Chesapeake Views and Cemetery Quest are two of Talbot County, Maryland’s six defined bike trails that wind through the Eastern Shore communities of Easton, St. Michaels, Tilghman Island and Oxford. Travel Hags found the terrain flat, the scenery awesome and the people friendly. Click the images below for the full brochure download.
The bike trails run through a variety of Talbot County landscape including rivers, marshes, farmland, hardwood forest, and very cool small towns. I was part of a group of Chesapeake region travel hags who enjoyed a ride on the Easton / St. Michaels trail that included a stop at The Robert Morris Inn in Oxford (the oldest inn in America) and a ride on the Oxford Bellevue Ferry (the oldest privately owned ferry in America c. 1683). I have to admit that the lunch at the Robert Morris Inn did slow us down a bit. (or maybe it was the wine – note to self… do not drink wine in the middle of a 28 mile bike ride). This particular trail goes through three Colonial towns that each have a specific charm.
Chesapeake Views Trail
If you love boats, water views, salt marshes, rural culture, and the smells of the Chesapeake Bay, consider the Chesapeake Views Trail. This 38-mile trail is the longest of the six defined Talbot bike trails, and it begins at Claiborne Landing and runs all the way to Black Walnut Point at the tip of Tilghman Island. This little island is still rich in the watermen’s culture and very rural living.
The main drag – Route 33 can be busy with car traffic, but the side roads are a feast for the eyes with scenery and all roads are flat flat flat. If you’re not up to the full 38 miles, try beginning at Back Creek Park just at the entrance of Tilghman Island. Then do the run to Black Walnut Point. Parking and offloading the bikes is easy there. This is a very scenic ride so keep your camera handy.
Cemetery Quest Trail
Kudos to Talbot County for highlighting their historic cemeteries on a biking trail. I LOVE a nice graveyard, and so many of them have a mystical feel as well as being park-like in their setting. On this trail are several interesting cemeteries like Paradise Cemetery, not in the best condition but historic as it was founded by a group of former slaves. Also, the grave of Nace Hopkins in Trappe (aka Uncle Nace) who marked the day of the Emancipation Proclaimation and the end of slavery by having a parade. The day is still celebrated in Trappe as “Uncle Nace’s Day.”
Whitemarsh Cemetery is probably one of the most famous in Talbot County because of it’s association with the death and rise of Hannah Manadier, wife of Rector, Daniel Manadier. Hannah was said to have been buried alive, and when grave robbers opened her casket shortly after her burial and tried to remove a ring from her finger, she rose up, scared the robbers half to death and made her way home to her grieving husband – who was naturally glad to see her. This cemetery is also the burial place of Robert Morris and it dates back to the early 1700s when St. Peter’s Church (now in ruins) served the communities of Dover and Oxford.
Oxford / St. Michaels Trail
This trail is recognized as one of the Top 25 Cycling Routes in the USA by Gear Patrol Magazine. It’s a perfect combination of small town, farmland, woodland, water views and public interest. Start in Easton and head for St. Michaels, then over to the little village of Bellevue with its park and small beach, then catch the Oxford Bellevue Ferry across the Tred Avon River to Oxford. Have a bite to eat and head back to Easton. This is my favorite of all the routes.
Download your trail map of all six Talbot County bike Routes and plan your own adventure.
Happy travels, travel hags.
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