Cumberland Valley Rail Trail


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Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Cumberland
Length: 13.7 miles
Trail end points: W. Fort St. and N. Earl St. (Shippensburg) to Green Hill Road (Newville) and Allen Road just south of Cooper Cir. to just south of Newville Road (Carlisle)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6031429
Trail activities: Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Description

The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail rolls 13.7 miles through a bucolic valley that’s hemmed in by the Blue and South Mountains in south-central Pennsylvania. Running from Shippensburg to east of Newville, with a 1-mile segment in Carlisle, the trail will eventually extend seamlessly all the way to Carlisle, the county seat, for a distance of 20 miles. The pathway is part of the September 11th National Memorial Trail that connects the World Trade Center, Flight 93, and Pentagon Memorials. 

The route roughly follows travel corridors first used by American Indians and then Scotch-Irish settlers in the mid-1700s. The trail traces the former Cumberland Valley Railroad, which launched service between Harrisburg and Chambersburg in 1837 and grew south all the way to Winchester, Virginia. The railroad became contentious during the Civil War as it delivered Union troops and supplies into Southern territory; Confederates destroyed a section of tracks in Chambersburg, but the Union had the train running again in a week. 

The last operator, Conrail, donated the railroad right-of-way to the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails Council in 1995. The nonprofit finished nearly 10 miles of trail by 2006 and then set about acquiring the segment that extends to Carlisle in 2011. A 1-mile section in Carlisle, beginning at Allen Road, was completed in 2017, and 2018 saw an additional 2 miles open in Newville, with a goal of eventually connecting to Carlisle. 
The path is mostly crushed limestone, though sections in Shippensburg and Newville are asphalt, as are numerous road crossings along the way. The trail is open dawn–dusk, and bicyclists are required to wear helmets. Also, equestrians must keep to the grass alongside the trail, except at road crossings. 
If you start in Shippensburg, visit the railroad museum in an old boxcar at the trailhead. Or take advantage of several restaurants and diners located near Shippensburg University. For history buffs, a dozen Civil War and agricultural history signs are posted along the route. 
Shippensburg, settled in 1730, was the first community in the Cumberland Valley and was home to a fort during the French and Indian War. Three blocks from the trailhead in downtown, which was occupied by Confederate forces, Civil War historical markers are common.  
Leaving town, you’ll pass the Shippensburg University campus and arrive at another trailhead at Shippensburg Township Community Park in 1 mile. The trail is wooded for the next 2 miles and then opens up for wide-ranging views of farms and pastureland on the way to Newville. You might see an Amish family with a horse and buggy as you cross roads along the way. Also, the trail council is known for employing goats to consume invasive weeds growing along the path. 
At 6.3 miles, you’ll pass through Oakville, a stop on the Cumberland Valley Railroad and now a shady picnic spot. Another 3.8 miles of travel takes you to the Newville trailhead, after which you’ll pass the borough of Newville on the south side. If you want a bite to eat, turn left onto Big Spring Road and head a few blocks into the old downtown, settled in 1790, where you’ll find a diner and pizzeria. 
The path then continues another 1.7 miles to its endpoint on Green Hill Road. A 1-mile section of trail also runs west from Allen Road in Carlisle through trees and farmland. Plans call for connecting to that segment in the future.  

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Shippensburg trailhead from I-81 N, take Exit 24 and turn left onto PA 696/Olde Scotland Road. Go 2.1 miles, and turn left onto S. Fayette St. Then go 0.6 mile, and turn right onto Orange St. Go 0.2 mile, and turn left onto N. Earl St. Go 0.3 mile, and turn right onto W. Fort St. Look for parking immediately to your left, after passing the starting point for the trail.

To reach the Shippensburg trailhead from I-81 S, take Exit 29, and turn right onto PA 174/Walnut Bottom Road. Go 1.5 miles, and turn left onto US 11/E. King St. Go 0.8 mile, and turn right onto N. Earl St. Then go 0.3 mile, and turn right onto W. Fort St. Look for parking immediately to your left, after passing the starting point for the trail.

To reach the Newville trailhead from I-81, take Exit 37 onto PA 233. Head north, go 3.9 miles, and turn left onto Vine St. Go 0.2 mile, and continue straight to stay on PA 533/Fairfield St. 0.4 mile. Turn left onto Rich St., go 0.1 mile, and turn left onto McFarland St. The trailhead parking lot is immediately to your right.
To reach the Carlisle trailhead from I-81, take Exit 44, and head northwest on PA 465/Allen Road. Go 1.1 miles. Turn right into the parking lot, just after passing Ross Stores Distribution Center. To reach the trailhead, turn right out of the parking lot onto Allen Road, and go about 0.2 mile. Look for the trailhead on your left.

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Reviews

My friend and I rode this trail on November 1, 2019. What a great trail. We rode it end to end starting from the Newville parking area. Even after heavy rains the day before the trail was in great shape. Seemed to be slightly uphill riding towards Shippensburg but overall it was pretty flat with only mild dips and hills during road crossings. I would highly recommend this trail.

Rode this trail for a first, 09/03/19 started at Newville and rode to Shippensburg which seemed to be the harder direction to pedal, then back. Found clean restrooms at both ends which is a big plus for this trail. Good sight distance at road crossings and brush is cleared back from the trail itself. A Scenic view is lacking as trail is heavily tree lined or flanked by high embankments which cant be helped and shouldn't discourage users. Passed many friendly folks who smiled and said hello.

This is a beautiful ride from Newville to Shippensburg! The trail is well maintained an offers scenic views of woodland and picturesque farmlands. We will definitely be back!


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.

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.

October 17 rode the trail end to end.

Trail has been extended into Shippensburg and College. Took a short trip around the town but not familiar with the area so basically I got separated from the trail (lost) for a few minutes.

Trail surface is getting 'beat up' a bit. Could use some maintenance. Sort of becoming a 'two-track' in places. Horses have left impressions in the gravel.

There is a very short extension toward Carlisle. Maybe 3/4 mile ending just past route-233. They re-decked a bridge and installed a box tunnel under the road. Looking forward to having the trail extended.

The asphalt section of the trail starting at mile marker 10 (Newville) does not extend very far, maybe a mile at the most. The rest of the trail (down to mile marker 6, which is where we turned around) is very narrow and a little unnerving for someone who is still not totally comfortable on a bicycle. Every time someone passed me I felt as though we were going to hit handle bars. Otherwise, the trail is mostly flat and it is very scenic. I would definitely walk this trail but won't be back with my bike.

Have been on this trail twice this summer, from Newville all the way to Shippensburg. A great trail, well-kept up and scenic. Lots of Amish on bikes and carriages (I saw my first Amish convoy!). Park about 1 mile from Shippensburg end is a great place for a rest or lunch break. Nicely kept up bathrooms.

Walk the trail daily. Great trail, but I have noticed that with the increase in traffic, many bikers pass walkers at fairly high speeds and with no warning. Bikers please let walkers know you are passing. Also, there is a sign on the new bridge stating that bikers are to dismount if there are pedestrians on the bridge. I don't think most are aware of this. Not a real issue on a dry bridge, but could be when the bridge is wet, as the wood is very slippy.

The trail has now been extended another mile or so into Shippensburg past the park, crosses a new bridge (the old hillside shortcut to Ship is still visible) and continues as a paved pathway adjacent to the university campus. The trail currently dead ends on a side street with no apparent signage, but it appears that restrooms and a parking area are under construction there. At the other end in Newville, a metal bridge was added and the trail continues to Rt 233, although there is no access there. Hopefully this is the start of the planned extension to Carlisle.

I did this trail exactly one year ago (see the review a Tale of Two Trails). When I returned earlier this weekend, I discovered a brand new bridge over Fogelsanger Road. Plus, the section that was unimproved last year is now completely paved all the way to Earl Street. As I understand it, a new bridge will soon open in Newville over Big Spring Road as well. Major kudos to the CVRTC!

We started in Newville and rode the trail southwest to just outside of Shippensburg and back. It is noted that the depiction of the trail on the traillink map is not entirely accurate. The actual trail stops along side McFarland Street in Newville and at Shippensburg Township Park just outside of Shippensburg. Also, there is parking on both ends of the trail although not indicated on the map. As for the trail itself, we found it to be in very good condition and actually considered it to be a fast trail. If you like the Buffalo Valley trail between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, you'll probably enjoy this trail as well. Also, it appears that they are currently working to extend the trail on both ends.

We rode from the Newville trailhead today, toward Shippensberg. We went as far as mile marker 2 and thought the trail was just as well maintained and enjoyable as when we rode it a year ago. Perhaps the deteriorating portion mentioned by some reviewers is closer in to Shippensberg. It was a beautiful autumn day, sunny but very breezy with temperatures in the upper 50s/low 60s. I don't think we would want to ride this trail if the temperature were below 55. It's fairly open with thin tree lines that don't block the wind. Most of the trail is well packed gravel. I was glad it wasn't wet, though, because it was laid down heavily in places and would be difficult to ride through if wet. It's a very pretty ride through farmland. We stopped at one road crossing to watch 8 or 9 Amish buggies pass. All in all, an excellent ride relatively close to Harrisburg and Carlisle.

This was our first rail trail ride on our bikes mind you, but it was amazing! If it's a sunny day, there's a nice mix of sun and shade, as you ride through portions that are lined with shady trees. The trail is mostly flat with occasional slight inclines along the way. Like I stated, much of the trail is lined with trees, but occasionally portions open up to gorgeous farmland. A mountain or hybrid bike would be fine on this trail. The crushed stone is packed well enough to not be a problem. There are sticks and bigger stones scattered about at times but are easily avoided. We saw lots of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs along the way. We did this on a HOT Spring day, but are thinking of doing it again in the Fall!

I did parts of both the improved section and the unimproved section leading into Shippensburg University. The improved section starts in Shippensburg Township Park. It is a pretty and flat ride through the countryside. As stated in the description, the unimproved end of the trail has a steep and dangerous section; and there's actually two - one on each side of Fogelsanger Road. The entrance to the unimproved section is difficult to find, but worth it! More suited to hiking than bicycling, it's a lovely walk through the forest.

August 28/29, 2015. Started in Shippensburg at a very nice local park with lots of parking, easy access to trail, clean restrooms & a covered pavilion. We chose to bike only to halfway point in Oakville (& back), where we enjoyed a light picnic in the shade at picnic tables. Restrooms located 800 yards down road at a local park. For the most part, gravel surface was ok, but there were a couple areas where it was pretty thick, making the bike want to wander. Today we biked from Newville to Oakville & enjoyed picnic again. Oakville has a nice starting point also, with shaded picnic tables & nice restrooms. Trail had a rough couple spots where small stones were packed down instead of gravel. Just had to be careful. Mostly level biking with about 2 small inclines to cross roads. Trees & underbrush block most views, but also keep you shaded except at midday. Take the time to stop at clearings to view the beautiful valley & distant mountains. Fellow trail enthusiasts were friendly. Benches available along route.

Great ride!! One of my favorites as far as scenery goes!!

I have ridden the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail twice. It is a wonderfully maintained trail that accommodates hikers, bikers, runners and horses alike. There is plenty of parking at both ends of the trail for trailers and cars. There are mounting blocks for horses and hitching posts for tacking/grooming your horse. I met very nice people on the trail. As you go along you can read about the history of the railroad on well maintained signs. I highly recommend this very well managed trail.

I have ridden the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail twice. It is a wonderfully maintained trail that accommodates hikers, bikers, runners and horses alike. There is plenty of parking at both ends of the trail for trailers and cars. There are mounting blocks for horses and hitching posts for tacking/grooming your horse. I met very nice people on the trail. As you go along you can read about the history of the railroad on well maintained signs. I highly recommend this very well managed trail.

This was a nice ride. It was relaxing and the trail surface was appropriate for hybrid bikes. The directions to the Newville trailhead were excellent.

Perfect weather on Memorial Day 2014. You develop a love/hate relationship with the trees. They provide you with needed shade but block your view. When you do get to an opening, soak up the scenes because it will be gone again soon. Trail head at Shippensburg Twp park is great. There are picnic tables, clean restrooms, a playgound for the kids and a splash pool in the summer months. The Newville trail head is top notch as well. Nice facility and picnic area. 9.5 miles between the two parks.
It was moderately busy on the holiday we passed a lot of riders. Just a few rough patches in the trail, heavy gravel. All in all a nice ride, scenery isn't the best but it is a fairly level grade with nice trail heads.

My wife and I biked the trail this afternoon. It was mostly even grade, lots of shade and some nice views of farmland and milk cows. We shared the trail with riders of all ages and fitness levels - all seemed comfortable. I'll be back, for sure.

I drove over 50 miles in a car to ride this path on my bike.....was really excited. Followed the directions on this site to get there, and could not locate the trail end at all. Nobody on the street could tell me where the trail end was located. I spent 45 minutes driving in circles, asking a multitude of townsfolk where the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail was located, and they all looked at me like I was from Mars. It was exasperating to say the least. Finally, a local in a convenience store was aware of the trail and told me it's location. I started the trail at Shippensburg Township Park off of Britton Rd. The trail is right next to the can't miss it.

I liked this trail, but was disappointed to see that 95% of the ride was gravel. In fact, in some places the gravel was so thick on the trail it was like riding on sand, and I almost wiped out a couple times. Also, I'm thinking this would be a nicer ride during the fall, as most of the beautiful scenery is blocked by the trees that canopy the path. Trees are nice to cover you from the summer sun, but they also create a long ride with not much else to view but green leaves.

I saw very little wildlife on the trail...mostly rabbits and deer. What I did see was tons of farms, barns, and silos; and there are some really beautiful views at the various trail heads of farmland that just sprawls out forever. Really pretty stuff! I also noticed I was smack dab in Amish country, which was a treat to see.....the horse and buggies flying up the country roads! Oh, and the mountains in the distance are truly beautiful...a big treat while you're riding.

The trail ends in Newville, PA. - a small rural town. I did not find anyplace to eat, and what I did find was closed. I ended up going into a grocery store, at the edge of town, for an ice cream, as I could not even find a local convenience store that sold them. Heading back into Newville, I got lost finding my way back to the the trail, and drove though a section of town with really pretty Victorian homes.

All-in-all, a nice ride! Fairly flat...maybe one small incline. I'll have to do this one again in the fall when the farm fields are more visible from the trail....that should be really pretty.

Rode this trail for the first time today, very enjoyable ride from Newville to Shippensburg & back. Mostly level riding, easy enough for anyone to enjoy, I wish it was closer to home, I would definitely ride it more often.

After a long winter, me and my 17 yr old son got out on the first mid 60 degree day to break-in his new bike and to knock off the dust from mine. We started at the Ship Twnshp park and rode to Newville and back. The trail was in very good shape with crushed stone and we encountered quite a few walkers, runners, bike and horse riders enjoying the excellent weather. The trail crosses about five farm roads and we only had to wait at one for a car to pass. We passed a few farms and got to see some Amish buggies. I can't wait for the trail to connect to Carlisle.

Rode this trail today, nice day for a ride, nice trail well maintained, looking forward to riding this trail again later in the summer when everything is green and then again in the fall with all the colors.

I am from Newville originally (now live in Texas) but each time I have returned over the past couple of years, I have did long runs on this trail.
Beautiful and scenic run with road crossing marked well. Have not seen a lot of activity personally on the trail during the 3 or 4 runs I have done but it has been very early morning. It is in all very flat (slight upgrade heading from Newville to Shippensburg).
The only fear I have ever had on the trail is that you do pass a couple of farms that sit right up against the trail and have heard a few dogs barking at these locations. None have ever approached the trail but the concern is there nonetheless.
Have run the full length of the trail and back and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Definitely a positive with the bathroom facilities available although I have never utilized them but nice to know they are there.
Can't wait until the extend it further north towards Carlisle. Will definitely hop on this trail every time I come back to visit.

The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail should prove to be double the treasure when its 11-mile extension northward is realized. But for now, 10.9 miles is a nice length for a good ride. Having to travel 141 miles to get here, I was only able to do the uppermost 6.7 miles of the trail, and it was delightful. The only reason I am giving it only four stars is due to its lack of railroad artifacts. There are NONE on my northern segment. I zeroed my cyclometer at the trail's northern terminus loop, where that large bridge is missing. Sadly, Conrail must have pulled several substantial overpasses out when they abandoned the line. The trail's parking area is located at MY Milepost 0.4. Newville had one surviving (maybe the ONLY?), architecturally BEAUTIFUL 1800's era depot, which we "depot hunters" found intact back in 1985. I believe it was being used as a residence. Sadly, it is gone. But the obviously historically sensitive trail makers designed a little restroom facility that mimics that old structure. The trail banner beside it shows the old depot. A series of beautiful historical plaques portrays the wealth of history this line participated in. From Civil War era transportation (a draft notice that names the CV Railroad, for example) to the value and preservation of the farming industry spanning the line, these are most interesting and valued stops along the way. One of these double plaque sets, at Oakville, portrays a 19th century train at this station, showing that this line was double-tracked over its length, hence the nice, wide right-of-way. A century of repeated fill has raised the long-single tracked trail right-of-way high above the paralleling former second (southbound) track. The trail surface is nice and smooth, with parallel double travel lanes of nice, fine crushed limestone, with no ruts or wash-outs. The two missing highway overpasses, one at Nealy Road (MP2.8) and the other at Ott Road (MP5.3), are traversed with easy-grade, paved asphalt inclines. The limestone cuts which kept the track flat are pretty impressive too. "Boring" is a highly subjective term. If you keep your eyes open, and you don't just "race" the course, there is plenty to see here! The Amish farm environs are pretty interesting, too!... BIG cattle farms! An Amish woman on a bicycle blew around me heading south, and she disappeared at a pretty good clip. And I was surprised to see a big, roaring, wide-open 2-cycle weed wacker engine, mowing the fenceline at my 6.7-mile Duncan Road turnaround point, being effortlessly propelled by an Amish farm lady! These folk and their culture are TRULY impressive! The view to the west is awesome, as towering Blue Mountain parallels your path along this beautiful valley. The trail shows moderate use, an occasional jogger or biker, and... Oh yes!... I have to give this trail my first 10-out-of-10 "friendliness" rating. I say hello to everyone I pass along the trails, and this was the first trail I've EVER been on where virtually EVERYONE returned a friendly wave or verbal greeting! So yes, you certainly need not feel alone or isolated on THIS trail! THAT's pretty neat! If you choose to traverse either end of the trail from its mid-point, as I will do next time I'm over there to complete my survey, there is a nice little trail parking lot at Oakville. I wish the folks working on this project much success with the northward trail extension to Carlisle, which should give this superb trail a great northern outlet. The Cumberland Valley Rail-Trail is a historic preservation gem! -Rich Ballash, Latrobe, PA 10-5-12.

I don't visit this trail often because it's not very close to home but I love it! I have not gone the full length of the trail and I too was concerned about riding my bike by myself but there are usually other people riding and walking when I visit. My favorite part of the trail is not very far from the beginning if you start from Newville. I love riding through the farm it's so beautiful. I will definitely be visiting this trail in the future and I can't wait to ride it in the fall.

I have been using this trail for the past several weeks training for a half marathon. I wish I had started earlier! I start at the Newville end, and was worried about running by myself, but when I run there is always plenty of people walking/running/biking, and you never feel totally alone. The path is easy on the back and knees, and is well shaded at most areas. I've only run up to ten miles, so have only gotten to the 5 mile marker. But so far I like it a lot!

The published directions are good if you're coming from Harrisburg, but if from Hagerstown, get off at exit 24...29 is way out of the way!

Beautiful countryside on a very nice trail. Suitable for walking, running and biking. Parts of the trail have a horse path next to the ballest trail. Would recommend bikes with wide tires since some southern trail surface has very loose small stones. We waited out a rain storm at a covered shelter at Oakville Road which was furnished with picnic tables for our lunch. Encountered a few walkers, runners and bikers on a Monday afternoon.

Found a car key on the trail on Sunday, Oct. 16. If anyone lost one contact me at Trail ride was beautiful, peaceful and relaxing. Great day. Great views. Great ride.

I found a car key on Sunday. If it migh t be yours pleae contact me at and I'll be glad to mail it to you.

We rode this trail today and were pleasantly surprised. It had a nice tree canopy for a good 75% of it. Even though it was 80 degrees, it was nice and cool on the trail. It was well maintained, minimal debris. There were nice restrooms and parking at both ends of the trail. Not too crowded but enough activity that you didn't feel isolated. The road crossings were well marked and easy to navigate. We will be back for sure.

This trail is a gem -- clean, slightly shaded, mostly flat and in fantastic condition. The roadway crossovers are clearly marked. The only slight negative is that each trail mile is pretty much the same as the last – fields, trees, farms – and raspberries in July!

(NOTE: directions say turn onto Cemetery Road, but you actually turn onto Rich Street –across from Cemetery – to reach the trailhead). Newville trailhead has a quaint, shady picnic area, with ample parking. The restrooms are clean and well maintained and there’s a working outside water fountain (in warmer temps). Here, the trail is paved and marked with lanes from past events. If you turn left at the trailhead you will go only a few hundred yards before reaching a turn around. This marks a future 11-mile extension to Dickinson College. For now it’s a dead end. Turn right and you’ll spend the next 11 miles in the bucolic countryside.

At about the halfway point, you’ll reach the Oakville Road crossing where you’ll find a picnic table and restrooms just up the road in North Newton Township Park.

Continuing on you will seemingly come to the end of the trail at Shippensburg Township Park. However, the trail continues past the park -- down and up steep embankments -- for another mile, ending at North Earl Street in Shippensburg. There’s no parking or facilities at the true end, so for now, Shippensburg Township Park, with restrooms, water, pavilions and loads of parking is a better ending point.

Take containers for raspberries. They are plentiful in early to mid July!

Nice flat easy to ride trail with views. If you run the whole trail be careful on the downhill section at the Ship end, steep hill runs right out onto the road very little visibility. Got caught in rainstorms all the way back trail path holds up well to water. Nice building at Newville trailhead to gert cleaned up if need be.
Great afternoon ride.

This was our second ride on a Rails to Trails. We started at about 10 AM at the Newville trailhead, wasn't sure how far we wanted to ride, maybe all the way to Shippensburg? However, we stopped at mile 4 (so we had gone over 6 miles), decided to head back. The trail was easy, and what beautiful countryside. We met many people biking and walking, all very friendly. It was a beautiful day and a great we went about 13 miles. We will certainly go back to this trail, next time starting from the Shippensburg end.

I am new to the cycling sport and did this trail for my first long distance ride. I was so pleased with it that I've been back multiple times. Anyone living in Newville, Shippensburg or near there would be crazy not to use this trail as a great resource for exercise! It is well maintained and has some nice views of the mountains. I don't usually see a lot of people on the trail, but it makes for a nice, calming ride. Would recommend to anyone!

Take PA 641 from Carlisle to Newville, turn left on Cemetary Road (0.6 miles from Newville traffic light); proceed through stop sign at Shippensburg Road; cross Broad Street and proceed straight to McFarland St. Park for parking and trail access.

I rode this trail on the morning of Thursday, August 14, 2008 - beginning at 7:30 AM in Newville, PA and riding to Shippensburg, PA.

This is a great ride! I didn't see one other biker on the trail (unknown or underused?) but a few people walking their dogs. The trail is graded slightly "up" from Newville to Shippensburg. Road crossings are marked well, HOWEVER, for those of us who refuse to dismount and walk across a road, it is very difficult to SEE each direction on these road crossings before getting to the actual crossing. BE CAREFUL! The roads were not heavily used as far as I could see (at least at this time of the morning) but a careful "look" is required before crossing.

The problem with the trail is that it is not really 10.9 miles in length - well, at least it's not connected or fully ride-able at that length. The asphalt trail comes to an end at a community softball field park just off the campus of Shippensburg Univ. There are NO SIGNS indicating where the trail goes from here. The trail simply reverts to an unused single track for another 30 yards and then takes a deep dive down a hill (DO NOT RIDE on bike without heavy mountain bike experience!). According to a local runner, the trail then crosses the road below and heads back up to the old rail bed on the other side and finishes in town as a single track trail. Evidently, there was a railroad bridge crossing this road before and the plan is that there will be a full continuation of the trail across a new bridge when the money is available to finish it.

If you need to get to the parking lot in Shippensburg where the trail actually ends, you will need to do this: at the end of the asphalt portion of the trail, turn left into the community park - head towards active roadway - turn right, then another immediate right at intersection - follow to rear entrance (NEW!) to Shippensburg Univ. on left - go through campus staying on the side of the rail bed (left side of drive) until getting to main entrance to campus - allegedly you can pick up the remainder of the trail here to get to the parking lot.

A few signs indicating where the last 1.5 + miles are located would be extremely helpful for those of us not from the area.

Again, GREAT RIDE except for the signage problems at the Shippensburg end. Enjoy!

Wayne Lahr
Boyertown, PA

This trail is finished for about 10.5 miles. There are parking lots with restrooms at Newville and Shippensburg Park (Shippensburg end). If they ever get the money for two bridges (one at each end) - that will make a total of 11 miles. You really don't notice the missing bridges as the trail is improved between the two parking lots. It is crushed stone/cinder and very nice. It is a wide trail with room on the shoulder for the horses. I've biked it several times now - there are nice markers designating each mile. At the Shippensburg end - you can go out of the park and get on the road for about 1/2 mile and be in the town of Shippensburg with restaurants. There are also a couple of restaurants in Newville within each biking distance of the trail. At about the half way point - there are picnic tables and a kiosk in Oakville. I highly recommend this trail - it is not crowded, well-maintained, and goes through beautiful farmland with mountains in the distance.

"I just rode the Newville end of this trail, and the conditions are much improved from years past.
The complaints of previous reviewers are no longer valid."

"Okay so there are some bad reviews of the trail here but this is was one of the reasons I decided to live in Cumberland County.

I biked the developed section this past weekend and found it to be a nice trail with wildlife such as rabbits, birds, woodchuck, and a snake sunning itself. The surface is crushed stone with the exception of paved sections that are on either side of the road crossings and for farms right of way which cross the trail. It sort of starts in the Shippensburg Park with the first mile marker being 1 which is a little confusing. There is also a separate space for the horses, although it is obvious they don't alway use it with the waste that is left on the trail if you get my drift. The scenery is relaxing and the canopy over the trail was appreciated on the early hot and muggy day. I also ventured around on the lightly used side road at the crossing and encountered several Mennonite buggies and cyclist as I wanted a slightly longer ride.

I have also recently walked the undeveloped trail from Newville to the Ott Road intersection and can't wait for this section to be completed. I understand the bidding is all done and the work should begin shortly.

The trail section in Newville is 1 mile long with part of it being concrete surface and part being asphalt. The trail head facilities at Newville are first class since the boro built a miniture replica of the towns old rail station that houses rest rooms. There is also ample parking at Newville and once the trail actually connects it should prove to be greatly appreciated by the trail users.

There is limited parking at the Oakville Road crossing as well as at the Shippensburg end.

I can't wait for it to be completed this summer."

"The best access to the southern part of the trail is from the Shippensburg Township Park located just 0.9 miles from the southern-most end of the trail. The park is undergoing what appears to be an extensive renovation and will have an ample asphalt parking lot with restrooms, athletic fields, and a playground. There is also direct access to the beginning of the newly completed 4.5-mile improved section of the trail.

While access to the southern-most end of the trail at Shippensburg can be achieved from the municipal parking lot described elsewhere on this site, the trailhead is 0.75 miles away from that lot and you will have to find you own way there through either the Shippensburg University campus or through the town streets. The route is not marked. If you do find your way to the trailhead, you will travel 0.9 miles on an unimproved trail and negotiate a steep 30-foot cut where a bridge once stood in order to get to the Shippensburg Township Park trail entrance.

North of the park entrance to the trail, the newly completed 4.5-mile section of improved trail has a 10-foot wide, smooth, packed, crushed stone surface and a parallel 10-foot wide dirt surface for horses. The trail is essentially straight with one sweeping curve and no perceptible grade. All of the gaps where bridges were once located north of the Park entrance have either been filled in or replaced with gentle ramps. North of the improved 4.5-mile section of the trail, the trail becomes narrow and somewhat rough and occasionally muddy because it often runs beside what was once the old railroad bed causing the trail to be narrow and commonly shared by hikers, bikers, horses and the occasional groundhog community. The trail continues in this condition for another 5.6-miles to the northern trailhead at Newville where there are very nice rest rooms and parking facilities just waiting for the trail improvements to reach them.

The trail runs through the fertile Cumberland Valley with only narrow strips of woods on either side separating it from the working farms that have been there for centuries. There are no picturesque streams, dark brooding forests nor soaring vistas here. This is peaceful, pastoral farmland dotted with homes that are 100 years old, and occasionally 200 years old that are not preserved as historic sites but rather are in daily use by those who operate the farms there."

"Two years after the previous review, this trail is still a ""work in progress."" Ballast work has only been completed from Shippensburg to about Oakville, a distance of about 4.5 miiles. Beyond that it's very rough going on grass and big gravel.

The boring scenery doesn't even make the trip to this trail worthwhile. Don't waste your time. Instead, try the Western Maryland Rail Trail near Hancock, MD. You'll appreciate the condition and views on this trail."

"We attempted this trail by bike from Newville hoping there had been some progress made in restoring it, but (at least in the Newville end) it appears there is MUCH more work to be done -- the trail was very narrow and almost overgrown in places, and the surface was grassy and quite bumpy, with many ruts and groundhog holes. We made it about 3 miles to the Nealy Road crossing (with very steep banks, probably was/should be a bridge) and decided to call it a day -- our bikes aren't ""mountain"" worthy, and this definitely is not a smooth paved or gravel trail.

This trail definitely has potential, though -- it travels through some beautiful countryside, and you really get the sense of being ""away from it all"" with no highway noise disturbing the ride. At this point, it seems perfect for walkers or horseback riders, but bikers used to smooth, maintained surfaces may want to wait a while before trying this part of the trail. "

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