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Baltimore Living

Best Car-Free Getaway from Baltimore

Take your bike on the light rail to northern Baltimore County

It can seem like Baltimore’s public transit system was designed to leave us marooned in our all-too-familiar patch of the city, the prospect of a day in the country a distant dream. But if you have a bike and a few bucks for the light rail, that bucolic day can be yours. Take your bike north on the light rail—yep, it’s allowed—and disembark at the end of the line, the Hunt Valley stop. You’ll be on Shawan Road. Head east and take a right on York Road—careful, it’s trafficky. Go about half a mile and take a left on Ashland Road, a curving lane that will lead you right to the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail (formerly known as the NCR). This wide tree-lined trail runs 20 miles, all the way to the Pennsylvania border, peacefully skirting Gunpowder Falls. After about seven miles, you’ll hit the small town of Monkton, a good place to stop for a bite to eat or some well-deserved ice cream. Just don’t get carried away—you have to make it back to the light rail.

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