, off-road section runs from Cylburn...
MD 9.1 mi Asphalt
A part of Manheim Township's network of multi-use greenways, the mile-long Kissel Hill Commons Trail extends across the mixed use subdivision for which it is named in the suburbs north of...
PA 1 mi Asphalt
Originally the Reading & Columbia Railroad, this branch of the Reading Railroad was built to haul anthracite coal to Columbia where it was loaded into barges on the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal for...
PA 2.3 mi Crushed Stone
The short, tranquil LeTort Spring Run Nature Trail follows its namesake creek closely, LeTort Spring Run, through a mix of deciduous trees and lowland marshes bristling with tall grasses and cattails....
PA 2 mi Cinder, Dirt, Grass
The Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail takes you on a journey into Pennsylvania Dutch country. Running along the corridor of the old Cornwall-Lebanon Railroad, the 14.5-mile trail lets you experience the...
PA 14.5 mi Crushed Stone
Maryland's Susquehanna State Park is recognized for challenging hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, rock outcroppings, boating, a museum and restored historical sites. But none of these...
MD 2.5 mi Crushed Stone
Lykens Valley Rail Trail is nearly half-way complete with 9 miles of trail open out of 20 miles planned. Those 9 miles are available in three disconnected segments. In Millersburg, a 0.4-mile segment...
PA 9.2 mi Crushed Stone
The MA & PA Heritage Trail is found in two segments (about 2 miles apart) through the wooded parks of Maryland's Bel Air and Forest Hill communities. The folksy sounding name actually stands for the...
MD 5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
Part of Manheim Township's growing network of multi-use greenways, the Manheim Township Bikeway begins off Kissel Hill Road, immediately north of the intersection with Landis Valley Road. Heading...
PA 0.7 mi Asphalt
Part of Manheim Township's growing greenway network, the paved, multi-use trail begins at the access road to the Manheim Township Community Park and loops around athletic fields and a playground at...
PA 2 mi Asphalt
Forming the eastern side of a triangle with Elders Run Trail and the 130-mile Horseshoe Trail, the short, charming Middle Creek Trail is contained within wooded Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area...
PA 1.3 mi Gravel
Just short of a mile in length, the Mill Creek Trail follows the south bank of the stream for which it is named in the suburbs east of Lancaster. Paved with a surface of compact woodchips, the...
PA 0.9 mi Woodchips
The Muhlenberg Rail Trail spans nearly 2 miles, running parallel to Rosedale Avenue from Laureldale Borough to Temple. It follows a former corridor of the East Penn Branch Railroad, traversing a...
PA 1.75 mi Asphalt
Reading's Neversink Connector Trail is a short paved pathway that branches off the Thun Trail, a 18-mile section of the Schuylkill River Trail. It begins near the Reading Area Community College and...
PA 1.2 mi Asphalt
Included in the seven-mile network of trails in Little Buffalo State Park are two small sections of rail-trail. Together they are called the Newport and Sherman's Valley Railroad Trace. The...
PA 1.16 mi Crushed Stone, Grass
Northwest Corridor Linear Park is a short paved pathway that winds its way among the city streets just northeast of the city square. The pathway functions as community park for residents of downtown...
PA 0.7 mi Asphalt
Northwest Lancaster County River Trail stretches nearly 13 miles along the east bank of the Susquehanna River between Falmouth (near the Dauphin County line) and Columbia. Along the way, you can...
PA 14.1 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Located in Kennett Township, the Parrish Trail follows the West Branch of the Red Clay Creek from Pennock Park south, currently ending off Chandler Mill Road just south of its intersection with...
PA 1.5 mi Crushed Stone, Gravel
The Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail offers urban connections to the University of Delaware campus, Newark Shopping Center, DART Transit Hub and the downtown area, as well as the recreational amenities...
DE 4.4 mi Asphalt, Gravel
A work in progress, the Red Clay Creek Trail currently extends along the east branch of the creek for which it is named in Kennett Square. The trail, which has a crushed-stone surface of varying...
PA 1 mi Crushed Stone, Gravel
This is a pleasant one mile community trail which begins right at the center of Red Lion, PA. The main trailhead is on Main St. at the restored MA&PA train station, which now is home to the Red Lion...
PA 1 mi Crushed Stone
Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River Trail forms the spine of the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area, a five-county expanse between Philadelphia and Pottsville. Built along former...
PA 76.6 mi Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
The Springlawn Trail travels on what was once Springlawn Road, connecting Chesterville Road (Rt. 841) and Strickersville Road. The 2-mile trail is comprised of dirt and gravel and makes for a good...
PA 2.1 mi Dirt, Gravel
Baltimore’s Stony Run Trail follows an old Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad line through nearly 3 miles of wooded stream valleys and small parks, providing a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle...
MD 2.9 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel, Woodchips
Originally named St. Anthony's Wilderness by Moravian missionaries who arrived in the colony in 1742 to convert Native tribes, the Stony Creek Valley became the site of five bustling towns after...
PA 21.5 mi Dirt, Gravel
The Chester County Parks & Recreation Department opened this trail in 1979 on part of a former Pennsylvania Railroad right-of-way. Today the 2.6-mile trail attracts more than 125,000 visitors each...
PA 2.6 mi Asphalt
The discovery of anthracite coal in the Tremont area of Pennsylvania shaped commerce and development well into the 1800s. The Union Canal was constructed in the 1820s to connect the Schuylkill and...
PA 10 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
Picking up directly across Norwood Road from the Struble trail's south end point, The Lions' trail offers a half mile of paved trail winding through scenic Kardon Park with 10 acres of ponds and over...
PA 0.4 mi Asphalt
The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is one of the best hiking and biking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region. It allows for nearly 20 miles of flat travel, punctuated by a number of access points and an...
MD 19.5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
The Union Canal Trail parallels Tulpehocken Creek between Stonecliffe Action Park northwest of downtown Reading and Blue Marsh Lake. The original Union Canal ran 79.5 miles from the Schuylkill River...
PA 6.3 mi Crushed Stone
A work in progress, the 2.5-mile Uwchlan Trail currently extends from the Struble Trail off the intersection of Dowlin Forge and Shelmire roads, north along the Shamona Creek and primarily following...
PA 2.5 mi Asphalt
The Warwick Township Linear Park Trail is a joint project of Warwick Township and Lititz borough. The pathway extends from Market Street north, following the Santo Domingo Creek, to Newport Road....
PA 1.2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail-Trail, first envisioned in the 1990s, is a developing pathway being built along the former Reading Railroad. The 7-mile route is hoped to be completed in 2018 and will...
PA 4.1 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel
The Wyomissing Creek Trail offers a pleasant tree-lined route along its namesake waterway in West Reading. At its eastern end, you can connect to an 18-mile segment of the Schuylkill River Trail that...
PA 2.6 mi Asphalt

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Trails by activity

Recent Trail Reviews

Heritage Rail Trail County Park

Beautiful Trail

October, 2018 by johnboylan200

My wife and I rode the Heritage Trail today, starting at Seven Valleys, and headed south to New Freedom. The trail was very scenic, with views of the creek, farmhouses, all along the shaded trail, which was made of crushed stone. The trail ran parallel to the railroad tracks the entire way on this flat portion of the trail. It was very easy and enjoyable ride, and we plan to make the 1.5 hour drive from our home tomorrow, to take in other parts of the trail. There are a lot of nice bike trails in Eastern Pennsylvania, but I would rank the Heritage Trail in the 3

Enola Low Grade Trail

local perspective & update

October, 2018 by kbaer

Update.....trail west of Quarryville to the Pequea Creek just west of Rte 324 is crushed cinder (with good scenery, some open, some in a hollow ditch with several good, safe parking areas). However, the beautiful trestle bridge at Martic Forge was victim of arson in early 2018, so trail does not cross the creek at this time, though repair is hopeful.

Closest parking west of the closed bridge is at Colemanville Church Rd. From there, it's crushed cinder (improved in 2017-18) for 2 miles to a spur (hiking) trail to Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve, and another 1 mile improved rail trail to the Conestoga River. There, the Safe Harbor trestle bridge is currently closed but another hopeful for repair. This stretch has designated climbing areas.

West beyond the Safe Harbor bridge is the great, improved, five mile section of the Enola LG that is located in Manor Twp, also with climbing areas, and a nice parking lot at Turkey Hill Point.

For points east of Quarryville- a new parking lot was installed in early -mid 2018 along Rt 372 just east of Q-ville. Not sure of the current surface of trail east of Q-ville, but it was unimproved but manageable with wider tires up to Hollow Rd, then there's a stretch that's not fun, with difficult sand and mud, up to the access at Rte 896.

Parrish Trail

the Parrish trail is 3/4 miles

September, 2018 by lycaeides

Ok for walking or as a cut through to avoid busy roads. Not good for road bikes. Narrow, bumpy and muddy. I clocked it from one end to the other and came out with .75 miles. If you walk one end to the other and then back, it would be 1.5 miles. Hoping it will be improved.

Accordion

Warwick-to-Ephrata Rail-Trail

Warwick to Ephrata Rail to Trail

September, 2018 by dagood

A wonderful trail to walk and ride bike on.

Blue Marsh Lake Multi-Use Trail

Needs attention

September, 2018 by caroljnwilliams

Much of trail has no maintenance. Was great trail not now!,,,,,










Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

NLCRT

September, 2018 by taztlz1958

Very nice paved trail from Columbia to Bainbridge. Beyond Bainbridge you need a mountain bike and know how to use it. We struggled for about a mile on a hybrid but it wasn't worth it. Beyond Bainbridge trail turned to dirt and intermittant large gravel. Trail kind of peters out into tall grass.

Ride offers parallel trail at Marietta one through town and one along river, both are nice and suggest both especially for round trippers as the 10 mile ride each way is nice for a round trip. Traffic on trail became heavy on weekend after 10 am. Trail is narrow so for those who like to cruise I do not recommend a weekend.

Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail

Biked it & Liked it

September, 2018 by cwspangler

A few weekends ago a good friend and I biked the entire trail starting in Lebanon and ultimately ending in Columbia along the river. The 14.5 mile trail is well taken care of and their were plenty of workers patching up spots along the way (they just had tons of rain the week before). The majority of the trail is well shaded and there are plenty of places to stop and take a break along the way. A very pretty ride through the country side. Well worth returning to time and time again. If you continue like we did along the Conewago Connector Trail it is a another approximately 5 miles until you reach Rt 230. A left turn onto 230 will take you 3.5 miles in the lovely town of Elizabethtown. Stay on Market St. through town and you will pass several places to rest, eat, relax, and grab a coffee. Continue on Market St. and then make a Left onto Rt. 241 (W. Bainbridge St.) until you get to River Rd (Rt 441). Cross over River Rd. and make a left onto N. 2nd St. and continue into the town of Bainbridge. Make a right onto Race St. and head straight down to the river, there you will find the terminus of the NW Lancaster County River Trail. I absolutely love this trail. Paved all the way to Columbia 14.1 miles away. Twisty, turnings, rolling small hills, river to one side, and forest and corn fields on the other. The entire trip is about 40 miles. Check the NW Lancaster trail for flooding or heavy rains prior to the trip as a few areas of the trail may flood out turning your trip into 57 miles instead due to turning around and finding road routes around it. Enjoy!!!

Chester Valley Trail

I only walked a small section, about 3 miles but it was clean and perfect

August, 2018 by pivy7

I only walked a small section, about 3 miles but it was clean and perfect

Springlawn Trail

Nice walk close to creek. Shade is nice for hot days. Terrain is slightly challenging.

August, 2018 by pivy7

Nice walk close to creek. Shade is nice for hot days. Terrain is slightly challenging.

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

August, 2018 by laurajneal

This is our favorite trail to ride with our kids. It’s about 12 miles from the Mt. Rock Rd section to Shippensburg. The trail is wide and well maintained, and there are restrooms at the Newville trailhead and the township park that’s about 1500 ft off the Oakville Rd trailhead.

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

Well Maintained

August, 2018 by prhelt

This a nice trail. It is closer to 13 miles as of now. They have been adding to it and they clearly plan to add more as the end says "'Temporary End". Only issue is there is not much to see on the way. It is pretty flat and straight. The small gravel surface was a little deep so I would not recommend a road bike. You can use one, but it would not be the best choice.

Stony Valley Railroad Grade

Great Trail But Be Prepared

August, 2018 by merlinsolis

We just moved to the area and live a half hour from the trail head so I wanted to give it a go. July was the 4th wettest month in recorded history for the area so factor that into some of my comments.

FIRST --- FINDING THE TRAILHEAD

I am an RT member and recently received the 2018 version of the Rail-Trails Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York Guidebook. Please ignore the directions in the book unless you are giving them to someone you dislike very much. Here is how to find it: After you get off Interstate 81 at exit 100 make a left to the traffic light. It is marked route 72. Turn left and continue on 72 until it intersects with route 443. Veer to the right onto 443 and continue on 443 until you reach Gold Mine Road on the left (it is like 9 miles or so to the turnoff). There is a wooden PA sign for Swatara Creek RT & Park directly to the right. Once you are on Gold Mine Road continue over the top of the first mountain (there are two!!). As you descend the mountain (I want to say about half way down) there is a gravel road on the left and a PA State Game Sign just past the gravel road (right now weeds almost have it obscured (see my picture, if RT allows it to be posted. Drive back that road. You will see on the right an extensive pile of macadam road that has been taken up and dumped there. Past it you will find the trail head, although there is no sign noting that this is Stony Valley RT. You have made it there!

THE TRAIL
I did my ride this morning after the very rainy July. There are significant wash outs some as deep as a foot and as long as 30-40 yards. There was a tree across the trail (which they will remove) that required some nifty maneuvering to get around since the trail is elevated at this point. The trail is VERY FLAT and CANOPIED its entire length. As a result there were a lot of puddles in the trail and in some cases extended puddles a 1/20th of a mile or so where the water was over the top of my rims with a rocky and muddy bottom. There were many soft spots causing some sliding and skidding. There were a lot of branches on the trail and they have been there for some time. I jumped a number of them and some were rotten and paths ridden through them. All-in-all the trail is very rough but very beautiful. On my way back to the car there was a porcupine on the trail and all he did was bury his head and extend his quills without moving an inch from the center of the trail. Since it is canopied its entire length I do not recommend sun glasses. I wore mine and it was very hard to see some of the debris, water and washouts on the trail.

DISTANCE
The trail book says it is 21 miles long. I rode 17 miles between the two trail heads noted in the book. I started to ride the dirt road past the trail head and it was laden with mega potholes and since I wasn't even sure I was on the right trail I turned around. Next time I will continue along the access road and report of what I find.

EQUIPMENT
I have read some of the reviews and one noted that doing this trail on a road bike can be fun and successful. I strongly suggest that you disregard that review. I have a full suspension mountain bike and I needed every bit of it. I spent more than my share of time out of the saddle and found myself slipping, sliding, bouncing and jumping the entire length of the trail between the trail heads. I would never even try this on a hybrid or gravel bike even if it is dried out let alone a road bike. It is a very bumpy ride...as someone else wrote, rough.

As noted, cell phone coverage is non-existent. I recommend either riding with someone or certainly wearing a RoadID so you have some help if something happens.

REVIEWER
The context for the reviewer is important for understanding the review. I do 10-15 century rides a year on my road bike and ride my mountain bike many times a week a minimum of 35-40 miles. I travel all over the country with my bikes doing centuries, trails and single track. This is a less traveled trail that is quite spectacular but be prepared when you ride it.

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