LITTLE ORLEANS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is extending the Western Maryland Rail Trail by bypassing a tunnel that’s home to a colony of federally endangered Indiana bats.
The Cumberland Times-News reported Monday that the 3.5-mile extension will move the western endpoint of the hiking and biking trail from Pearre to Little Orleans.
Planner Steve Carr says the $4.5 million project should be complete by the summer of 2016.
The paved trail is currently 20 miles long. It follows the old Western Maryland Railroad line, starting near Fort Frederick State Park at Big Pool.
Planner Steve Carr says the extension will avoid the Indigo Tunnel, which was closed to the public in 2010. He says the rail trail will detour onto the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath.
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