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C & O Canal Towpath trail, section #4

Bike or hike the history, scenery & wildlife of this fabled, classic trail from Little Orleans, MD to Cumberland, MD.
id_2217349
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 43.7 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This western section of the famous C & O Canal Towpath trail includes remote stretches along the Potomac River. In addition to... more »

Tips:  - Bike riders are advised to use a mountain bike or hybrid bike with trail tires. Since the trail is hard-pack dirt, road bikes are... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Bills Place and 15 Mile Creek Campground

Bills Place and the Little Orleans Bed & Breakfast are located just north of the trail after going under a quaint stone bridge. Bill's Place is a bar with a few snack-type groceries. The 15 Mile Creek Campground is also near here. It is a fee area and is heavily used on weekends by both trail users and motorists. It does not have showers.... More

2. Paw Paw Tunnel

This tunnel is unique in that it is not a railroad tunnel but a canal tunnel. You will definitely want to have some kind of a light going through this tunnel. Ideally, you'll want a bike light on front and a blinking taillight on the rear of your bike somewhere so you are visible to those behind you. This is a very long and dark tunnel. It's quite... More

3. Town Creek campsite

This is one of the numerous campgrounds you will find along the C & O Canal Towpath Trail. In this section of the trail alone there are at least a dozen campgrounds available. Some of them are fee based, but most are free hiker/biker camping areas with water, level ground, and portable toilets.

4. Potomac Forks campsite

Water and a portable toilet are available at this site. It is located just before mile marker 165 on the trail. This campsite is remote and quiet. It has no road access.

5. Lockhouse 70

It is possible to get a glimpse of what it was like to live along the C & O Canal by staying in the actual lockhouses where the lock attendants lived in days gone by. Many of the lockhouses, including lockhouse 6, are available for accommodations to trail users. Lockhouses 22 & 28 are pretty darned good replicas of how lockhouses actually ... More

6. Pigman's Ferry campsite

Pigman's Ferry campground is located just past mile marker 169 and is on a fairly remote portion of the trail with no vehicle access. It also has water and toilet facilities.

7. Irons Mountain campsite

Located between mile markers 175 and 176, this campgroud has vehicle access off of Route 51. Since it is not far from a railroad track, it can be a little noisy at times. As with most of the H/B campsites, it has water and a toilet available for campers.

8. Lock 75

The locks were what allowed the canal to operate. As the canal boats moved westward, they were elevated by the locks filling with water and moving them gradually upward in elevation. It also allowed the barges/boats a smooth trip downward as they went from Cumberland to Georgetown.
Pictures for locks 70 & 75 accompany this POI.

9. Historic Pollock Cemetery

This historic cemetery includes the gravesite of Confederate soldier James D. Pollock. The grave is located in the Pollock Cemetery near the C&O Canal trail in an area known as Mexico Farms.

10. Cumberland, Maryland

Named after the British Duke Cumberland and built on the site of the old Fort Cumberland, this town of 22,000 people is the western terminus of the C & O Canal. It is also the eastern terminus of the Great Allegheny Passage trail, so it is an excellent trail town.
Cumberland has numerous hotels, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, restaurants, ... More

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