*Phase IV Update:
- The Western Maryland Rail Line is owned by the C&O Canal Historic Park (National Park Service) whose Superintendent is Kevin Brandt. The point person for the NPS on the trail project is Chris Stubbs -- (301) 302-6239.
- The Indigo Tunnel is a hibernation site for the Indiana bat, an endangered species.
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists have confirmed that bat carcasses collected from a cave near Cumberland on March 5, 2010 were infected with White Nose Syndrome (WNS). In partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, DNR biologists are following strict protocols established by the Northeastern WNS Working Group to close Maryland cave access to all human activity except for approved research.
- DNR hired the design firm of A Morton Thomas and 90% Construction drawings will be ready by the end of January 2014.
- DNR is currently working on a MOU with the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) as required under the TEP.
- DNR is currently working on a Cooperative Agreement with the National Park Service regarding Operation & Maintenance and Law Enforcement for the trail.
- All of the required environmental permits have been obtained other than Erosion & Sediment, which the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) can not approve until they have seen the final drawings.
- If the project is ready to advertise in June 2014, then the Maryland Department of General Services will take 90 days to hire a construction firm. A Notice to Proceed would be sent out in October 2014. Given the extreme weather conditions in Western Maryland, the construction firm would be given one year to complete the project.
- The anticipated trail opening -- October 2015
Crossing and re-crossing the Potomac River between Allegany County,
MD and Morgan County, WV six times on high trestle bridges and going through
three exciting tunnels* in between, all within 14 miles!
14 miles of spectacular river views, vistas of hardwood covered mountains exploding
with color in the fall, rock formations, dramatic tunnels, transportation history
and pristine wilderness all within a few hours drive from Washington, DC, Baltimore,
MD and Pittsburgh, PA.
The Western Maryland Rail Trail Supporters (WMRTS) is a non-profit 501(c)(3)
organization of volunteers. Our current goal is to build a broad coalition of
support for the effort to extend the Western Maryland Rail Trail westward through
the 14 miles, 6 bridges, 3 tunnels and 2 States of the Paw Paw bends of Maryland
and West Virginia.
We need YOUR help!
| Interactive Map
on bridges, tunnels, and towns for more information and pictures |
of the top ten fall foliage rides in the country”
to Trails Conservancy 2002