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The Catonsville Short Line Trail follows a segment of the former Catonsville Short Line Railroad, which ran from Charlestown to Catonsville. As of 2018, the trail runs between Shady Nook Avenue and Charlestown Retirement Community on the east side of the Baltimore Beltway, a distance of 1 mile.
West of the Beltway, a 0.5-mile section of trail has also been cleared around Mellor Avenue across from the Catonsville Armory. Plans call for more clearing, as well as improving the trail surface of both sections in addition to linking the two sections. Take care when crossing the streets because there are no pedestrian crossings.
Access the Catonsville Short Line Trail at Maiden Choice Lane, Paradise at South Prospect and Shady Nook Avenue.
This trail is well-maintained and fairly easy to follow. Due to its short length, it may be better suited for walking or jogging than biking. The trail is rich in local history, passing by the Spring Grove Hospital complex (established 1797), the Baltimore National Military Cemetery, St. Mary’s Seminary, and the former St. Charles College (now Charlestown Senior Living). There is a moderate uphill grade moving from east to west. For bikers seeking a longer ride, the Catonsville Short Line trail can be combined with the Number 8 and Number 9 Trolley trails, for a six-mile ride between Catonsville and Ellicott City.
When commuting from Baltimore to my home in Catonsville, I use this trail regularly as a short cut. Maiden Choice Lane is a steep grade to climb on a bicycle. I use this trail which is a lot easier to pedal - and don't have to climb the rest of Maiden Choice Lane! You can travel from Maiden Choice, to Shady Nook via this trail, then follow Shady Nook to Frederick Road just west of Paradise - it eliminates a lot of hill climbing.
Thank you Catonsville Rails to Trails for maintaining this important transportation link. Hopefully, one day you will be able to bridge 695, and restore the rail trail to it's former glory.
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