Tuesday, July 15, 2014

C&O Canal Path - Little Orleans to Cumberland, MD

Today we had light rain for most of the ride. After our wives graciously shuttled us from the B&B to the trail head near Bill's Place, we hit the canal path for 45 muddy miles.

The highlight of the day was a walk through the Paw Paw Tunnel at mile marker 155. This is a 3118 foot brick lined tunnel that took 14 years and 6 million bricks to build, saving five miles of canal construction.

The last ten miles of path to Cumberland at mile marker 184.5 were a disappointment, to say the least. The trail was a complete quagmire in many places and a disgrace to what is supposed to be a National Historic Park. Very little maintenance has been done on the trail itself (though blow downs had been quickly cleared). There is no crown to the path and the berm is higher than the path itself, causing water to pool the over the entire width of trail. We were completely covered in mud. Not what one would expect of a National Park. Never the less, the first 170 miles of the canal path were enjoyable, though also not maintained to a reasonable standard.

Entering the Paw Paw Tunnel

Mark, exiting the Paw Paw Tunnel

Typical lock house and lock

Before the mud

End of the C&O Canal Path
Today's ride:

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