Eckardt’s Tour de Mid-Shore be­gins Thurs­day

Times-Record - - News - By DENAE SPIERING dspier­ing@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ Dspier­ing617

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/.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Sen. Ad­die Eckardt leads the pack in a pre­vi­ous Tour de MidShore.

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