An overnight introduction to bikepacking along the Northern Central Railroad Trail
Distance, Parcours, and Accommodation
41 miles daily, 2 days, gentle terrain, gravel surface
1 Night in hotel or Bed and Breakfast
- Full Itinerary
- Multiple options for dining and accommodation
- Gear Checklist
- Logistics for travel and safe parking
- Things to do in York, PA
- Ride with GPS downloadable route with waypoints, places of interest, elevation profile, and mile marks
The Northern Central Railroad Trail (AKA the NCR Trail or the Torrey C Brown Rail Trail) runs from near Hunt Valley, Maryland to York, Pennsylvania. Before being converted for recreation, the railroad operated here for 140 years. The railway serviced the Baltimore, York and Harrisburg areas carrying both passengers and freight. During the Civil War, the Pennsylvania Railroad was an important part of carrying soldiers and supplies in the area.
The mostly shaded route has riverside views, runs through Gunpowder Falls state park, and offers a great venue for a beginners gravel bike tour. The NCR trail provides recreation for many locals who use the gently sloped trails for a variety of activities. You’ll be sure to see walkers, runners, cyclists, fishermen, and even tubers on your trip. Keep your eyes peeled for the coal powered historic train that runs on a section of old tracks on the Pennsylvania side of the trail.
What You’ll Love
While the terrain is not difficult, the views are still incredible. The NCR takes our group along rivers, through state parks, and right by the main streets of several cute small towns. The relaxed mileage and nature of this trip allows for riders of all skill levels to enjoy the route and have time for exploring.