Tour De Lunch

The “Tour De Lunch” group from a few years ago

The hostess with the hostess, Gerri and Steve providing a great bike ride the “Tour De Lunch” and party for 18 years

The Tour De Lunch, takes place on the Northern Central Railroad trail or (NCR) trail



For 134 Years, from 1838 to 1972, the Northern Central Railroad connected Washington to Baltimore to York PA. The railroad stopped operating due to decline is train business and sue the the hurricane Agnus and the flood that destroyed many rail bridges in about 1972. 

The current trail is designated as the “Hall of Fame” for “Rails to Trails”


The NCR train line and now the NCR Rail to Trail, follows the Gunpowder river for much of the way towards Pennsylvania providing beautiful views along the way

While the train operated over those 134 years, it encouraged the growth of small towns such as: Ashland, Phoenix, Sparks, Glencoe, Corbett, Monkton, White Hall, Parkton, Bentley Springs, and Freeland. The old Monkton railroad station below.  


Those towns had operating businesses and below is a photo of an old bank that operated in Parkton decades ago that is now converted to a home 

The Railroad was a major link in the exchange of goods between these rural communities and the City of Baltimore. These included flour, paper, milk and farm products, coal, and later the U.S. Mail. 

Because of the stations there are old guest houses or old hotels along the route like the one below that is now a personal home

During the Civil War, hundreds of Union soldiers were transported south on the railroad. Abraham Lincoln traveled on the Northern Central on his way to deliver his famous Gettysburg Address, and later his body would be transported to Harrisburg via these same rails after his assassination. Increasing truck and automobile transportation marked the decline of the railroad, and in 1972 Hurricane Agnes washed out bridges and made the line impassable. I was here for Agnes and it totally took out some bridges including the one in Monkton. In 1984, DNR converted the abandoned right-of-way into a multi-use trail

Ok onto our “Tour De Lunch”. The “Tour De Lunch” is a bike ride that was started about 18 years ago by Gerri and Steve Leder. The “Tour De Lunch” Ride has started on various positions on the Norther central Railroad (NCR trail) which begins in the town Ashland Maryland. Here is a shot of our group this year

The Northern Central Railroad Trail, officially known as The Torrey C. Brown Trail, covers nearly 20 miles in Maryland, stretching from Ashland Road in Hunt Valley to the Mason-Dixon Line. (no vehicular traffic – nice).  The trail is really nice and is about 10 feet wide with a stone dust surface and the surface allows one to ride after a rain. The width of the trial allows for two way bike , hike traffic


The most popular activities on the trail are hiking, running, bicycle riding and below is our hostess kicking it up

The trail allows horseback riding and along the way it is very common to pass horseback riders, photo below.


The trail also provides access for fishing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing along the gunpowder.  We have canoed from Prettyboy to Loch Raven on the Gunpowder and it is great fun


One will pass the old train tracks along the way ( our group below)


After one crosses into Pennsylvania,  it continues another 20 miles into Pennsylvania.  New Freedom is the first town one rolls into after crossing from Maryland and we stop at Paesanos for great lunch proved by the Gerri and Steve. A couple of photos for lunch



Also one can take a train ride to Stewartstown or up the track to York and Would recommend this activity . We took over the train below – only kidding

Another shot of the group from a few years ago

Conductor below 

the train is really cool 


The trail on the Pennsylvania side called the Heritage Trail ends in York Pa and features a cool tunnel and historic Hanover Junction.


Along the way we passed a magical place covered in gnomes and in Parkton they have a artists that make incredible cairns 


Some group shots below 





The train station and train below