Riding the Rails


Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, a day late! I was having way too much fun this past weekend to write a post. On Friday, Gary told me to pack a bag for an overnight trip and be ready to leave by noon on Saturday. Umm, what should I pack? Do I need a backpack? Do I need a dress and nice shoes? (help!) The only clue I got was, I don't need to bring my bikini. Good thing…


The bikes loaded on the car gave the secret away. Gary booked a night at the lovely Jackson House Bed and Breakfast in Railroad, Pennsylvania. We have the Cottage room with a private patio garden, overlooking the Heritage Rail Trail.

I love staying in Bed and Breakfast Inns! After checking in, Gary and I take a cup of coffee and home made cookies, still warm, from Innkeeper Pam's oven, to relax in the comfortable patio chairs and survey the scene. The Jackson House was built in 1859 and was known as one of the finest hotels along the Northern Centrail Railroad.
Railroad was once a thriving town along the rail line between Baltimore, MD and Harrisburg, PA, and is now enjoying a revitalization. This beautiful restored steam locomotive passes right in front of us and we wave to the kids and passengers. An afternoon bike ride was the plan but dark clouds are building and no way will we escape a pounding downpour. Lucky for us, another trail beckons. We are in the heart of the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail and we can visit one of more than 20 wineries by car!
I wish we could sit on the deck at Seven Valleys Vineyard and Winery to enjoy a glass of Chardonnay. But the consolation is live entertainment, inside.
Now we have a delima. Visit another winery or, now that the rain has stopped, get on the bikes?
Bikes it is and we ride from Jackson House in Railroad, north to Seven Valleys about 18 miles, round trip. Last year we road from Seven Valleys into York, Pa so riding this segment will complete the 21 mile Heritage Rail Trail. This rail trail is incredibly beautiful and steeped in history. The railroad was a prime target for the Confederate Army. Rebel troops destroyed bridges and cut telegraph wires, attempting to isolate Washington, D.C. After the Battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln traveled to Hanover Junction on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

You can stand in Abraham Lincoln's footprints and gaze out the same window he did. Restored to its 1863 appearance, the train station is a Cival War Museum.
And we ride behind this old woolen mill, now the Glen Rock Mill Inn, where we have dinner reservations later tonight.

The Restaurant is beautiful and we are seated in the Fountain Room, a dramatic space with high ceilings, stone walls and floors, and a fountain fed from a natural spring. The spring provided the water to turn the wheel that operated the mill stones and the water trickles through a stone trough in the dining room still! Dinner is excellent, rack of lamb for Gary, pasta with grilled shrimp and asparagus for me. Could this get better? Yes! After dinner we listen to live entertainment provided by Blind Owl in the bar. Fantastic group that plays all the music we love, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Jim Croce, Crosby Stills… Everybody sings along. We know every word. What a great day!


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  1. What a trip. I’d love to find out more about it. Sounds like something I’d enjoy with my husband. I believe he’s ridden some on the trail when he went from Mt. Wolf (near York) to Maryland last year. Now that was a terrific surprise. I agree with Cheryl.

  2. Purple flowers are gorgeous (remember the ski jacket?). Also love the bleeding hearts.
    My annuals are shivering in my garage..it’s COLD and everyone here wants out of this state. I’d like to get on my bike.

  3. Cheryl lynch says

    I’m a little green 🙂

  4. What a great Mother’s Day gift! Now I need to go there too!

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