Bicycle Trip Down the C. & O. Canal
June 5-6, 1999
by Carl (Curly) Rice
pictures by Don Freeman

Sign at CumberlandWe all gathered at 8 AM at the Holiday Inn in Cumberland to start our jaunt down the Canal. After the mandatory pictures at the 184.5 milepost, we were really on the way. The first thirty miles were uneventful and we stopped for lunch at Paw Paw, WV. We found that our favorite eating place had closed and we bought food at other places close at hand. After lunch, the trip resumed by going through the 3118 foot tunnel at Paw Paw, talk about dark!  Next stop, Bill's at Little Orleans, what a place. You should have been there. After a short ride, we stopped and explored the Indigo Tunnel, an abandoned tunnel for the Western Md. Railway. It was like standing in a icebox with a burnt coal deodorizer in it. Back on the trail, the next points of interest were the Round Top Concrete mill and The Devils Eyebrow, a formation in the berm wall. With a few mile to go, we were all ready for a hot shower at the Hancock Motel and dinner at The Park And Dine. No one had trouble sleeping that night. Distance 63 Miles.

Canal Terminus - click on small image to see full size Lockmaster's House Tom and Randy on the Towpath PAW PAW Paw Paw Tunnel Little Pool Coke Making Furnace Little Orleans Inside Little Orleans Hancock Motel

     Saturday morning, we had breakfast at Weavers Restaurant and no one left hungry. Most of the group took the new rail trail to Fort Frederick, where we rode through the fort and had a look around. We resumed on the towpath and rode to Williamsport, where we visited one of the better bike shops in Md. We also stopped and had lunch made to eat later. We had found that the campground  restaurant that we normally stop at for lunch had closed. We put our meals in the sag wagon and met up at Dam #4, one of the many scenic places along the canal. After lunch, it was a long haul into Harpers Ferry, where most of us enjoyed the cinnamon buns on High Street. The buns gave us energy to ride the mile up the hill to the Hilltop House Hotel. Distance 70 miles today.

Fort Frederick Canal and Bike Trail Williamsport Main Street Hilltop at Harper's Ferry View of Trail View of the Potomac River from Trail McMahon's Mill Feeder Dam #5 View from Trail View from Trail

      Sunday saw us flying down the monster hill and starting down the towpath again. The first 25 miles were uneventful and three riders departed at Whites Ferry in the sag wagon. Several miles further down the path one of the fellows lost control and struck a tree, breaking his wrist and dislocating several fingers. Several riders came to his assistance and got him into an ambulance and to the hospital. Two of his friends stayed with him as they were real close to their homes. The rest of the riders finished the trek and met the sag wagon in Georgetown. Distance 62 miles.

      Generally speaking, we had a great trip with awesome weather!  - Curly Rice

To the riders of the C&O Canal ride:
    I would like to thank all the riders who dragged me out of the canal after my encounter with a tree. I'm sorry I don't know everyone's name. Benny & Joannie, and their expert splint applications, Tom Ede, Diane, Ken, and others.  Thank you for your support.  My injuries included a broken wrist, three dislocated fingers, sore neck, and bruised ego. My
thanks also to Curly for a well planned and otherwise very enjoyable trip.  There is always  next year.
                                          Thanks again
                                           Dave Myers

Web sites for more information on the C. & O. Canal:

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December 30, 2011
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