Trails by Rails

They’re everywhere: railroads have been replaced by biking, hiking, skating trails. It’s a wonderful thing, and we’re grateful to all of the local trail clubs that keep these treasures groomed, all while forging new trails. They’re safer by far to ride than alongside any road (even the back country roads, where people might drive even crazier than they do in town), and they take us through territories we wouldn’t otherwise go…


…and we see nature in ways we might otherwise miss:


Many trails are in gorgeous spots where the only thing that might be around to bug you — are the bugs 🙂 And when original railroad signs like this directional post still stand, we’re reminded of all the work that’s gone into making the trail usable for us.


This bench — like so many we see — was an Eagle Scout project. To all scouts and trail volunteers who make these places to rest possible — thank you!


Not much could make a day like this any better… unless, of course, we were to be see an old train. The sort of train that might have actually ridden the rails that once rested on the earth right here.

Maybe a train… with cars… like these:


With a railroad museum in a nearby town, we shouldn’t have been surprised to find these cars sitting on a side rail, but they felt like a little gift anyway. We rode the length of the siding. Each of the cars was different:


Another car was from the Wheeling and Lake Erie railroad, but this one from the Seaboard Cost Line caught our attention:


See the emblem on the side, next to the door?


Here’s a closer look:


We’re not sure why this railway car has all of the Presidents from Ohio named on it, but it’s cool anyway. (What? You didn’t know Ohio has had seven presidents? Where were you in history class?!?)

So the trail and the rail came together for us. We pedaled away, feeling as though we’d seen something special.

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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