Western Maryland is an outdoor lover’s paradise. No matter the season, there are great activities like hiking, skiing, and boating. The mix of state parks and forests with decommissioned railroad tracks also makes for excellent places to cycle, whether you’re looking for difficult mountain biking trails or leisurely rides along some of Maryland’s rivers. Here are seven fantastic places to bike in Western Maryland.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Deep Creek Lake State Park
Deep Creek Lake is massive—3,900 acres (16 square kilometers) with 69 miles (111 kilometers) of shoreline—but the state park near the lake is pretty small. All the trails are open for hiking and biking and include easy, moderate, and difficult paths around the area. The most scenic hike takes you to a fire tower with incredible views of the lake. You can also check out the beach and swimming area, along with the Discovery Center’s exhibits on the nature and history of the region.
Western Maryland Rail Trail
If you’re interested in a bike ride with less incline, check out the Western Maryland Rail Trail. The paved trail was created on top of a former Western Maryland Railroad line and goes from Big Pool, Maryland, to Sideling Hill Ridge. The 23 miles (37 kilometers) of trail will take you through farmland, forest, and small towns, but the section between Hancock and Pollypond might be the most scenic, with views of the Potomac River and rock outcroppings. The trail parallels the C&O Canal towpath.
C & O Canal
The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal runs 184 miles (296 kilometers) from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. If you are closer to Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, Maryland, Brunswick or Harpers Ferry are ideal places to start a day ride. You can also pack gear and camp along the way if you want a multi-day trip. As you get closer to Cumberland, the trail becomes more scenic with beautiful views of the Potomac River, the historic Paw Paw Tunnel, and small towns where you can stop and grab a bite to eat.
Great Allegheny Passage
The C&O Canal towpath ends in Cumberland, but you can keep your ride going on the Great Allegheny Passage. Also known as the GAP, the rail trail goes from Cumberland all the way to Pittsburgh, extending 150 miles (241.5 kilometers), and through the Eastern Continental Divide. Starting at the old Western Maryland Railroad in downtown Cumberland, you can make a great out-and-back trip for as far a distance as you care to bike. Or, if you’re looking for a longer adventure, you can also take the Amtrak train from Cumberland to Pittsburgh with your bike, and then pedal the GAP for a few days back to Cumberland, stopping at bed and breakfasts or campsites along the way.
Green Ridge State Forest
The highlight of the Green Ridge State Forest might be the Paw Paw Tunnel. At over 3,000 feet (914 meters) long, the tunnel is one of the longest hiking/biking tunnels in the world. As the largest continuous managed forest in the state, there are also lots of mountain biking trails to explore. Some go along the ridgetop, and are fairly straight and flat in elevation, while others will give you switchbacks and a little bit of a harder ride.
Rocky Gap State Park
West of Green Ridge State Forest is Rocky Gap State Park, which offers great trails around Lake Habeeb. All around are gorgeous views of the mountain lake, with cliffs that go into the water, a mile-long gorge, and a forest dense with hemlocks and rhododendrons. The 5.3-mile (8.5-kilometer) loop alongside the lake is a quick morning ride. The Rocky Trail and Evitt’s Mountain Trail will take you to higher elevations for views of the lake.
Savage River State Forest
Located between Frostburg, Maryland, and Deep Creek Lake, the Savage River State Forest is the largest designated forest in the state. With over 54,000 acres (218.5 square kilometers) of protected land, the forest offers camping, hiking, biking, cross-country ski trails, white-water canoeing, and even a special trail system for off-road vehicles. For biking enthusiasts, two of the trail systems are open to mountain biking, with trails totaling about 20 miles (32 kilometers). The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and you may want to call beforehand to see if hunting season or adverse weather conditions have changed which trails are open to the public.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.