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Escapes Keys: York County Heritage Rail Trail

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[Heritage Rail Trail]
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting There

The 21-mile York County Heritage Rail Trail goes from the Maryland-Pennsylvania line to historic York, Pa. From the Capital Beltway, take Interstate 95 north, then I-695 and I-83. There's parking at Mile 1.5 of the trail, at New Freedom, south of Railroad. There's also parking in Railroad, Glen Rock and Hanover Junction. The trail connects to Maryland's 20-mile Northern Central Railroad Trail.

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Where to Stay

Situated beside the trail at Mile 3, the Jackson House Bed and Breakfast (6 E. Main St., Railroad, Pa., 877-782-4672, http://www.jacksonhousebandb.com) was built as a 13-room hotel. It now offers four rooms and a cottage; rates range from $109 to $169 per night (two-night minimum for certain weekends and holidays).

Where to Eat

There are benches, picnic tables and restrooms along the trail. In addition, the New Freedom Railroad Cafe (117 N. Front St., New Freedom, 717-227-0299) offers comfort food (meatloaf, applesauce). Serenity Station (11 Church St., Seven Valleys, 717-428-9575, http://www.serenity-station.com) features a bike shop in addition to a cafe, restaurant, live music on Friday and Saturday evenings and a wellness center offering spa treatments.

About the Trail

New Freedom is the highest point on the trail. It is downhill to both Maryland and York from there. The restored Hanover Junction Train Station (on the trail at Hanover Junction, 717-840-7440) houses a Civil War museum, open May-October Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 1-5 p.m. (some weekday evenings in summer). The New Freedom Train Station (on the trail at New Freedom) houses a railroad museum (same phone, dates and hours as Hanover Junction). The York County parks department is hosting monthly nine-mile Moonlight Bike Rides (two nights before the full moon) on the trail April-October. $5 for adults. Call 717-840-7440 for more information and to register.

For More Information

The York County Web site (http://www.york-county.org) has information on the Heritage Rail Trail. Or call Friends of the Heritage Rail Trail Corridor, 717-840-7440.

-- N.D.


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