Northern Central Railroad Trail to York County Heritage Trail is a 40.7 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Cockeysville, MD that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
I've run the beginning 6 miles out and back twice. Beautiful stream bottom with several ports potties and water coolers in the first 6 miles. Really nice in fall with colorful leaves.
A nice trail to bike. Can easily do half out and back in a few hours. Lots of places to stop.
Easy ride that can be done with family or beginners. Has good resting points with pleasant scenery. Trail goes on for miles and had to turn around after 8 miles in. Would definitely go again!
Yes I gave this trail 5 stars. What more could you ask for in a trail. 1% or less grade, wide, clean, beautiful scenery with much of the trail next to the Gunpowder River, bathrooms at many locations along the trail. 40+ miles with 20 miles in Maryland and 20+ in Pennsylvania. A bike shop right on the trail in New Freedom PA section. And a few places to buy lunch or something to drink. A 5 star trail in my book.
Love this trail for all my long runs. Flat, quiet, well kept. It's really crowded on the weekends though, so parking can be difficult.
Great time on the North Central Trail with the family! I thought this would be a good place to get the family started with biking - it is flat, the wooded scenery is interesting and fun, and it felt like an adventure. We only adventured in 3.8 miles on the trail - there is still so much more to see!!
Perfect for long runs! Totally flat though
Another piece of useful information, the trail is the most crowded Saturday and Sunday. I go after work during the week. if you enjoy tubing on the river, there is a tube rental and snowball stand by the train station. Don't go to the snowball stand on Ashland ( in the lady's back yard). Her pets are in there while she is making your snowballs and she doesn't even have marshmallow. prices aren't great either.
I would consider this easy, not moderate. Pretty much on a flat plane. For the first two miles from the Ashland Rd Cockeysville lot, it is a lot of walkers, joggers and children on bikes. Be careful, they don't ride in straight lines and don't know " passing on the left" yet, understandable lol. From Ashland Rd, At the 7.25 mile point is the old Monkton train station. Benches there to get a breather, a pump to refill water bottles and restrooms. The fountain by the bike racks work but not the other one.
Very nice for all purposes--walking, running, cycling and horseback riding. I am usually cycling, and start at Monkton and head north, since farther south has a number of walkers, runners and families with small children on weekends. It really is beautiful, and a nice, smooth ride on crushed stone with almost no elevation.
This trail is great for many reasons and can be used for many purposes. I have been coming to this trail since I was a kid and my parents would take us biking on it. We would bike all the way to Monkton and there is a great little shop there that sells all kinds of treats. I used the trail later in life to practice for the Baltimore Marathon. The reason this trail is great is that is flat and wide, so people use it for all types of activities. You will see runners, bikers, hikers, people walking their dogs, and people riding horses. Its very long so make sure you pay attention to how far you want to go otherwise your trek back to the car will be not be fun. Make sure you know your turn around point. The trail is made of a hard pack crushed rock and dirt. On a dry day its a vary hard pack, great for running etc. There are a few points where you have to cross roads so make sure if you have kids you don't let them go too far off if they are young. This is an old railroad trail so its wide and flat, which gives room for everyone, bikers, runners, families, and even horses. It is very nice is the late spring early fall, can be quite hot in mid summer but is a great trail. I do recall there being port-a-pots on the trail but they were few and far between. This trail is out in a nice part of Baltimore County and is very safe, my ex used to run there by herself and she was never scared at all. Easy access off Pepper Mill Rd. Enjoy
From the trail head in Cockeysville for 4 to 5 miles the trail is 75% walkers and runners. There is a mix of bicyclists from fast (inappropriate given the large number of walkers) to family bikers (works well on the trail). For anyone looking for a nice, easy leisurely walk or run to very young bikers, this is a great location.
Good level trail. Pretty crowded on a nice Saturday afternoon. Many bikes & runners with which to contend. It was difficult to enjoy the area. Great trail for a dog walk.
Great trail for bikers who are interested in a trail with a gentle elevation and minimal interference from road traffic. This trail goes all the way into Pennsylvania and connects with the Heritage Trail to York. Very gentle slope along the gunpowder river and traverses nice farm and horse country. For bikers the part of the trail closer to Cockeysville may be too busy with hikers and bikers have to be very cautious. It get less busy as you get closer to the Pennsylvania state line. I have done this trail several times and will always stop in the coffee shop in Monkton for a a few scoops of great ice cream. For those considering crossing into Pennsylvania you could plan for lunch in New Freedom with it Railroad Museum and fairly good dining, I will not compare the choices here with Mount Vernon or the Greenwich Village in New York but after biking 21.5 miles your taste buds are not that discriminating.
I ran on the Rail trail for the Norther Central Trail marathon years ago. It was a pretty easy path of crished stone and/or packed dirt. No elevation to speak of. Nice quiet natural setting.