This page last modified 01/10/12
MVA C&O CANAL YEAR ROUND EVENTS
1 January - 31 December 2012
General Information: The C&O Canal National Historical Park winds its way 184.5 miles from Georgetown in Washington, DC to Cumberland in beautiful western Maryland. The trail, winding its way along a well-kept towpath nestled between the Potomac River and the canal, is a trip through history with 74 lift locks, restored lock houses, aqueducts, and the amazing mile-long Paw Paw tunnel. Walkers will enjoy spectacular scenery, beautiful river vistas, and abundant wildlife along the trail. Those looking for scenic 10km sections to experience the beauty of the park have six different locations, with accompanying IVV credit to enjoy. There is something here for everyone's pleasure, and the trails count towards many of the special interest programs. Because of the large number of special programs offered by the AVA and various clubs, this walk's organizer cannot be sure for which programs this walk might qualify. Because the satisfaction of walkers is our foremost desire, I will stamp any special program book that a walker feels is appropriate for this event.
Event 747: 11K Out and back from Carderock to Great Falls features beautiful river vistas, Olmsted Island, 6 locks, the famous Great falls Tavern and a National Park Service (NPS) visitor's center. 10K out and back from Fletcher's Boat House to Georgetown features 2 locks, Potomac river aqueduct ruins, and the Georgetown NPS Visitors Center with an operational canal boat (small charge). Segment 1, 17K, from Georgetown to Carderock features the Georgetown Visitor's center, 14 locks, and an operational canal boat (in season). Segment 2, 19K, from Carderock to Seneca Aqueduct features Great Falls Tavern, 10 locks and Seneca Creek Aqueduct. Segment 3, 21K, from Seneca to Whites Ferry features the last active ferry on the Potomac and the Seneca Aqueduct. Segment 4, 14K, from Whites Ferry to Nolands Ferry features the spectacular seven arch, 560 foot Monocacy Aqueduct. All segments feature abundant wildlife and wonderful scenery.
Event 748: 10K Out and Back from Lock 38 to the Antietam Creek Aqueduct features beautiful river vistas, lock 38, view the Shepherdstown bluffs and Packhorse Ford. Segment 5, 17K, from Noland's Ferry to Brunswick features a view of Furnace Mountain and, with a brief detour across the pivot bridge, the Victorian train station in Point of Rocks. Segment 6, 16K, from Brunswick to Dargan Bend features a gap through South Mountain ridge (the divide between Maryland's Frederick and Washington counties), 6 locks, and the opportunity for short detour into historic Harpers Ferry. Segment 7, 13K, from Dargan Bend to Lock 38 features the Antietam Creek Aqueduct. Segment 8, 20K, from Lock 38 to Big Slackwater features cliffs with caves, and Dam 4. All segments feature abundant wildlife and wonderful scenery.
Event 749: 10K Out and Back from Fort Frederick (State Park) features the elegantly restored stone walls of Fort Frederick and the Big Pool canal area. Segment 9, 19K, from McMahon's Mill to Williamsport features cliffs and caves along Big Slackwater, and the Visitor's Center in Williamsport. Segment 10, 20K, from Williamsport to Fort Frederick features the National Park Service visitor's Center in Williamsport, Conococheague Aqueduct, Dam 5, and the handsome Fort Frederick. Segment 11, 19K, from Fort Frederick to Hancock features Fort Frederick, Big Pool, and Licking Creek Aqueduct. Segment 12, 27K, from Hancock to Little Orleans features interesting rock faces and beautiful views as the canal enters "The Endless Mountains". All segments feature abundant wildlife and wonderful scenery. Note: Parking at McMahons Mill may be a problem due to towpath reconstruction down river during 2012. Check with POC for current status.
Event 753: 10K out and back from Paw Paw features the remarkable Paw Paw canal tunnel. Almost a mile long, this engineering marvel is well worth seeing. Bring a flashlight. 10K out and back from Little Orleans features the 15 Mile Creek Aqueduct. Segment 13, 24K, from Little Orleans to Paw Paw features interesting scenery as the tow path runs beside Green Ridge State Forest and passes through the Paw Paw tunnel. Segment 14, 17K, from Paw Paw to Oldtown features Town Creek Aqueduct, and a nicely restored lock and lock house at Oldtown. Possible short side trips include the Potomac Forks at mile 164.8 and the low water toll bridge in Oldtown. Segment 15, 14K, from Oldtown to North Branch features 5 locks and some interesting vistas. Segment 16, 15K, from North Branch to Cumberland features the Evitts Creek Aqueduct and the canal terminus at Cumberland with its full size canal boat, the historic Western Maryland Railroad Station, and the excellent Park Service Visitor's Center. All segments feature abundant wildlife and wonderful scenery.
Trail Rating: All segments are rated 1B and are on mostly flat, natural surfaces along the towpath except for a detour which will be in place during at least part of 2012 on the segment from Carderock to Great Falls. This detour has a hill and some stairs which will make the rating 2B. Individual sections of the towpath may have a rough surface due to erosion caused by wet weather. Strollers may have difficulty in places. Wheelchair users should contact the POC for segment specific information.
Start/Finish Times/Conditions: The towpath is accessible every day of the year. Only during periods of flooding and heavy snowfall would access be restricted. If in doubt, call the National Park Service (NPS) for park opening information. You may walk on the towpath only from dawn to dusk. Camping is available in designated areas; get info from the NPS. Leave yourself enough time to complete your walk before dusk. Pets must be leashed. Please clean up after them. The towpath is a trash-free park where you must carry out your refuse.
POC/Assistance: For questions, contact Skip Magee 301-249-5607 or email him at email@example.com.
Transportation: Everyone is responsible for arranging their own transportation. It is best to walk the more remote segments with another individual or a group as you may be far from help if you need assistance.
Refreshments: You must carry sufficient food and water to last throughout your walk. There are scattered locations where food and drink are available but their opening is seasonal so you should not rely on them. Water pumps are not available in hiker-biker camps between October and April. Do not rely on them for water.
Sanctioning: These events are sponsored by the Maryland Volkssport Association and sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association (AVA), a member of the International Federation of Popular Sports. Event numbers are YRE 2012/747,748,749, and 753.
Fees: There is no fee for walking these events but everyone must carry a signed start card and mail the completed card to the POC after completing the event. The fee for IVV credit is $3.00 per segment. Four event stamps are available, each with a choice of four one-way segments and out and back choices.
Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to participate. An adult must accompany children under 12 at all times on the trails.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to make these walks safe and enjoyable. AVA, MVA and the National Park Service shall not be held responsible for lost or stolen items, accidents, or injuries at any time. If you are walking one of the remote segments, please remember to leave an itinerary with a close friend or relative in case of emergency.
New Easy Registration Procedures
Mail a startcard / signed waiver to:
Include a note listing the directions you need; for example: 747 out & back, 753 segments 14 and 15, all six out & backs, or all 16 segments. Include your email address or a large envelope with lots of postage (give the POC a call).
|For rapid registration call or email the POC|
|301-249-5607 before 9 PMfirstname.lastname@example.org|
The POC will mail or Email walk directions, and driving directions. Please be sure to mention the specific segments you plan to walk when requesting directions. Select from the table. You can request specific segments or Out and Back choices, a package for one or more of the individual events (i.e. 749), a package that includes all four YREs (16 segments and 6 out and back options) or a package with just the out and back choices from each YRE.
Clubs planning a group walk on the canal should contact the POC to discuss on site registration and book stamping. We can also discuss alternate start locations / trail lengths (5K min.) to fit the needs of your group.
EVENTS: Segments are always one-way walks. Out and back walks are listed last.
|Walk 1 - YRE 2012/747
Segment 1 Georgetown to Carderock - 17KM
Segment 2 Carderock to Seneca Aqueduct - 19KM
Segment 3 Seneca to Whites Ferry - 21 KM
Segment 4 Whites Ferry to Nolands Ferry - 14KM
Out and Back 11KM - Round trip from Carderock
Out and Back 10KM - Round trip from Fletcher's Boat House
|Walk 2 - YRE 2012/748
Segment 5 Nolands Ferry to Brunswick - 17KM
Segment 6 Brunswick to Dargan Bend - 16KM
Segment 7 Dargan Bend to Lock 38 - 13 KM
Segment 8 Lock 38 to Big Slackwater - 20KM
Out and Back 10KM - Round trip from Lock 38
|Walk 3 - YRE 2012/749
Segment 9 McMahons Mill to Williamsport - 19KM
Segment 10 Williamsport to Ft Frederick - 20KM
Segment 11 Ft Frederick to Hancock - 19KM
Segment 12 Hancock to Little Orleans - 27KM
Out and Back 10KM - Round trip from Ft Frederick
|Walk 4 - YRE 2012/753
Segment 13 Little Orleans to Paw Paw - 24KM
Segment 14 Paw Paw to Oldtown - 17 KM
Segment 15 Oldtown to North Branch - 14KM
Segment 16 North Branch to Cumberland - 15KM
Out and Back 10KM - Round trip from Paw Paw
(includes Paw Paw Tunnel)
Out and Back 10KM - Round trip from Little Orleans
A to Z note: The letters B, C, D, F, H, L, N, O, P, S, T, and W are available. Contact the POC for specific information.
Rediscover Maryland note: Segments 1 thru 4 are in Montgomery County, Segments 4 thru 6 are in Frederick County, Segments 6 thru 12 are in Washington County and Segments 12 thru 16 are in Allegany County.
Mail your completed start card, a check made out to the Maryland Volkssport Association (MVA), a SASE and books to the POC: Skip Magee, C&O Canal Walks, 15814 Perkins Lane, Bowie, MD 20716. Insert cards are available if you would rather not mail your books. Every effort will be made to stamp and return books within 10 days. The POC also attends many local events and will be happy to meet you and stamp your books. Email Skip at email@example.com to make arrangements.
Please Note: For those interested in medium distance walks, any segment less than 20Km may be walked in both directions on the same start card for the same fee, i.e., a 14Km segment may be walked both ways for 28Km for the one registration fee. BUT ----- any segment 20Km or longer can receive credit for walking both ways only if you register twice and pay $6 for two start cards. The "medium" distance option for an IVV event (walking twice on the same start card) only applies when no medium distance is offered; walks of 20Km or more are classified as medium.
A number of good guides to the C&O Canal’s history, structures and amenities are available including Towpath Guide to the C&O Canal, and The C&O Canal Companion. Books are available for purchase in all of the C&O Canal NHPS Visitor Centers.
The C&O Canal "is a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet and peace ..."
Justice William O. Douglas, 1954
DO NOT LET MAIL-IN REGISTRATION
STOP YOU FROM PARTICIPATING
IN THESE GREAT EVENTS!
Make the effort. You will be glad you did!
The entire C&O Canal Towpath is sanctioned as a BIKE EVENT, YRE 0699, you pick your distance 25 to 300K. Contact Skip Magee for details