Touring On the C&O Canal Towpath has come back - CycleBlaze

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Touring On the C&O Canal Towpath has come back

John Pescatore

This past July 4th weekend I got a number of road rides in and some hiking with my wife, then just felt like riding through the woods. I did a 19 mile out/19 mile back ride on one of the more scenic sections of the C&O Canal Towpath along the Potomac River in Maryland, from Sharpsburg/Shepardstown up to the Towpath midpoint at mile marker 92.

I did a short write-up with some photos on Cycle365 here.

There are hiker-biker camp sites every 5 to 10 miles - 2 of the three I passed had tents with loaded bikes outside them. And the pump handles appeared to be back on the campsite water pumps, a nice thing.  I also saw several other loaded bikes along the 38 mile ride. 

Nice to see, lots of people out but minimal crowding - typical of that stretch in normal times, compared with sections near trailheads closer to the larger population centers.

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7 months ago
John PickettTo John Pescatore

A significant development in the last couple of years has been the upgrading of the surface of the towpath. Last summer I was shocked at how smooth the surface was near Whites Ferry (about miles 30 to 35). It was comparable to the GAP trail and the Erie Canal towpaths. 

The Park Service is working on the towpath in short sections but this is a very welcome development. 

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1 week ago