Rediscovering the B&A Trail between Baltimore and Annapolis

Five years after my first bike ride along the B&A Trail in Maryland, I was back.

Old rails, newer trail

Back in 2014, I biked this trail as part of the East Coast Greenway’s Week A Year Ride between Philadelphia and Fredericksburg, Virginia. This year we were in the area for a wedding, so we brought the bikes and headed out for a ride starting just north of Annapolis.

The B&A Trail uses an old rail line that connected, well, Baltimore and Annapolis. Today it’s a well-used 13-mile trail along part of that line that ties into the BWI Trail around the airport with the help of a short connector. Loved seeing the private connections from yards to the trail!

One of the many things I noticed this time is this East Coast Greenway sign on the overpass for Maryland 100 near the Marley Station Mall. Nice! (But a hard photo to take with just a cell phone.)

Don’t remember all this signage either. Thumbs up!

But some things were the same. When I rode this trail in 2014, I stopped with some fellow riders in Glen Burnie for ice cream (on the left). We did it again this time too. This time, though, Key Lime ice cream (bits of crunchy crust too), in honor of this year’s Week A Year Ride final destination.

On this year’s trip we went west on the BWI Trail, rather than taking the direct route toward Baltimore, and got as far as the viewing area for watching planes land before we had to turn back. We were not the only ones there — and that there’s a playground there too suggests the plane spotters bring their kids.

The BWI Trail does a loop around the airport — how cool is that? — so of course you could keep going all the way to Baltimore (yes, you’d need to do a bit of road riding). Just think — a bike overnight to catch some baseball at Camden Yards!

But for us, a ride of nearly 34 miles.

In the other direction, a trail is slowly taking shape that will make the ride to Washington far more pleasant. On Monday, Anne Arundel County is cutting the ribbon on the first phase of the South Shore Trail, which eventually will be about 14 miles long.

When will phase 2 be built? Who knows…

Just imagine what could be done if Maryland decided to get serious about funding big trail projects like the East Coast Greenway. The Baltimore-to-DC ride would be amazing and attract so many tourist dollars. And you could go one way by bike, take the train the other way.

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

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