City Escape: Baltimore, Maryland

Text: James T. Parks • Photography: James T. Parks

Rustic backroads meander through a pastoral, cultivated landscape dotted with picturesque villages. On every day of the week, except Sunday, riders can observe the unique, back-in-time Amish lifestyle on full display. And there are plenty of roadside collectibles for sale by local artisans. This route can be ridden comfortably in spring, summer, and fall.

Length

Approximately 170 miles

Meet-up Spot

Starbucks, 10540 York Rd, Cockeysville, MD.

Lunch Stop

Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant, Route 896, Smoketown, PA, (717) 394-7111.

Scenery (4 out of 5)

Bucolic agrarian landscape draped over gently rolling hills, Amish farms, and horse-drawn buggies and farming implements.

Traffic (3 out of 5)

Mostly light traffic, except in the Lancaster, PA, area on weekends.

Difficulty (3 out of 5)

Appropriate for all street qualified riders. Some of the secondary roads in Pennsylvania, however, can be challenging with their steep elevation changes and sharp turns.

Road Conditions (3 out of 5)

Some rough sections along secondary roads, particularly in Pennsylvania and on Pretty Boy Dam Road in Maryland; some roads are unmarked.

Points of Interest

  1. Deer Creek Bridge 
1934 truss bridge with wooden plank surface spanning Deer Creek in York County, Pennsylvania.
  2. Strasburg Steam Railroad 
Step back in time by riding a steam-powered train through Amish Country, located in Ronks, PA, www.strasburgrailroad.com.
  3. Intercourse, PA 
Filming location for fight scene 
in the 1985 movie Witness, starring 
Harrison Ford; lancasterpa.com
/intercourse.
  4. Mascot Roller Mills 
Learn about milling history at this fully operational 19th century water-powered grain mill. Located in Ronks, PA, www.resslermill.com.
  5. Historic Columbia-
Wrightsville Bridge 
While in Pennsylvania, drive over the mile-wide Susquehanna River on this graceful, concrete-reinforced bridge (1930).
  6. Pretty Boy Reservoir Dam 
Spectacular vistas from atop and below this 1932 concrete dam and spillway in northern Baltimore County, Maryland.