Inaugural Ride Slideshow

Starting off in York
On September 5, six advocates for the Grand History Trail set out from York, Pa. to bike the proposed route for the 250-mile-long trail. Here's a roundup of photos from the trip.
Bikes strapped on to the support vehicle.
Riding through Hanover, Pa.
A historical marker in Hanover
Stopping at Famous Hot Weiner in Hanover
Cycling through Gettysburg
The Gettysburg battlefield
Re-enactors in Gettysburg
Re-enactors man a cannon in Gettysburg
A group shot in Gettysburg
... And another Gettysburg group shot
The Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg.
Sachs Covered Bridge in Gettysburg
Taking a break.
Don hamming it up in Frederick, Md.
Carriage House and former slave quarters in Frederick
A plaque shares the history of the Dred Scott decision in Frederick.
The historic Ross home in Frederick
Bird cage bike in Frederick
Hanging out in front of city hall in Frederick.
A sign for the C&O canal.
Biking on the C&O Canal
Stopping in the nation's capital.
The GHT riders pose in front of the Washington Monument.
The shadows of weary cyclists in Washington, D.C.
Sailboats in Annapolis.
Stopping for a meal in Annapolis.
Jellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Calypso, the three-finned sea turtle at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
We agree.
Cool old VW bus.
Recuperating in the support van.
Nearly to the finish line.
We made it back to York!

Pennsylvania Secretary for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Cindy Dunn, and Grand History Trail champion Don Gogniat stopped in at WITF's Smart Talk March 1 to discuss the project. Listen to their interview here:


We met with members of the Frederick Bicycle Coalition to discuss their involvement with the Frederick section of the Grand History Trail. We're thrilled that they've agreed to plan the best route through the county north to Emmitsburg as well as prepare a proposal for the trail to be submitted to the Frederick County Coucil.

We now have groups of people working to make the Grand History Trail a reality in every section that the trail needs to be finished, which is an important step because Rails to Trails depends on local support to see these trails become a reality.

As we all know, the success of an initiative on the scale of the Grand History Trail is dependent on the actions of passionate supporters. In the past month trail proponent Don Gogniat has met with several such champions to discuss the next step in finishing the loop. Here's the rundown of some of the folks he's chatted with:

  • Earlier this month Don checked in with DCNR of PA secretary Cindy Dunn. Cindy is enthusiastic about the trail and pledged support to help with the Pennsylvania portions of the loop that need to be completed. Now we're just waiting on that state budget to be approved in order to establish a political commission.


  • A couple weeks ago, Don met with Rails to Trails Conservancy President Keith Laughlin and Kelly Pack and Jim Brown, two members of his staff who are working on the Grand History Trail. Don reports that the meeting went well. Keith thoroughly endorses the concept of the GHT and has offered to a write a letter of support that can be available for meetings with others interested in finishing the loop. We are greateful to have his support and for the hard work of his staff in moving the project forward.


  • This weekend, Don visit Jefferson, Md. to meet with Joe Kelley, an avid cyclist and supporter of the Grand History Trail. Joe has been riding bikes since he was a kid and for the past 25 years has dreamed of creating a trail from Frederick to Gettysburg. He knows cyclists, community leaders and politicians in the area, and hopes to organize a meeting between these local folks and others who are working to complete sections of the GHT in other areas like HABPI in Gettysrburg and the Rails to Trail staff. We're planning to meet soon after the holidays.

Stay tuned for more updates on the trail and don't forget to follow the Grand History Trail on Facebook.

We're thrilled that Heritage Rail Trail County Park in York, Pa. and the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail in Baltimore County, Md. were inducted into the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame during a ceremony Tuesday.

This beautiful 44-or-so mile stretch of trail will be just one leg of the Grand History Trail, taking riders from the historic downtown York, which is in the midst of a cultural renaissance through pastoral countryside. Heritage Rail Trail was also named Pennsylvania's 2015 Trail of the Year by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Read more about the induction story and development plans for York area rail trails in this article from the York Daily Record.

Watch video of the induction cermeony below.

The Grand History Trail project received plenty of press coverage during the inaugural ride in September. Here's a roundup of some of the news articles calling attention to the efforts of the "Trailblazers" (i.e. the team of six riders who road the entire length of the proposed route). Stay tuned for more trail updates. 

The York Daily Record"Riders leave York on mission to get attention, support for a trail to connect Pa., Maryland and D.C."

The Baltimore Sun: "Grand History Trail could connect local cyclists to paths throughout the region"

Gettysburg Times: "Bicyclists arrive in Gettysburg on proposed Grand History Trail" "5 cyclists ride 300 miles to advocate for bike trail"

The Fulton Post"Bicyclists want route through City Dock"