Great Falls – Edwards Ferry/Leesburg (MM20-MM30)
This portion of the towpath is a stellar section for those that want to do an overnight tour starting in DC. It also features the first truly rural section of the path west of mile marker 22. This stretch features the first of many “green tunnels” along the towpath. At the height of summer foliage, the tree canopy completely covers the trail giving a feeling of enclosure that is simultaneously comforting and invigorating. A downside to this coverage is the inability of sunlight to penetrate and dry the trail out after some of the region’s typical thunderstorms. This can make for a muddy ride, and one of the several stretches that make having fenders on your bicycle recommended, if not required.
The highlights of this section is largely the trail itself. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the chance to enjoy some of the wildlife encounters you’re likely to have, even if it’s just a brief glimpse at a turtle leaping from its sunning spot into the water as you roll by.
Horsepen Branch (MM26.1)
River access ***
Trail town amenities *
Cell phone signals **