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Bicyclists can opt for climbs or easy rides

September 24, 2006

There are many places to bike in Washington County.

· The C&O Canal and Antietam National Battlefield offer leisurely trails and pamphlets with tour information.

· The Western Maryland Rail Trail, a flat asphalt paved path reclaimed from the former Western Maryland Railroad, is about 23 miles long, running from Big Pool west past Hancock to Pearre.

The trail begins one-half mile west of Fort Frederick State Park and follows the former Western Maryland Railroad line through Hancock. Because the trail is flat, it is especially suited to families and novice cyclists.

For more information, visit www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/wmrt.html.

Bikers looking for scenic roads to travel might enjoy Sharpsburg Pike and Downsville Pike.

There are numerous roads for biking in and around Smithsburg, such as Md. 64 and Md. 491 for those who like a good climb.

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Mountain bikes are welcome on most of the trails through Greenbrier State Park. For more information, go to www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/greenbrier.html.

The Cumberland Valley Cycling Club conducts rides throughout the county for cyclists of all levels. The group's ride schedule is on the Web at www.bikecvcc.com/.

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