“Rail-Trails: Mid-Atlantic,” Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 195 pp., softcover, $15.95. Wilderness Press, 2007. 800-443-7227, wildernesspress.com.
Railroad passengers once zoomed across dreamy landscapes in the Appalachians, whisking over rivers and sailing past rocky bluffs. Now, though, passenger trains are practically extinct. But many of the great railway passages remain - as trails.
The Rails-to-Trail Conservancy focuses on these corridors in “Rail-Trails: Mid-Atlantic.” This new paperback takes a glance at 56 railroad lines that have been turned into trails across Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
That includes the perennially popular Virginia Creeper Trail, and the nearby New River Trail State Park, both in southwest Virginia. It also looks at lesser-known former logging lines, like the Phillips Creek Loop Trail at Pound; the sidewalk-style path of the Huckleberry Trail, near the campus of Virginia Tech; and the challenging Narrow Gauge Trail in West Virginia’s Babcock State Park.
Small enough to fit in a backpack, the book features maps and original photographs plus contact information for the managers of each trail.