Yes, there is the Mason-Dixon Trail which people hike and run on. And there
Mason-Dixon Wine Trail that people use to drive to wineries and get good
deals on wine and wine tastings (Just be sure to have a designated driver).
But I did some research and there is no Mason-Dixon Bike trail. Should
First Some Disclaimers: The Mason-Dixon Trail System and the author are not responsible for any mishaps or issues that may occur if one bikes along this suggested route. Have flashing front and rear lights on your bike, wear reflective/bright clothing, a helmet and ride defensively. I do ride a bike once or twice a year for a few miles just to make sure that it still works. I am no expert in this area and probably would not be able to bike the entire path that I am proposing. And what follows is my opinion and is not endorsed by the Mason-Dixon Trail System. The maps that you see on the right are of the proposed Mason-Dixon Bike Trail and NOT the Mason-Dixon Foot Path Trail. It shares a portion of the M-DT but DO NOT use these maps to hike the M-DT! The blue line represents the M-DB Trail. Any purple or green lines represent alternative choices at certain points.
Since about a third of the Mason-Dixon Trail is on roads, we should be able to carve out a nice long distance bike path that would be a challenge to those that are willing and able. So here is what I think would make a neat Mason-Dixon Bike Trail. We will travel from west to east. Mileages are based on the 2016 M-DT foot travel maps. I would take a 2016 M-DT map as well as PA, MD and DE maps (or a smartphone GPS type of app) with me. Here goes:
Map 1 Appalachian Trail at Whiskey Spring to Pinchot SP, PA- The M-DT is on roads is currently (as of 1-17-2017) on roads between miles 0 and 11.2 (There are some possible relocations coming down the pike but not any time soon). So one could bike from Whiskey Springs to where the M-DT leaves Robson RD and enters State Game Land 242. According to the PA Game Commission you can't ride a bike within state game lands unless there is a green sign that has an image of a bike and that says 'Designated Route'. No green signs here. As a result, at this point, if one were on a bike, one would continue on Robson RD to Poplar RD, turn left and proceed to PA4026 Old York RD. Turn right on PA4026 Old York RD. When you reach the second intersection of Honey and Old York RDS you will be back on the M-DT at mile 15.5 . When the M-DT turns left onto Lisburn RD at mile 16.5, keep going straight on PA4026 Old York RD.
Map 2 Pinchot SP to Wago JCT, PA- Continue on PA4026 to the PA177/PA74 intersection. According to the Gifford Pinchot State Park, PA web site, bikes are only allowed on red blazed trails, which are mostly between the campground and the day use area. However, most of the M-DT is blue blazed only. And the terrain in Pinchot SP in certain areas would be tough for bike riding. So, in order to get back to the Mason-Dixon Foot Travel Trail, proceed straight on PA74 a few miles. Then turn left onto Alpine RD. Take Alpine RD about 3 miles until you get to Conley RD. Turn right. You are now back on the M-DT at around mile 7.1 . The rest of the M-DT within this section is all on roads so follow the blue blazes from here to the intersection of Wago and Gut RDS.
Map 3 Wago JCT to Trinity Church RD S of Wrightsville, PA- The first 15 miles of this section are all on roads. When you get to mile 10.6 the road is gated. Hikers have permission to hike this gated road. I am investigating whether bikes can also use this road. To be on the safe side, for now, it is probably best to turn right onto Accomac RD. Take it to Dark Hollow RD and turn left at Dark Hollow. Take it to a T where N Front ST extended goes to the right. Take N Front ST EXT. You are now back on the M-DT at mile 13.3 . At mile 15.0 the M-DT turns from Front ST (now also PA624) left onto Lockwood RD. The terrain here is not conducive to bikes. At this point stay on PA624 for about 2 miles. This is a busy, narrrow road so be alert. Turn right at Hilt RD. The M-DT will cross Hilt in about a mile. The county web site for Highpoint Scenic Vista & Recreation Area is not clear on whether bikes are allowed on the M-DT within the park or not. Highpoint is a big up so it would probably be best to proceed on Hilt RD. When you get to Knights View RD Hilt becomes Trinity Church RD which becomes Klines Run RD. You are now back on the M-DT.
Map 4 Trinity Church RD to Otter Creek Campground, PA- Since the majority of the Mason-Dixon Foot Travel Trail is mostly on trail and on difficult trail within this section, we will deviative a bit and use all roads for this stretch. When the M-DT turns right at around mile 1.3 keep going straight on Klines Run RD. It eventually intersects PA624, which is now called Long Level RD. Turn right onto Long Level RD and follow it for about 2.5 miles. When PA624 turns right, starts uphill and becomes Craley RD, follow this road about 3 miles to the intersection with PA425 New Bridgeville RD. Turn left onto PA425. You will now be following this road for the next 13 miles. It becomes Burkholder and then Furnace RD at some point. Please be cautious as this is a winding, up and down two lane road that has no shoulders along most of it's length. You will meet up with the M-DT Foot Travel Trail at around mile 19.1 at Otter Creek Campground.
Map 5 Otter Creek Campground to PA/MD State Line- Since you can't ride a bike through State Game Land 181 within this section, you will again be on all roads. However, we will give you a few choices here. Choice 1: From Otter Creek Campground stay on PA425 for about 2 miles until you reach New Cut RD. Turn left onto New Cut. You are now on the M-DT Foot Traffic Trail. Take New Cut to Posey RD. Turn left on Posey RD, take it about a mile and turn right on Blaine RD. This is a gravel road that may be in rough shape. You are now leaving the M-DT Foot Travel Trail. Take Blaine about 4 miles. Right before it reaches PA74, make a hard left onto McCalls Ferry RD. Follow it downhill to the Susquehanna River. Be careful as this road is steep, rutted and is gravel based as it nears the river. McCalls Ferry then becomes River RD. You will be on the M-DT Foot Travel Trail for short segments between here and PA372. Cintinue on River RD along the river and back up the river hills of the Susquehanna. You are now back on the M-DT Foot Travel Trail. When River RD reaches Slab RD, turn left on Slab for a short distance and then turn left onto McKinley RD. Continue on McKinley to PA74. Be careful as PA74 is a busy road with no shoulders. Take PA74 about .4 miles to Paper Mill RD. Choice 2: Take Blaine all the way out to PA74, turn left onto PA74 and proceed about 5 miles to Paper Mill RD. Once you get to Paper Mill RD, turn left. You will be on the M-DT foot traffic trail for about a mile. After you cross over Muddy Creek, the M-DT foot traffic trail turns left. It is not advisable to follow it as the terrain along Muddy Creek is rough and there is a BIG down near where Muddy Creek empties into the Susquehanna River. Follow Paper Mill RD/Gauging Station RD to Flintville RD. Turn right onto Flintville. Take Flintville RD about 1.5 miles to Burk RD. Turn left onto Burk RD. Take Burk about a half mile. When Burk intersects Krick RD, turn right. You will be on the M-DT foot traffic trail for the rest of this section. Take Krick to Orchard RD at M-DT mile 28.2 and turn right. Turn left at Cooper RD at mile 28.6. Cross Michaels Run at mile 29.3. Reach PA/MD state line when you reach Tabernacle RD.
Map 6 PA/MD State Line to Quarry RD N of Havre de Grace, MD- Follow the M-DT foot trail until mile 1.7. Between here and US1 the M-DT is really not conducive to bicycle riding. So your best bet is to stay on MD623 for about the next 7.5 miles until you reach US1. Then, turn left and ride north on US1 for about 4 miles. When you reach the Connewago Pool & Visitors Center go just past it and turn right onto Shuresville RD. Take it about a half mile. Then, turn left onto Shuresville Landing RD. This road ends up at the Susquehanna River and the Lower Susquehanna Herritage Greenway. I couldn't find if bike riding was verbodden on the LSHG. However, since the Susquehanna State Park web site says it's OK, then I guess it is. So you can follow the M-DT foot traffic trail all the way to Havre de Grace, MD. There is a big up around mile 13.7 so you can stay on Stafford RD to Lapitum RD or take the M-DT foot traffic trail, your choice. Once you get to the west end of the US40 Hatem bridge in Havre de Grace you can (as of 07-01-2016 on an experimental basis) ride a bike across the bridge. Please be careful as someone did get a tire stuck in one of the bridge joints and went over their handle bars the first day that they allowed bikes over the bridge.
Map 7 Havre de Grace to North East, MD- This area has seen much change over the last 10 years. The M-DT foot traffic trail has had to be relocated numerous times due to development along this stretch. And it's going to continue in the foreseeable future. So we will give you 3 choices here: Choice 1: Take the M-DT between Perryville and North East, MD. The distance being about 14 miles. However, be advised that between miles 7.6 and 11.4, the terrain may not be that great for bikes and there may be some land owner issues and upcoming relocations. Option 2: Take US40 from Perryville to North East, a distance of about 8.2 miles. This is a very busy road. The shoulders have large rocks and are not conducive to riding a bike on them. Option 3: Take the East Coast Greenway route, which is about 8.5 miles. This consists of taking the M-DT foot traffic path to mile 2.5. Instead of turning right onto Ostego, continue straight on Aikin to Broad ST. Turn left on Broad, which is also MD7, and just continue on MD7 to North East, MD. This road is no piece of cake either. But these are your choices to get from Perryville, MD to North East, MD on a bike.
Map 8 North East, MD to Pleasant Valley RD, DE- According to the Elk Neck State Forest web site, one can ride a mountain bike in Elk Neck. The M-DT foot path is not bad for bikes but there are some occasional blowdowns that one must navigate. So you have a choice here. Either take the M-DT foot path through the forest to Elkton or take the MD7 East Coast Greenway route. Once you get to Landing lane and MD7 around mile 11.5 you can keep on the M-DT foot path until you get to the MD/DE state line at mile 15.5.
Map 9, Pleasant Valley RD, DE to WCCP at London Tract RD, PA- If memory serves me correctly the M-DT foot path is on some trail and some roads between the state line and Iron Hill County Park so one could ride a bike between miles 0 and 3.0. It does not say that you can't ride a bike in Iron Hill County Park on their web site brochure so one assumes that one can. I could not find any related information about Folk Memorial Park so I assume the same is true here. The City of Newark, DE park regulations do not prohibit bicycles so it looks to be OK there. Now, once you get to White Clay Creek State Park, DE, it is a different story. They have posts with a gazillion stickers on them. Some say bikes are OK, some say they aren't. So, to be on the safe side, once you get to mile 13.0, stay on Creek RD. Go past Hopkins and Chambers Rock RDS. When you get to Sharpless RD you are at mile 21 on the M-DT foot path. Turn right on Sharpless, Go to London Tract RD, then turn right. At White Clay Creek Preserve Parking Lot and London Tract RD you are at mile 22.8 and the end of this section.
Map 10 WCCP at London Tract RD to Chadds Ford, PA- You are mostly on roads between mile 0 and mile 7.3, which is the gated entrance to State Line Woods Preserve, PA.
Please Note- As of 2-19-2017 there was a reported trail closure along the M-DT at the Auburn Hills, DE/State Line Woods, PA. border. This is due to a survey by a private property owner that determined that there is a small area of private property in this area. DO NOT use the M-DT in this area. Use the following detour:
turn right at DE82 Creek RD, when When Creek RD turns right, go straight on Upper Snuff Mill RD, then left at Nine Gates RD. You will then be back on the M-DT when you reach the intersection of Nine Gates and Fassett RDS at mile 10.6. Stay on the M-DT foot path until you get to mile 13.9 at PA52 or Kennett Pike. At this point the M-DT foot path goes through some sensitive areas so it is probably best to stay on Fairville RD between miles 14.3 and when you rejoin the M-DT foot path at mile 17.8. Then follow the blue blazes to the M-DT foot path eastern terminus at mile 18.0 and you're done.
Again, this is a proposed bike route that roughly parallels the Mason-Dixon Foot Path Trail. It is probably right aound 200 miles as is the M-DT. If you would like to provide feedback on this article, please Contact Us and click/tap on the bottom radio button on the form before submitting.
- Mike Calabrese
PA SGL signs for bikes, horses and snow mobiles
Map 1, Appalachian Trail to Pinchot SP, PA
Map 2, Pinchot SP, PA to Wago JCT, PA
Map 3, Wago JCT to Trinity Church RD S of
Map 4, Trinity Church RD S of Wrightsville to Otter
Creek Campground, PA
Map 5, Otter Creek Campground to PA/MD State Line
Map 6, PA/MD State Line to Havre de Grace, MD
Map 7, Havre de Grace to North East, MD
Map 8, North East, MD to Pleasant Valley RD, DE
Map 9, Pleasant Valley RD to London Tract RD, DE
Map 10, London Tract RD, DE to Chadds Ford, PA