CARPENDALE - Hidden from the first rays of the rising sun, the town of Carpendale enjoys a beautiful setting between Knobley Mountain to the east and the Potomac River to the west.

For the News Tribune
CARPENDALE - Hidden from the first rays of the rising sun, the town of Carpendale enjoys a beautiful setting between Knobley Mountain to the east and the Potomac River to the west.
While town residents can sneak home by bike through the little-known Knobley Tunnel Trail after the workday, attendees of Carpendale's Knobley Tunnel Trail Day this Saturday will not have to keep the town secret. Carpendale is opening wide to welcome the world of kids, hikers and bikers, railroad enthusiasts, and simply the curious, especially from Mineral County, who want to see the tunnel and where the town of Carpendale is.
The 1,448-foot tunnel, built in 1904 for railroad use and operated by CSX until the 1970s, was turned into a rail-to-trail site with handicap access after CSX pulled their tracks in 1997.
The lighted and smooth-gravel tunnel connects to a 386-foot wooden bridge over the North Branch of the Potomac River and down to the C&O Canal Towpath Trail near mile marker 184.5. Bikers can choose on Tunnel Trail Day to turn right (south) and head about 185 miles to Washington, D.C., or turn left (north) to Cumberland and, via the Great Alleheny Passage, about 150 miles to Pittsburgh.
Some may prefer to do the Caprendale-Cumberland-Ridgeley Loop and stop at Canal Place in Cumberland before circling back through the Blue Bridge into Ridgeley and back to Carpendale Town Hall (that's about four miles).
Maps will be available for visitors that day.
Kids are a big focus of the day, and the Kids Zone will feature a dunking booth, bounce house, corn hole toss, slime table, and more fun within sight of the Town Hall, which will be the central site for the event. Registration upon entry will begin there and include free tickets for chances to win five bikes and helmets that have been donated for kids coming to the event.
Finger printing will be offered by the Ridgeley Police chief Jake Ryan.
Families can enjoy many other attractions together, including a car show, a briefing on the history of the area by historian /author Gary Clites, and the Holy Cross United Methodist Church will be in the middle of a great yard and bake sale. Foods can be purchased at the church, and the Good Carma Catering food truck will be at the entry to the tunnel. Water and drinks will be at three stations around the Carpendale town campus at low cost.
More than 25 businesses in the area and across the county have donated services, products, or cash to make the event possible without charge to kids and families, other than foods of the day. The listing of donors will be placed on the map handout that day.
Saturday's Tunnel Trail Day at Carpendale is part of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors' Bureau's Tour of the 7 Cs program to cross-connect the county during the summer and fall.
The next event is the Blue Dragon Regatta, created by Mineral County Parks and Rec Department at Jennings Randolph Lake on Saturday, Aug. 11. Registration information can be found on the Facebook page: 2018 Mineral County Parks and Recreation Boat Regatta.
Directions to Carpendale: Travel from Maryland off Rt 68 at the Ridgeley exit, and across the Blue Bridge on Rt 28 to Mineral Street in Ridgeley; turn right and go four blocks to Main and turn left; follow Main, which becomes Miller, and travel to Cedar; turn right, go down the hill to the Carpendale Town Hall. From the south, follow Rt 28 to Ridgeley to Mineral Street and turn left. Repeat the steps above from Mineral on.
For more information call 304-790-0947 or email