Mile Marker Lane (The C&O Canal, WMRT, Tucarora Trail, I-70, and the National Pike)

Look what we found!

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.

The familiar blue blaze!

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.

Park Head Cemetery

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.

Another view of the cemetery


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7 responses to this post.

  1. I love exploring old cemetaries. So much history there for the time. This one looks like an old one. What were some of the dates on them?


  2. Posted by LevelWalker on December 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Ouch! You got me on that one. I looked at the headstones about a year ago during a bike ride, but this time I just snapped a picture and ran. We were more interested in learning about the Tuscarora Trail. I’ll check it out again soon.


  3. Posted by mitch hawbaker on January 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Mile Marker road is my go-to spot for running and biking the towpath. I see deer practically every time I’m here and occasionally turkeys too.


  4. Posted by LevelWalker on January 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm


    We saw a good many animals in the area the day we posted this. In fact, we had an interesting sighting that I believe was a coyote. Our good friend Jamie–who also has a C&O site–mentioned seeing a considerable amount of wildlife during his hike also. I-70 doesn’t seem to have a great impact on the local wildlife. You mention turkeys. We’ve had good luck seeing them around the Town Creek Aqueduct and close to Berm Road near Hancock. Quick question: have you seen any bears on the towpath? We JUST missed one on the WMRT above the Devil’s Eyebrow a few years ago. Another biker came speeding up to us saying he had seen one a minute earlier, but we were too late.


  5. Posted by John Walker on March 19, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Are you aware that the Appalachian Trail was almost rerouted via the Tuscarora Trail, up the C&O towpath through Hancock, across US 522 bridge into West Virginia then south on the Big Blue Trail rejoining the AT near Compton Gap in Virginia. Apparently there was agricultural encroachment in the Cumberland Valley between Carlisle and Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. Things were reaching a boiling point between farmers and hikers when the federal government stepped in with I believe with some federalization act in 1968 so the AT along with the C&O canal towpath were basically nationalized. End of problem with pesky landowners. But think of it for a moment, the Appalachian Trail coming down off the Tuscarora range in Pennsylvania; turn right at the C&O towpath and into Hancock! Wow, what an economic boon that would have and maybe still be.



  6. Posted by LevelWalker on March 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I never gave it much thought, but the AT going through Hancock would have been amazing. I love Hancock. It’s definitely a great place for a bike ride or layover during a longer trip. Great comment!!!!!


  7. Posted by LevelWalker on March 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    The Tuscarora is very poorly marked around Hancock, unless I’m missing something. It’s a great trail on the WV side. For the lack of a better term, the trail should be marketed better. We’ve walked it some and rarely see anybody on it in West Virginia.


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