The NCR Beginner Bike Trip

An overnight introduction to bikepacking along the Northern Central Railroad Trail

July 9th-10th, 2022
Registration Closes June 15th, 2022
Difficulty 1/5

Space is limited. Reserve your spot now!

The Lowdown

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. You won’t want to miss tubing on day two as an alternate way to see the river!

The Tour

Day 1 – 38 miles: Day 1 starts at Torrey C Brown Trail Parking Lot 1, just outside of Hunt Valley, MD The group will assemble just outside the entrance for our signature pancake breakfast. From there we will begin our trip riding North towards Pennsylvania. We will stop for lunch at the New Freedom Rail Trail Cafe at mile marker 21. The last 17 miles are mostly downhill to Indian Rock Campground. There we will hang out at camp, cook up dinner, play some games and have a great camping experience.

Day 2 – 38 miles: After a good night’s rest we head back to the start! Our morning’s ride back up to Freedom and down towards Gunpowder Falls state park will see us taking a packed lunch break about 25 miles in. Eat up because we are going tubing in Monkton! We will park our bikes and grab some tubes and float a mile or so down the river. Refreshed from our dip, we pick our bikes back up in Monkton and finish off the trail at the start in Hunt Valley. Congrats, you’re a bikepacker now!

Interested in other tours? Click here for our offerings!
Need help training? Read our bicycle tour training guide

What’s Included:

  • GPX route file from ridewithgps
  • Park entrance fees
  • Daily baggage transfer
  • Fully guided tour with two (2) guides
  • Free pre-tour consultation to make sure you are ready to go
  • All meals unless a restaurant stop is noted. Meals are selected by you in advance from our pantry list
  • Gear checklist
  • Sag support in case of bike breakdown
  • Guided excursions
  • Blaze Adventure Tours tri-blend T-shirt
  • Our signature pancake breakfast on Day 1
  • French Press Coffee every morning

What You Need:

  • Bicycle – Recommended minimum tire width of 32mm or 1.5 inches. (Need help bringing your own bike? We will handle the logistics and facilitate rentals)
  • Camping gear – Recommended gear list included (we can facilitate rentals)
  • To complete this trip you should be able to ride comfortably for a minimum of 3 hours on the bike you intend to ride. Make sure to practice on similar terrain. We are happy to give advice on how to prepare if you need a bit more bike experience.

Pricing: $875 per person

$300 refundable deposit due now, full payment due 60 days before tour start.

Please review our cancellation policy before booking.

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