I live right near Paradise but rarely go there. This isn’t a philosophical metaphor, it’s a fact! Paradise is a neighborhood just a mile or so down the road from us. It’s a little hard to access Paradise by bike due a busy highway interchange that separates it from the rest of Catonsville. The interchange is nearing the completion of a long term construction project. Once it’s done it promises to better connect the two parts of town. It’ll actually have bike lanes and sidewalks, or so I hear!
On Thursday I decided to find a way to visit Paradise by bike. I picked out a route that would let me dodge the under-construction interchange and check out the Short Line Rail Trail, a project of Catonsville Rails to Trails. The 8 mile round trip involved taking Edmonson to Prospect and Prospect to the trailhead. Late afternoon traffic was moderately heavy on Edmonson, but the road’s wide enough that wasn’t a problem. Prospect would take you right to the trailhead as shown on Google Maps, except that once you cross Frederick, Prospect is one way. That lead to
getting a bit lost some exploring of Paradise’s charming side streets. Even though I have no sense of direction I managed to stay oriented and before long found my way to the Short Line Trail.
The 2.2 mile trail is covered in flat loose gravel which made my bike skittish. I travelled it pretty slowly, concentrating on staying upright and appreciating the trail’s woodsy surroundings.
It passes behind the Baltimore National Cemetery, which I’ve previously only seen from Frederick Road. The trail ends shortly beyond the cemetery. This is a VA cemetery which explains why the gravestones are all exactly alike and lined up so symmetrically.
From there I rode to the other end of the short trail, marked by this mural:
The return trip was easy, even the part where you bike past the Beltway on- and off- ramps on Edmonson. The traffic signals and maybe the design of the ramps keeps traffic slow and drivers alert. This little trip to Paradise was just the break I needed that day.