Ma and Pa Trail
|Ma and Pa Trail|
|Length||6.25 mi (10.1 km)|
|Location||Harford County, Maryland, USA|
|Trailheads||Williams Street, Equestrian Center|
Friends Park, Melrose Lane
|Use||Hiking, bicycling, horseback riding|
|Sights||Heavenly Waters Park, Friends Park, Bel Air|
|Hazards||Grade Shifts, Tunnels|
The Ma and Pa Trail is a 6.25-mile (10.1 km) multi-purpose rail trail that follows the path of the old Ma and Pa Railroad through Harford County, Maryland. It contains three linked trails, one unconnected, with plans to bridge the gap in the middle, bringing the total length to 10 miles (16 km). Both links of the trail are paved, have few steep hills or hazards, and contain overlooks and bridges when necessary.
The Bel Air Trail is a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) trail that runs from Williams Street in downtown to the Equestrian Center on the other side of the bypass. It passes underneath of the Maryland Route 24 (MD 24) highway, the U.S. Route 1 (US 1) bypass, and crosses Tollgate Road, where it meets the Fallston Trail. Spurs off of it connect to the Harford Mall and Liriodendron mansion, and branches out to a dog park at the end. It serves as a shortcut across town, rather than walking along highways, and contains several bridges across branches of the creek while cutting through the forested Heavenly Waters Park. Bathrooms and parking are available at each end of the trail. Horses and dogs are permitted on the Bel Air link of the path.
The Forest Hill Trail is a third, 1.75-mile (2.8 km) link of the trail running from the duckpond at Friends Park to Melrose Lane. A tunnel is located at MD 23, but passes over a development street on the north end. Bathrooms and parking are located at each end. Dogs are allowed on the Forest Hill link, but horses are not.
As of late 2006, planning is underway to link the two routes into one continuous trail . At the time of the original constructions, a tunnel was built underneath of US 1 in preparation, but it is unconnected to any path system. Construction for an extension from Bel Air to the Edgeley Grove area in Fallston is planned, and a 4.1-mile (6.6 km) northern link at Dooley Road, near the state line in Cardiff is under study.
- "Bel Air trail chugs along". The Baltimore Sun. 2008-06-02. p. 2B.