Eckardt’s Tour de Mid-Shore begins Thursday
EASTON — The Tour de MidShore is back for four rides over four days and through four counties on the Shore during the last week of August.
The tour is established and organized by Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-MidShore, and is designed to ride through all four counties in District 37 — Wicomico, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester.
The four-day tour promises to be a scenic ride alongside beautiful coastlines and over country roads surrounded by sprawling acres of farmland.
As the group tours each county they will stop at places of interest focusing on the issues, economy and history of the Shore while enjoying the scenery.
Specific sites for the ride include the Whitehaven Hotel, Quantico, Barren Creek Church, Sharptown, the Federalsburg Historical Society, Choptank, the Caroline County 4-H Park, the Oxford Ferry, St. Michaels, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Trail.
Eckardt invites cyclist to join her for one day or all four.
The first ride will begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24, and will tour 55-plus miles through Wicomico County.
Leaving from the Nanticoke Harbor Marina the route heads to the Whitehaven School for its first pit stop down near the Whitehaven Inn and the Lower Ferry.
From there the group will head into Hebron and eventually into Mardela Springs, where they will stop at the historic Barren Creek Presbyterian Church. Following this stop, they will cross Route 50 and head north to Sharptown for lunch and a swim.
The second day of the tour begins at 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 25, and cruises through more than 50 miles of rural Caroline County.
Eckardt said this ride is now an old favorite with a new twist.
The Caroline stretch leaves from TJ Farms in Preston, near the Dover Bridge. From the base of the bridge the group heads to the small water community of Choptank followed by a quick stop at almost 200-year-old Linchester Mill before making its way to Federalsburg.
While in Federalsburg the group will stop at the Federalsburg Historical Society on Covey Street. Once back on the road the group will then travel along Laurel Grove Road, and swing through American Corner, followed by a quick jaunt north around Girl Scout’s Williston Lake and by the Caroline County 4-H & Youth park on Detour Road.
From there, the group will make its way over to Gainey’s Wharf for another final stop before reaching its final destination back at TJ Farms.
On the third day the tour travels through Talbot County. This ride will leave from the Chick-fil-A parking lot at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, and stretches over 50 miles of coastline.
Once on the road the Talbot ride proceeds down Route 33 overlooking the Miles River right through the of main drag of St. Michaels, on its way to the charming water town of Tilghman Island.
Once on the island the group will turn around at the Tilghman Elementary School and make a stop at the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center before heading back to St. Michaels for its second pit stop at the Talbot Country Free Library.
From there the ride proceeds to the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry. After crossing the ferry, the group is on to its the final leg to the Easton Club at a private residence for lunch and a swim.
The final day of the tour rides through Dorchester County where history and nature abound.
This particular ride for the first time will leave from the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park inside the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge at 7 a.m. on Aug. 27, and promises 60 miles of riding through the heart of Chesapeake Country.
The group leaves the starting point and rides to Church Creek, through Madison, down Smithville Road through the wetlands and back up through the refuge to the park’s visitor center for a pit stop.
From the pit stop they will head east, passing Blackwater Paddle & Peddle and continue on to the Bucktown Store and then over Decoursey Bridge Road to Drawbridge Road. Moving onto Griffin Neck Road and Bestpitch Ferry Road and before finally returning to the HTUR Park Visitor’s Center.
Several of the rides will conclude with a lunch and a swim, and possibly kayaking.
Eckardt said the selected stops are now being finalized, as well as opportunities to meet and greet with local business owners and constituents.
“I am currently reaching out to any and all who would be interested in joining me for the ride, one day or all four,” Eckardt said. “Please let me know at least a week in advance so that I will know how many will be in attendance for lunch as well as whether lodging arrangements are necessary.”
In lieu of a registration fee, Eckardt is requesting that a contribution be made to a nonprofit of your choice, possibly one in District 37.
For more information about the Tour de Mid-Shore visit www.facebook.com/addieeckardtforsenate/.
Sen. Addie Eckardt leads the pack in a previous Tour de MidShore.