By Alex DeMetrick

BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — Harford County is inviting people to stretch their legs, by stretching the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail.

Alex DeMetrick reports that an extension will soon connect two separated links of the trail.

“The Ma & Pa Railroad ran here from 1901 to about 1958,” says Phil Hosmer, president of the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail Foundation. “It’s been used since 1999 as a trail for recreational purposes.”

For a decade, the foundation has been working to connect the trail in Bel Air with a section of the trail in Fallston. That missing link of the old railroad line is finally going to be tied together.

“It’s going to be eight miles in length from Forest Hill to Fallston,” Hosmer says.

For friends who walk along the Fallston section of the trail weekly, more trail means more time together.

“I’m thrilled because I live on the other side,” Heather Krout told WJZ.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Julie Heath. “I think it will allow people to walk further distances on the trail.”

Because much of the original rail bed has been covered over by progress, the trail extension will need construction.

Getting across Main Street in Bel Air and other obstacles will cost $2.5 million.

The investment may draw more people to the county and its businesses.

“Stop in the middle of Bel Air to visit our restaurants, our brew pubs and so forth. So it’s a great addition for us,” says Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive.

Although not all legs may be up to the full eight mile walk.

“My girls are good for about two miles each way and that’s about it,” says Mike Karlinchak. “So I’ve got to take it in segments, even though you make the trail long, I’m going to have to break it up with them.”

Others can just roll with it, either by bicycle or stroller.

The extension of the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail is expected to take three years to construct.

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