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C&O Canal Trail & Great Allegheny Passage Comments
How bad is the C&O trail from Cumberland to DC

Hi, I am planning to ride the C&O trail next weekend, and I wander if the trail is disable. Does anyone knows how bad the C&O trail from Cumberland to DC I now? Also is the trail from Harpers Ferry to Brunswick open? Thanks
posted Jun 19 2018 11:57AM - Ivey, DC

Hi Ivey, I’m planning to ride this section on Monday, I too am also interested in these conditions.
posted Jun 19 2018 6:49PM - Kieran , Brisbane

I was told that one can cross the Catoctin Aquaduct (which is closed) heading West from Lander, by taking a very short jaunt on the adjacent train bridge. Is that true? Safe enough?
posted Jun 20 2018 7:46PM - JLN, Montgomery Village, MD

I just find shed riding down from Pittsburgh to DC yesterday. I posted a comment several days ago. Here is a complete synopsis of trouble spots. This obviously omits any new trouble areas associated with last night’s storm,

The Gap itself was fine last weekend - no issues whatsoever.

Cumberland to PawPaw is basically fine. Some mud in spots but easily rideable. Note: this stretch is very rustic from Cumberland through Hancock; make sure you have enough food to care for yourself,

Hancock. Get off the trail as soon as possible about 10 mikes north and take paved Western Maryland Trail. The towpath is not passible during this stretch. The county paved trail also goes 10 miles south of Hancock.

Williamsport: you will be detoured off the trail due to trail construction. I followed the advice of some other riders and road the state roads into Sharpsburg. The shoulder is very wide and the hills are rollling (i.e., not too hilly). While bypassing Antietam ( It is worth touring if you have the time), I did stop at Nutters Ice Cream in downtown Sharpsburg - do it, it’s great!

At Sharpsburg, you can pick up the trail again, and it was a little muddy in spots but fine enough into Harper’s Ferry. If you do not mind the rolling hills, you also can stay on Harper’s Ferry Road to about 1/2 mile before transferring onto the trail.

The trail from Brunswick to Point of Rocks is apparently still not passable, I am guessing things are even worse after last night’s storms. There are really no good work-arounds yet, I knew one group of riders who detoured down to Leesburg to catch the paved W&O trail back into DC (I think this adds another 15 or so miles). Others like me paid to get shuttled to Point of Rocks. If you have very strong legs, you also can ride very hilly roads from Harpers Ferry to Point of Rocks (check RidewithGPS for a cue sheet).

The rest of the Towpath is relatively fine and very rideable.

Happy spinning!

posted Jun 21 2018 10:19AM - Matt B, WASHINGTON, DC

Currently in Hancock. I left DC on Friday, and foolishly decided to take “country” roads to get around the closure between point of rocks and Brunswick. I ended up on a 50mph hilly road with no shoulders and often no bailout option. I had a tractor trailer pass me at full speed with inches to spare. Definitely one of the scarier/stupider things I’ve done in my life. I’d strongly advise not repeating my mistake. The NPS website has phone numbers for shuttle services. Wish it had a warning about not biking around the closure.
posted Jun 23 2018 8:32PM - Ryan H, DC

How do I get to the Antietam Trail from the C&O Canal to avoid Williamsport? Or is there any other easier way to reach Shepardstown or Harppers Ferry? Thanks.
posted Jun 24 2018 6:50PM - Ivey, DC


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