#8 Streetcar Path
The historic #8 Streetcar Path is a 1/3-mile paved trail in Baltimore County, Maryland. It begins in the 1600 block of Frederick Road and extends north to the Catonsville Junction Business District in the 1600 block of Edmondson Ave. This trail has a slight incline on the Edmondson Ave. side of the trail, but the remainder of the trail is flat. This trail is ideal for families with children due to the short length, ease of the ride/walk and kid friendly amenities nearby like playgrounds. This trail is ADA accessible.
#8 Streetcar Path
- A well-traveled woodland recreational trail with an ample canopy that is the perfect place for a shaded stroll.
- This is a great trail for kids under 12. The trail is short and mostly flat. There are two playgrounds at Hillcrest Elementary School: one for preschoolers and the other for older kids. Opie’s Snowballs is open from April to October for a sweet treat to end the ride and the 7-Eleven is open year-round for a convenient snack.
- A 1939 Stone Waiting Station, constructed from surplus cobblestones from the streets of Baltimore, has been refurbished and is a reminder that three streetcar lines (#8, #9 and #14) met at this busy intersection. The MTA and CRTT volunteers restored the waiting station in 1998.
- A 30’ streetcar mural painted by a 14-year-old Eagle Scout, Clark LeCompte, depicts the Catonsville Junction business area circa 1940. The mural was fully restored by Kaleidoscope! Arts Camp in 2011. A second mural on the wall of the 7-Eleven was created in 2014 by mural artist, Edward Williams and captures a similar 1940’s scene.
- Historical Wayside Exhibits – Three interpretive signs/exhibits along the trail offer glimpses into the transportation history of Catonsville.
- Four cafes/eatery are located in the Catonsville Junction Business District. The Caton Tavern, Caffé di Roma, Wieland’s BBQ and Scittino’s Italian Market are great places for an indoor sit-down meal or for sidewalk dining.
- Matthew’s 1600 Restaurant is located next to the Frederick Road entrance. This restaurant was originally the Terminal Hotel and was built in 1862 to provide travelers with food and lodging. Today, Matthew’s is a beautifully restored restaurant offering a full lunch and dinner menu, an expansive bar area and outdoor dining.
History of the #8 Streetcar Route
In 1896, the electrified streetcar replaced the horse and carriage as the most efficient transportation between Catonsville and Baltimore. In 1899, the Baltimore Streetcar Company ran a 1/3-mile spur line into the woods near Montrose Ave. to the Edmondson Avenue streetcars (#14 and #9) that ran from Baltimore to Ellicott City. A large circular concrete area at the Edmondson Ave. entrance marks the area where the streetcars turned around to head back up the track to Frederick Road.
A small business community, the Catonsville Junction, developed at this intersection, and was a key trolley transfer point for the #8, #9 and #14 lines. The last streetcar in Baltimore ran on this rail in the early morning hours of November 3, 1963. The tracks were torn up and the property fell into disrepair.
In 1996, a group from the Old Catonsville Neighborhood organized by Maureen Sweeney Smith restored the property owned by the MTA into a bike/hike path. The project was transferred to the newly formed Catonsville Rails To Trails (CRTT) in 1999. In 2008, CRTT secured a grant from SHA and the trail was paved. CRTT continues to maintain the trail.
Edmondson Avenue (west)
There is an on-road bike lane (1.4 miles) along Edmondson Avenue connecting the #8 to the #9 Trolley Trail (a 1.5 mile trail to Ellicott City). Lanes are marked with signage and ground stencils. Some biking lanes around the Junction business area are narrow but beyond Rolling Road, wide bike lanes take you to the #9 Trail.
Edmondson Avenue (east)
Marked bike lane will take you to the Baltimore County/City line (2 miles) along this wide avenue. Be careful around the Beltway interchange which is under construction. These bike lanes connect Catonsville to the Gwynns Falls trail along Edmondson Ave.
Frederick Road (east)
Travel 0.8 miles to the Village of Catonsville with dozens of restaurants and shops. The business district does not have bike lanes so use caution when traveling through this congested area. Lots of CRTT bike racks. Future plans call for connecting the Short Line Trail (in east Catonsville) to the #8 via on-road bike lanes. New bike lanes on the Frederick Rd. Beltway bridge will take cyclist into the Village of Paradise and then to Baltimore City.
Frederick Road (south)
Across from the #8 Frederick Road entrance is an on-road bike trail (2 miles) with signage along Montrose Ave. across Idlewilde Ave. to Hilton Ave and the Patapsco State Park (Hilton area). The park has a large recycled tire playground for kids.
Frederick Road (west)
Wide shoulders on the well-traveled Frederick Road will take you to Ellicott City (2.7 miles) down a very steep hill. This route will take you to River Road and the Grist Mill trail
At the intersection of Edmondson and Dutton Avenues (behind 7-Eleven) is a large concrete area where parking is available. Several small public parking areas and on-street parking spaces are located throughout the Catonsville Junction business district. Parking is also available at Hillcrest Elementary School during non-school hours.