Today Candee and I started out on a round trip hike from Big Pool Station with two goals in mind: to explore and photograph the Licking Creek Aqueduct, and to find the point where the Tuscarora Trail takes one of its many northern turns toward its reunion with the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. We were lucky enough to find the trail sign near mile marker 117, but, unfortunately, it was face down in the grass.
As we headed up the bank, we found an access road with very limited parking at its end, and as we continued we chanced upon the familiar blue blaze of the Tuscarora Trail. The road is known as Mile Marker Lane, and it winds from the C&O to US Rt. 40, crossing the Western Maryland Rail Trail and going under I-70 along the way.
People who frequent the Western Maryland Rail Trail will recognize Mile Marker Lane as the road that runs between the WMRT and C&O Canal NHP near the small cemetery just below the bridge over Licking Creek (heading toward Hancock). The lane ends (or begins) near the western end of the Rt. 40 bridge over Licking Creek, and it’s perhaps only a mile long. However, it makes contact with three trails and runs below a major interstate before meeting up with the National Pike. It makes for a really interesting side trip off of the C&O.