Tell Us ...
In September, we asked you to tell us about unusual vehicles you've seen (or used) along a rail-trail!
Bill Gerber — Chelmsford, Mass.
In early August, I had an opportunity to ride a portion of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park in southeastern Pennsylvania. The trail is laid out along a barely active rail line and, while at the Howard Tunnel, a succession of more than half a dozen railway inspection vehicles came by. I doubt any track inspection was being conducted; rather I suspect these were privately owned vehicles out for an excursion along the rails (a throwback version of a flash mob!). Whatever the story behind them may be, they caught the attention of my niece and grand-niece.
Ed Wilson — Bethel, Conn.
I think the oddest sight I've seen is a motorcycle, carrying a bicycle, arriving at a trailhead for the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in New York.
Michael Willett — Raleigh, N.C.
The most unusual travel mode I have seen consists of homemade trailers, pulled by horses, and carrying a whole family and their camping gear for a week on the Greenbrier River Trail in West Virginia!
I spoke at length with Steve, the driver. He indicated that five or more such homemade vehicles were following him. They had an informal club of such travelers and have been doing family vacations together on various rail-trails for 17-plus years. Steve built his rig from the ground up, even curving the ash staves using ancient barrel-making techniques. He has two trailers: one for the family (wife and two grandchildren), and one for all their food and camping gear. They sleep in the first trailer. Two hefty and beautiful horses pull the rig.
Doug Bell — Berlin, Pa.
Two years ago, my cousin and I were biking on the Great Allegheny Passage near Uniontown, Pa., when we saw what appeared to be a car on the trail. In another minute or so, it became clear that, indeed, a Buick was coming at us down the corridor. We separated to either side of the trail and watched, flabbergasted, as two older gentlemen drove on down the trail, apparently thinking they were on a highway. This occurred not too long after directions to a trailhead were given to us by a woman who said, "Then you take the next left," while she clearly pointed to the right. Neither my cousin nor I could remember exactly where it was on the trip that we'd gone down the rabbit hole!
Barbara Tomczak — Galway, N.Y.
I have driven my dog sled on rail-trails in the winter and a dirt sled (a wheeled rig) in the snowless cold months in upstate New York. Since we seem to be getting less and less snow, my dogs and I have been relying on the dirt sled more and more.
Teresa Rose — Nanuet, N.Y.
I once encountered an ATV with a woman training her sled dogs on the Paulinskill Valley Trail in New Jersey a number of years ago. That was quite a surprise to see on the rail-trail. It turns out she was training for the Iditarod!