C and O Towpath – Day 1 – Cumberland, MD to Paw Paw, WV

After completing the first part of our bike trip, we had a nice overnight Cumberland. But it was time to hit the trail again, this time on the C&O Towpath. I think a little history might help, so here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

The canal towpath trail, along with the Great Allegheny Passage, combine to make a 330+ almost traffic free recreational path from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. And that is the path that Bill and I are having the pleasure to ride. With the GAP behind us, we set off for our next stop, Paw Paw, WV.

As we departed Cumberland, there were a few opportunities for photos. First, we stopped for breakfast and parked the bikes in the downtown pedestrian mall. This gave me an opportunity to take a picture of the bikes loaded for the road. My friend, Patty, from Oklahoma wanted to see what we packed for the trip.

As you can see, we have two saddle bags each and both of have a small additional bag. During the bike trip we plan two laundry days. Luckily for us, that is a need the guest houses and inns anticipate, so we don’t have to find a public laundromat.

Once underway, we passed the beginning of the C&O, a restored canal boat and a great view of the Cumberland Narrows, which I mentioned yesterday. That gap in the mountains, created by the North Fork of the Potomac River, allowed rail, wagon and later automobiles to cross the mountains easily.

Shortly after leaving Cumberland, the trail reduced to a single track. The C& O is not paved! It can vary between single and double track, or can be a wider dirt path. There will be roots, ruts, gravel, grass, and now, in the fall, lots of leaves. Here are some of the path conditions we encountered.

After just a couple of miles we arrived at our first lock. There are 74 locks on the canal, most looking like the next. So here are some pictures. Unless I see something very different, I am not going to photograph every lock. Note: this blog is incomplete, but I am having some internet challenges and cannot upload pictures with the speeds. We are already in Hancock, MD, after completing day 2 on the C&O Towpath. I will finish Day 1, starting with the lock pictures and post Day 2, as soon as I can resolve the posting issues.

2 thoughts on “C and O Towpath – Day 1 – Cumberland, MD to Paw Paw, WV

  1. Again so interesting!!! You can really tell fall is there!
    Thax for taking the time to share your adventures.
    See you soon. Marge


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