Western Maryland Rail Trail

​Trail Descriptions

Trail Map

Bicycle on the Western Maryland Rail Trail

Beginning approximately one-half mile west of historic Fort Frederick State Park in Big Pool, Maryland, the trail system winds along the Potomac River through rolling farmland, woodlands, and rural towns to its current western terminus at the southern slope of Sideling Hill Ridge.


First Section

The first section, from Big Pool to Hancock, opened in 1998 and covers approximately 10 miles. This portion parallels many historical sites and scenic areas including Park Head Level Graveyard, Millstone Station, Moffet Station, Little Pool and Hancock Station. Many consider the town of Hancock as the halfway point of the WMRT. In Hancock, visitors will find shops, restaurants, and other convenient services.

Interpretive Signage on the trailSecond Section

The second section, from Hancock to Pollypond, opened in 2002 and is the most scenic stretch of the trail as it passes through mountainous terrain and offers several breathtaking views of the Potomac River. The numerous rock outcroppings along this trail are ideal for geological exploration. Like the rest of the trail system, this section passes by plenty of historical sites that once played a vital role in the region.

Third Section

The third section is a 2 ½ mile stretch that opened in 2004. The current western terminus of the trail is located in this section at Pearre, Maryland where there is ample parking and access to Woodmont Natural Resource Management Area. This stretch of the trail passes several interesting historic sites that are of great interest to those who like to explore local history.

Fourth Section (under construction)

Construction is underway to add a fourth section that will extend to Little Orleans and add approximately 4 miles to the trail. Attractions along or in the vicinity of this extension include: Sideling Hill Creek, C&O Canal Locks 56 and 57, Indigo Neck Campground, 15 Mile Creek Campground and Boat Ramp, and Bill’s Place (restaurant) and Little Orleans Campground & Park. The tentative completion date of March 2019.