Set right in the middle of the beautiful Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania, the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail is 11 miles (18 km) long and offers individuals beautiful scenery of the surrounding. The Cumberland Valley Railroad passed here around the start of the 19th century and before it was set up, Scots-Irish immigrants and Native Americans used the Cumberland Valley as a travel corridor in the 1700s.
The railroad later changed its ownership when it was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad and thereafter Conrail. Finally, it was given to The Cumberland Valley Rails-to-Trails Council to have the trail developed when the corridor became dysfunctional. The outcome was the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail that is a wonder to behold.
Other than just being breathtaking, using the trail gives you an opportunity to view various birds including Common Yellowthroat, Cedar Waxwing, red fox, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Downy Woodpecker, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Eastern Meadowlark and Indigo Bunting. On the other hand, the open lush grassland within Oakville, gives you a chance to view the Horned Lark.
There is truly a lot to enjoy and see on this amazing stretch of land that runs from New York State to Alabama while on Cumberland Valley Rail Trail. This trail runs from Shippensburg to Newville and is a National Recreation Trail that is popular with residents in the area as well as students from Shippensburg University.
The surface of the trail varies in terms of what it is composed of. First of all, there is the 0.5-mile stretch from Newville which is concrete and asphalt and this is also where PennDOT has set up a base for instrument calibration. A different section has grassy, hard-packed earth and is suitable for equestrians while another has a packed stone dust surface that is good for hikers/bikers.
From Shippensburg Park to Camp Rd is a 10.5 miles stretch and is a two-tread trail. Taking time on Cumberland Valley Rail Trail will expose you to various landscapes such as areas with limestone outcroppings, open farmland and woodlands as well. It is a well drained trail with parking and restrooms available at Shippensburg Township Park and Newville.
For those who would love to use horse trailers, they can find them at Shippensburg which can be used for one of the activities here. The other activities you can engage in include cycling, jogging, walking and for pet lovers, dog walking will be a great idea on the trail. There are also plans to extend the trail to the east and this is from Newville to Carlisle.
If this plan is adopted, this will be an additional 11 miles to Cumberland Valley Rail Trail creating more room for various activities. The trail may not be very busy on certain days but on weekends, cyclists throng the place making it a buzz of activities. Hence, depending on your daily schedules, you can identify the most appropriate time and day to enjoy your time on the trail whether it is with family, friends, or when you need some time alone away from crowded environments. The atmosphere surrounding the trail will definitely be a therapy for you.