The Pedalshift Project 263: Guide to Cycling the C&O Towpath - Part 2

The Pedalshift Project 263: Guide to Cycling the C&O Towpath – Part 2

I’ve taken listeners on a bunch of rides on the C&O, but I’ve never really done the full guide to cycling it. In the second of two parts, we go section by section from DC to Cumberland. It’s an audio guide to cycling the C&O Canal towpath whether you’re a first timer of a full on expert.

The Pedalshift Project 263: Guide to Cycling the C&O Towpath - Part 2

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Guide to Cycling the C&O Towpath – Part 2

A few things to add based on feedback:
  • I didn’t mention the parallel paved options available. Most notable is the Western MD Rail Trail which effectively goes from 11 miles downstream from Hancock to Little Orleans with a few on and off options (one forced) to the C&O. It’s a common alternate for folks through-riding.
  • One option that is less accessible for the moment is the Washington & Old Dominion Trail on the VA side of the river from Arlington to Purcellville. The upstream access is extremely limited since the closure of the cable ferry at White’s Ferry. I hear there are shuttles from hotels and other providers that are bringing cyclists back and forth, so a hotel stay might be an efficient way to do over 30 miles of paved trail in lieu of the C&O (but you miss a lot and the W&OD is far less scenic).

C&O Towpath Sections

C&O Guide Main Page
Washington, DC – Capital Beltway (MM0 – MM9)
Capital Beltway – Great Falls (MM9 – MM20)
Great Falls – Edwards Ferry/Leesburg (MM20 – MM30)
Edwards Ferry – Dickerson (MM30 – MM40)
Dickerson – Point of Rocks (MM40-MM50)
Point of Rocks – Harpers Ferry (MM50-MM60)
Harpers Ferry – Antietam/Shepherdstown (MM60-MM70)
Antietam/Shepherdstown – Taylors Landing (MM70-MM80)
Taylors Landing – Opequon Junction (MM80 – MM90)
Opequon Junction – Williamsport (MM90 – MM100)
Williamsport – Ft. Frederick (MM100-MM110)
Ft. Frederick – Little Pool (MM110-MM120)
Little Pool – Hancock – Leopards Mill (MM120-MM130)
Leopards Mill – Little Orleans (MM130-MM140)
Little Orleans – Stickpile Hill (MM140-MM150)
Stickpile Hill – Paw Paw – Town Creek (MM150-MM160)
Town Creek – Pigmans Ferry (MM160-MM170)
Pigmans Ferry – Cumberland (MM170-MM184.5)

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