A proposal to expand a network of biking and hiking trails through western Maryland has triggered intense opposition among hikers, whitewater rafters and other outdoor enthusiasts who might otherwise cheer the idea. And that’s because the project — pushed by two conservative Republican state lawmakers from Garrett County and a group called Garrett Trails — would route the permanent two-way paths through the heart of the scenic Youghiogheny River. Supporters — including Garrett Trails, a nonprofit organization led by resort, lodging, local government and other recreational business interests — say the Youghiogheny canyon trail would bring greater public access to a gorgeous piece of Appalachian landscape and boost the region’s struggling economy, especially once it’s linked to the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail running from Cumberland to Pittsburgh.
‘Wildest place in Maryland’ under threat from biking trails
August 29, 2022