Northern Central Rail-Trail

#1 of 3 trails in Loch Raven Park
Northern Central Rail-Trail is a 40.7 mile point-to-point trail located near Cockeysville, MD that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, horses, road biking, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

40.7 miles 1604 feet Point to Point
dogs on leash hiking mountain biking road biking horses forest river
Hide Map
Sign up now to see this map!

Mike Seabron

4 Completed4 Reviews

Easy ride that can be done with family or beginners. Has good resting points with pleasant scenery. Trail goes on for miles and had to turn around after 8 miles in. Would definitely go again!

Robert Smyth

1 Completed1 Reviews

Yes I gave this trail 5 stars. What more could you ask for in a trail. 1% or less grade, wide, clean, beautiful scenery with much of the trail next to the Gunpowder River, bathrooms at many locations along the trail. 40+ miles with 20 miles in Maryland and 20+ in Pennsylvania. A bike shop right on the trail in New Freedom PA section. And a few places to buy lunch or something to drink. A 5 star trail in my book.

Jessica Ditto

1 Completed1 Reviews

Love this trail for all my long runs. Flat, quiet, well kept. It's really crowded on the weekends though, so parking can be difficult.

Anne-Margaret Olsson

3 Completed1 Reviews

Great time on the North Central Trail with the family! I thought this would be a good place to get the family started with biking - it is flat, the wooded scenery is interesting and fun, and it felt like an adventure. We only adventured in 3.8 miles on the trail - there is still so much more to see!!

Lindsay Hoehn

6 Completed6 Reviews

Perfect for long runs! Totally flat though

Barry Stevens

6 Completed9 Reviews

Another piece of useful information, the trail is the most crowded Saturday and Sunday. I go after work during the week. if you enjoy tubing on the river, there is a tube rental and snowball stand by the train station. Don't go to the snowball stand on Ashland ( in the lady's back yard). Her pets are in there while she is making your snowballs and she doesn't even have marshmallow. prices aren't great either.

Barry Stevens

6 Completed9 Reviews

I would consider this easy, not moderate. Pretty much on a flat plane. For the first two miles from the Ashland Rd Cockeysville lot, it is a lot of walkers, joggers and children on bikes. Be careful, they don't ride in straight lines and don't know " passing on the left" yet, understandable lol. From Ashland Rd, At the 7.25 mile point is the old Monkton train station. Benches there to get a breather, a pump to refill water bottles and restrooms. The fountain by the bike racks work but not the other one.

Tez A.

Heather G.

Very nice for all purposes--walking, running, cycling and horseback riding. I am usually cycling, and start at Monkton and head north, since farther south has a number of walkers, runners and families with small children on weekends. It really is beautiful, and a nice, smooth ride on crushed stone with almost no elevation.

Rick Levin

5 Completed5 Reviews

This trail is great for many reasons and can be used for many purposes. I have been coming to this trail since I was a kid and my parents would take us biking on it. We would bike all the way to Monkton and there is a great little shop there that sells all kinds of treats. I used the trail later in life to practice for the Baltimore Marathon. The reason this trail is great is that is flat and wide, so people use it for all types of activities. You will see runners, bikers, hikers, people walking their dogs, and people riding horses. Its very long so make sure you pay attention to how far you want to go otherwise your trek back to the car will be not be fun. Make sure you know your turn around point. The trail is made of a hard pack crushed rock and dirt. On a dry day its a vary hard pack, great for running etc. There are a few points where you have to cross roads so make sure if you have kids you don't let them go too far off if they are young. This is an old railroad trail so its wide and flat, which gives room for everyone, bikers, runners, families, and even horses. It is very nice is the late spring early fall, can be quite hot in mid summer but is a great trail. I do recall there being port-a-pots on the trail but they were few and far between. This trail is out in a nice part of Baltimore County and is very safe, my ex used to run there by herself and she was never scared at all. Easy access off Pepper Mill Rd. Enjoy