Indigo Tunnel: Extending the WMRT

Check out the new bat gate

No, there isn’t a bright-eyed monster hiding out in the Indigo Tunnel, but these shiny orbs did have us worried for a minute or two.  Fortunately, there is a simple explanation–the lights are from contractors working on the Indigo Tunnel Bat Gate Project.    The Western Maryland Rail Trail is eventually going to be extended to Paw Paw, and the first phase is closing the Indigo Tunnel to human usage.  The tunnel is reported to be Maryland’s largest bat hibernaculum, and it houses an endangered species.

Upon closer inspection, there is a newly-constructed steel grate just inside of the portal, and doors will be positioned in the blank space in order to keep out those pesky human intruders–with the exception of biologists.  Bats are susceptible to a disease known as white-nose syndrome, and contact with people can be lethal.  At one time, the rail trail was going to go through the tunnel, but upon it’s completion, it will have a short detour on the C&O Canal Towpath in order to bypass this man-made bat cave.

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by thomasaitken01 on July 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I thought the bat business sounded pretty silly when I first heard it, but I’ve come around to the biologists’ way of thinking. The WMRT is going to be an amazing trail when it’s completed–with or without riding through the tunnel. I guess we all come around to the point where we figure out that mankind has destroyed enough of nature. The detour will be in our volunteer area (Level 52), and I imagine the trash pickup will get heavier when the rail trail gets rolling. Oh, well! That’s a small price to pay for a great new place to go biking!

    Reply

  2. U know what I enjoy about coming here and reading this material, is that I learn things about parts of the country I’ll probably not get to see. Great stuff y’all have going on here.

    Reply

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