Western Maryland Rail Trail: Hancock to Big Pool

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Fort Tonoloway State Park

Western Maryland Rail Trail: Hancock to Big Pool is a 10.6 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Hancock, Maryland that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length10.6 miElevation gain82 ftRoute typePoint to point
kid friendlyHikingNature tripsRoad bikingWalkingRunningDog friendlyForestPavedRiverViews
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Getting There

The Western Maryland Rail Trail is a beautiful change of pace for those who have been through-biking the C&O Canal Towpath. Pavement! Between Hancock and Little Pool there is a nice view of the north side of the Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct. Unlike the western end of the trail, this is a little more noisy occupying narrow corridor between the C&O Canal and I-70. Currently, the WMRT is 20 miles of pavement with Hancock right in the center. There are plans in the works to extend the trail westward almost to Cumberland. This would be a spectacular section to ride with 5 tunnels and 9 crossings of the Potomac.

WMRT c/o Ft. Frederick S.P. 301-842-2155

Get to Hancock by taking Exit 3 on I-70 and then traveling west 1.4 miles on MD 144. Or, if approaching from Pennylvania, take exit 1B momentarily onto 522 and then onto 144 into town. If you turn right onto Pennsylvania Ave this will take you past the C&O Bicycles and then onto Canal Street and across the canal to park in the Little Tonoloway Recreation Area (C&O National Park). There are porta-johns and a water fountin here as well as camping and free parking. You will need to travel back across the canal to join the WMRT. If you turn off of High Street (MD 144) onto Church Street at the Lockhouse Restaurant there is a parking area right on the trail. There are meters but the don't seem to be enforced on weekends. Parking at Little Pool is right off of MD 144 at Exit 5 Westward of I-70. The exit eastbound is a little more than a mile further west. There are no facilities here but there is a connection across a bridge to the C&O Canal Towpath.

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Reviews (49)
Photos (36)
Recordings (54)
Completed (79)
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Jennifer Tony
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Hiking

went opposite direction- don't follow my trail!

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Elaine E
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Hiking

Flat and nice paved trail but very noisy most all of the trip as the trail is right next to the highway.

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Jessica Jackson
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Road biking

Nice biking area very shaded done love the root speed bumps but what can you do . Restroom at mile marker 0

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Lillian Hipp
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Road biking

Would highly recommend! More private, shaded, and paved.

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Carrie A Cieslak
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Hiking

Fantastic trail! Dog and kid friendly. Shaded. Path was clean and clear. Access to river for dogs to drink. Lots to see with the history markers that just make the walk fun. No bathrooms. Easy parking and access. Picnic tables at trail head. Definitely a must do.

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Maggie Calloway
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Mountain biking

Great paved rail trail that's actually 22 miles long point to point with Hancock being in the middle. It mirrors the C&O towpath and has access points back and forth to it as well. We used it as a training trail for distance runs for doing the GAP. I hope that they finish the expansion soon.

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Lawrence Laird
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Mountain biking
First to Review

very nice trail. very, very few benches for a rest stop.

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Randy Robson
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Hiking
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Stephanie Codina
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Hiking
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Jill Gately
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Road biking
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Oliver Stella
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Hiking
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Anita Hetzer
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Road biking
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Bill Benzin
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Mountain biking
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Jim Mur
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Road biking
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Crystal Harris
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Daniel Rudy
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Mountain biking
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William Sturtevant
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Bike touring
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Qubenic Yancey
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Mountain biking
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Jennifer Magers
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Road biking
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Pietro Magri
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Mountain biking
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Casey Patton
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Hiking
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Qubenic Yancey
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Mountain biking
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Kenneth Carlson
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Hiking
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Elizabeth Tate
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Hiking
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Virginia John
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Hiking
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Jim Wheatley
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Hiking
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Randi DuFresne
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Hiking
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Jennifer Cole-Tobian
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Mountain biking
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Dave Feigley
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Hiking
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Dave Feigley
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Hiking
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