Summary: The most recently opened section on the Allegheny Highlands Trail finals links the Great Allegheny Passage to the C&O Canal Towpath, making a continuous 318 mile greenway from McKeesport, PA near Pittsburgh to Washington DC. And there is a lot to see.
The trail shares the corridor with the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad so, if you time it right you'll have a rare opportunity to see a century-old steam engine up close. There is also the Brush Tunnel and Helmstetter Curve.
In 1912 workers excavating a cut for the Western Maryland Railway just east of the Helmstetter Farm broke into a partly filled cave. Thousands of fossilized Pleistocene animals have been recovered from the cave, thus it earning its name.
There are a number of clear views up the valley where you can look back towards Big Savage Mountain, 6 miles as the crow flies but 15-20 miles along the 1.75% grade of the trail. There is also the scenic "Narrows" as the trail comes down into Cumberland.
Trailhead: Getting to the Woodcock Hollow parking area is a turn south off of Rt.36 at Georges Creek and then a mile up Woodcock Hollow Rd. There is room for three vehicles in the small parking area. There is also a handicap accessable portajohn and picnic pavilion.
There are certainly many places to park in Cumberland to then access the terminus of the Allegheny Highlands Trail and C&O Canal at the Visitor Center at 13 Canal Street. (N39 38.953 W78 45.792) However, being in town most of those opportunities will probably cost you something.
Trail Guides for Allegheny Highlands Trail-Woodcock Hol to Cumberld:
The Great Allegheny Passage Companion
by Bill Metzger (The Local History Company)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Allegheny Highlands Trail of Maryland http://www.ahtmtrail.org 301-777-2161
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kevin Geiselman, who has posted 96 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by John on 5/7/2008
Not a bad hike, but I'd start in Cumberland, so the first half is uphill and you finish headed downhill. It's not steep, but heading west it is a continuous grade of about 1.5%.
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