Western Maryland Rails to Trails

AMT is serving as the prime consultant on this project that is paving a 10-foot-wide, 4.5-mile long addition to the Western Maryland Trail. We further designed specialized gates that close off the mile-long Indigo Tunnel to protect hibernation areas of bats without impeding animal movement.

Project Details:

The defunct Western Maryland Railroad bed runs through Allegheny County between Big Pool near Fort Frederick and Little Orleans Maryland. The National Park Service, owner of the property wanted to transform the 4.5-mile segment to a recreational trail.  The railroad passed through the historical Indigo Tunnel which, since the railroad fell into disuse, has been a hibernation spot for bats including endangered species. Because humans spread a disease that is fatal to bats, the trail leaves the railroad at this point and snakes down to the C&O towpath before returning to the original alignment beyond the tunnel.

AMT served as the prime consultant on the project that paved a 10-foot-wide recreational path over the bed, including re-decking two bridges, road crossings, interpretive sites, boardwalks and parking lots. The plan included forest conservation, sediment, and erosion control, and environmental site designs.

To protect the hibernation areas within the mile-long Indigo Tunnel, we also designed special gates to seal off the tunnel to human intrusion in a way that does not impede animal movement or air flow through the tunnel.