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Links to Casual Biking Programs

 
|| Home Page || Calendar for Casual Biking Along the C&O Canal || Schedule of Other Casual Biking ||
 

Overview

Let Me Know You Are Riding:
If you are planning to do a ride, email me at casualsports@aol.com telling me which ride (date and ride title) and who will be riding. Afterwards, give me some feedback on trail conditions and the ride in general.

Difficulty Scale:
Rides vary in length and difficulty and participants are encouraged to ride at their own pace. While there is an effort to ride as a group, faster riders may move on ahead and slower riders may be left behind. Under these conditions, all participants are responsible for their own safety and should not participate in an activity that exceeds their physical condition or limitations.

Online TOPO Maps:
Most of the TOPO maps have been hand drawn and may not be 100% accurate. Yellow triangles mark the beginning of a ride and the yellow diamond marks the turnaround point for loop rides. Circuit rides do not return via the same trail and will not have a diamond.

Special Information About the Rides Along the C&O Canal

184 Miles of Adventure:
The casual rides along the C&O Canal are based on "184 miles of adventure" a Hikers Guide to the C&O Canal published by the Baltimore Area Council - Boy Scouts of America. It is recommended that all riders have this booklet for personal reference before and during the rides. The booklet may be purchased online from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club at http://www.patc.net/store/XX250.htm.

Towpath Conditions:
All of the rides will be along the Canal's towpath and other than the short inclines at the various locks, the rides are virtual level. Except for one detour that includes riding on paved roadway, most of the towpath is packed dirt and gravel; but there are sections that will be rocky and/or muddy particularly after storms or floods.

Great Ride on Hot Summer Day!
Unlike most bike routes that are in full sun, most of the C&O towpath is shaded. This plus the cooling effects of the river make this an ideal afternoon ride even on hot summer days. It is also a trail without vehicular traffic and is wide enough to permit side-by-side riding except when passing or being passed.
Canal Rides are Loop Rides:
The rides are all planned as loop rides which means that rides go out and back by the same route. With adequate transportation, arrangements can be made in advance for point-to-point rides and/or for extended rides.

Ride Descriptions

Georgetown to Carderock, Miles 0-10, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins at mile marker 0 in Georgetown. The most convenient parking is a metered lot near the Thompson Boat house. However, you may find it more convenient to park along K street under the Whitehurst Freeway and ride to mile marker 0 to meet and begin the ride.
Carderock to Pennyfield Lock Rd, Miles 10-20, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from the Carderock parking lot between the picnic pavilion and the restrooms (as you enter the park, turn right at the stop sign and then almost an immediate left into the parking lot).
Pennyfield Lock Rd to Edwards Ferry Rd, Miles 20-30, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty-two mile loop ride begins from the Pennyfield Lock Rd. parking lot.
Edwards Ferry Rd to Cherrington Rd., Miles 30-40, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from the Edwards Ferry Rd. parking lot. Note that Cherrington Road does not appear on more recent maps and may have been incorporated as an unnamed road in the Dickerson Conservation Park.
Cherrington Rd. to Point of Rocks, Miles 40-48, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately sixteen mile loop ride begins from the Cherrington Rd. parking lot. Note that Cherrington Road does not appear on more recent maps and may have been incorporated as an unnamed road in the Dickerson Conservation Park.
Point of Rocks to Harpers Ferry, Miles 48-61, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty-six mile loop ride begins from the Point of Rocks parking lot.
Harpers Ferry to Antietam Creek Aqueduct, Miles 60-70, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from under the Harpers Ferry foot bridge. Meet under the foot bridge to begin the ride. There are various places to park including the Harpers Ferry National Park fee parking lot, nearby roadside parking, or parking near the train station in Harpers Ferry. If you park on the Harpers Ferry side of the Potomac, you will have to carry your bike down the stairs at the end of the foot bridge.
Antietam Creek Aqueduct to Taylors Landing Rd, Miles 70-80, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty-four mile loop ride begins from the up river end of Antietam Creek Aqueduct. There is ample parking in the nearby Park Service parking lot.
Taylors Landing Rd. to Avis Mill Rd (Cedar Grove Mill Rd)., Miles 80-90, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately fourteen mile loop ride begins from the boat launch at Taylors Landing Rd. This section of the canal has a detour that will involve riding on paved roadways. From mile 84.5 to 88.5- Northbound take Dam 4 Road to Dellinger Road to Avis Mill Rd. During times of high water, continue on Dellinger to Neck Road, right on Neck Road, left on Falling Waters Road to towpath at mile 94.4. Reverse these directions southbound.
Avis Mill Rd (Cedar Grove Mill Rd.) to Williamsport, Miles 90-100, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty-four mile loop ride begins from the Cedar Grove Mill parking lot.
Williamsport to McCoy's Ferry Rd, Miles 100-110, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from the Williamsport Visitors Center parking lot.
McCoy's Ferry Rd to Little Pool, Miles 110-120, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from the McCoy's Ferry Rd Center parking lot.
Little Pool - Leapard's Mill, Miles 120-130, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from the Little Pool parking lot.
Leapard's Mill to Orleans, Miles 130-140, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from Leapard's Mill parking.
Orleans to Kasecamp Campground, Miles 140-150, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty mile loop ride begins from the Fifteenmile Creek Riverside Park parking lot.
Paw Paw Tunnel to Kasekamp Campground, Miles 156-150, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twelve mile loop ride begins from the parking lot at Paw Paw.
Paw Paw Tunnel to Oldtowne, Miles 156-167, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately twenty-two mile loop ride begins from the parking lot at Paw Paw.
Oldtowne to Northbranch Recreation Area, Miles 167-175, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately sixteen mile loop ride begins from the Oldtowne parking lot.
Cumberland to Northbranch Recreation Area, Miles 184-175, Self/Group guided casual ride. Approximately eighteen mile loop ride begins from the Cumberland Visitors Center parking lot.

Other Rides

Saturday, July 1, 2006, 8:00 a.m., Biking the Gettysburg Battlefield, Leader: Thomas Day, (703) 508-2722 or tfday@aol.com. Approximately 20-mile loop ride begins from the Visitors Center parking lot and follows the self-guided auto tour. There are some strenuous hill climbs along this route.