Down to Cumberland, Maryland

Shortly after riding through the Big Savage Tunnel, Gary and I cross over the Mason Dixon Line and into Maryland. 

This is such a nice monument. The granite blocks provide a shady place to rest and have a drink or snack.

One of 2 shorter tunnels to ride through. Gosh it’s cold in there. 

All along the trail, phlox grow in gorgeous profusion. I know they aren’t a wild flower and some folks consider them invasive. Invaded by beauty! Can’t be all bad. 

I think we are looking down on the little town of Wellersburg, Maryland. Those windmills absolutly intrigue me. There are 68 of them spaced out along the ridgelines. Gary won’t let me stop to read the signs about them because thunder is cracking over our heads. The rain catches us and pours down just as we glide under the pavilion in Frostburg. That was lucky timing!

These little waterfalls have been freshened after the storm. 

The Cumberland Bone Cave was discovered when the railroad grade was constructed in 1912 and is considered one of the most significant deposits of Pleistocene animal remains in the Eastern United States.  Excavation yielded fossils of 46 animal species, 28 of which are extinct, including the Cumberland Cave Bear, the skeleton now on display at the Smithsonium Institute.

I could get used to flying down hill like this! Cranking a pedal or applying the breaks– both totally optional. What an amazing treat to just sit on the bike and admire the mile long gorge called the Cumberland Narrows, a slot squeezed by Haystack and Wills Mountains. 

Too soon we arrive in Cumberland, the southern terminus, mile 0 for the Allegheny Passage Trail and the start of the C&O Canal Path.

Both trails converge at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. There is a Visitor Center, ice cream shops, little restaurants and lots of interpretive signs to read while we wait for our shuttle to pick us up. I’ve arranged a driver from Morguan Toole Company Hotel to take us and the bikes back to Meyersdale. That way we can ride downhill again tomorrow when we bike north to Confluence. Yep, I’m spoiled!

Gary and I rode a small section of the C&O Canal years ago with our 4 kids. And a few miles of the Appalachian Trail follow the path from Harper’s Ferry, that I backpacked. Some day I’d like to bike the whole Canal Trail from Cumberland to Washington, D.C.  

But right now, I am wet, dirty, with a streak up my back, ready for a hot shower, dinner and a glass of wine.

Back to gallery


  1. Christine says

    WOnderful pix! We have put this on our fall list.

Leave a Reply