Route: York County Heritage Trail (PA) & Northern-Central Rail Trail (MD)

Pennsylvania, US
Maryland, US
47.4 mi

The Northern Central Railroad (NCR) and York County Heritage (YCH) combine to create a simply an awesome trail. Despite its proximity to Baltimore, this 41 mile long trail follows nearly all rural terrain (with much of it along side Gunpowder Falls River). The surface is fine crushed gravel and is in generally good condition. The trail is also well shaded, so it is nice even on the hottest summer days. There are several trail lots that have access to bathrooms and water, and there is access to various gas stations/convenience stores if needed.

Eric Ferree added:

"Called the Torrey C Brown Trail in MD and the York Heritage Rail Trail in PA it is mostly constructed with crushed gravel with small portions being actually paved asphalt. The southern terminus is in Cockeysville, Maryland at Ashland Rd. The northern terminus is in York, PA in John Rudy County Park (Until May 2019, before the northern extension was completed, the northern terminus was in York City by the old Colonial Courthouse Building). The entire distance of the combined trails is about 47.5 miles."

Note we will no longer record FKTs for the pre-2019 trail.


At some point over the next few weeks I intend to attempt the FKT for this route. I will be going from south to north in a self supported fashion. Coronavirus closures may force me to do the route unsupported. I also intend to continue along the route and complete the extension of the York Heritage Trail that was completed in Spring 2019 and terminates at John Rudy Park, setting the FKT for the entire completed two trails.

I was going to attempt the FKT this week but decided to postpone it. Although still possible, I did not feel that the run would have been in the spirit of Maryland and Pennsylvania's stay at home orders. And given past ultra experience, the run may have compromised my immune system.

Tomorrow I will be attempting the FKT of this route (and possibly the John Rudy extension). I'll be headed south to north and will be self-supported. 

I’d like to run the entire MD/PA Rail Trail including the Northern Extension. Should I attempt to create a new FKT route since the extension adds over six miles to the route?

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Tomorrow, for Mother's Day (5/10/2020), I will attempt the FKT of the ~47.5 miles of the YCH Trail and NCR Trail, traveling North to South (includes the John Rudy extension) and will be self-supported. Considering there are is not a female time listed for this route, I figured I'd go ahead and start it up ;)

Last minute logistics change: route is South to North and since it's Mother's Day, my family will be supporting me along the way.

This FKT has a double listing. It is also on this site as Northern Central Railroad Trail (MD,PA)

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I'm going to run the entire MD/PA Rail Trail out and back including the Northern Extension. Should be around 94.5 miles all told. Planning on the weekend of 10/2.