Western Maryland Rail Trail


In August of 1990, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquired 20.3 miles of the abandoned segment of the Western Maryland Railroad Line, and the three lots in the Town of Hancock from CSX Transportation, Inc. The rail corridor was purchased with state-wide DNR Program Open Space funding at a cost of $1,042,000.

The WMRT follows a path rich in history. The Potomac River Valley has been an important transportation corridor for hundreds of years. From the Native Americans to the National Road to the C&O Canal, people have always traveled the path of the Potomac River. The Western Maryland Railway was no exception.

In its heyday, the Western Maryland Railway was a lifeline to the tri-state area of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The construction of the Western Maryland Rail Trail on this abandoned railroad bed now provides numerous opportunities to visit old ruins, with interpretive signs along the length of the trail at many of these locations.