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C&O Canal Towpath

Kara Westerlund
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Trail Length

184 miles

Trail Start and End Details

The C&O Canal Towpath starts in Cumberland, Maryland, and ends at the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, DC.

Description and Tips

The C&O Canal Towpath follows the old Chesapeake & Ohio Canal and joins the Potomac River for a total 184 miles of trail, which most people break into a 3-day trip. It is a well-marked trail with mostly flat to slightly downhill terrain. The trail varies from dirt to packed gravel, and is best suited to a hybrid or mountain bike (28cc tires or larger). It is mostly wooded and quite serene and pretty, and you’ll pass by several locks and old lockhouses. There are mile markers at every mile and clean porta potties at many points along the way, but very few places directly on the trail to stop and eat. Hancock, Maryland, and Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, are the best places to stop for the night.

Submitted By

Katie MacFarlane, Brent Parks, Mike Moon

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